Sharp, dull, chronic, acute—pain is a part of life. And for the millions who suffer from it, nagging back pain can be especially annoying and debilitating. In answer to the pains that plague us, drug store shelves are filled with pharmacological remedies, many of which only mask pain and come with potentially harmful side effects. Fortunately there are a number of non-drug approaches to treat pain which have been shown to be effective. Here’s a look at 5 natural pain remedies that back pain sufferers should consider.
- Great for acute and chronic concerns, cold therapy can be very effective in reducing inflammation, calming muscle spasms, and relieving back pain. Whether it’s a bag of frozen peas, a reusable cold pack, or ice wrapped in a towel, cold therapy provides fast relief and can be safely used several times throughout the day if needed.
- Heat therapy:
For relief of muscle tension and back pain, heat is a great natural remedy. Heat increases circulation to sore muscles and aids in muscle relaxation, providing relief from muscle spasms and pain while increasing range of motion. Hot baths, heating pads (dry or moist) and hot compresses are all safe and effective ways to apply heat to aching back muscles, as long as they are used correctly.
When muscles become inflamed and spasm they tend to tighten up, which can cause even more pain and discomfort. Adopting a program of daily stretching exercises to help keep muscles loose and relieve back pain is recommended for anyone with mild to moderate back discomfort. To prevent further injuries, seek the advice of a health professional, sports trainer, or yoga instructor to prescribe a stretching program that will best suit your needs.
Many back problems are the result of a lack of awareness of the proper lifting techniques to avoid back strains and injuries that can occur during the natural course of our days. Consulting with a qualified professional to become better educated on the do’s and dont’s of back health is important for the prevention of future back problems and for preventing any that already exist from worsening. Better back health awareness can also prompt those who suffer from new back pains to seek the help of a health care professional.
- Essential oil therapy:
The growing search for natural remedies is leading more and more back pain sufferers to alternative therapies, including the use of essential oils. While many over the counter creams and ointments contain camphor or menthol, which have been shown to provide temporary relief of mild muscle pain and inflammation, pure essential oil formulations are said to offer more specific benefits when used in massage and or aroma therapy. For example, Chamomile essential oil is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief for sore muscles. Lavender appears to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle cramps and strains due to its relaxant properties. And Sandalwood essential oil is favored for back pain relief through soothing muscle tension and improving circulation. Before trying essential oil therapy it’s best to consult with a person trained in their proper use to maximize the therapeutic benefits.
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