I’m sure most of us have experienced back pain at some point in our lives, in different intensities and different causes. Did you know that low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide? And that Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain? (source: ACA) Wow that’s a lot.
Back pain isn’t JUST Back pain. Nothing can ruin your day quicker than back pain… I can attest to that. If you are like me who are looking for ways to manage, prevent and treat low back pain naturally, here are 7 proven remedies to try at home.
1. Cold Therapy
Whether it’s a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack, cold therapy is the best remedy for the first 24-48 hours. Localized cooling reduces inflammation and eases the pain. After 48 hours, you can do alternate hot and cold therapy, as the heat helps loosen tight muscles and increases circulation.
2. Keep Moving
Contrary to ancient belief, complete bedrest is not the best remedy for back pain. According to the American Pain Society (APS), people suffering from low back pain should remain active. The sooner you start moving, the faster the pain is relieved. Walking, gentle stretches and normal daily activities will definitely help.
3. Exercise Your Core
A weak core is a contributing factor to back pain. Core exercises can effectively isolate and strengthen the muscles surrounding your lower back to facilitate mobility, restore function and reduce pain.
4. Watch Your Posture
Sitting and standing with poor posture provoke back pain since it constricts the blood vessels and nerves, and at the same time, may cause problems to your muscles, discs and joints. Always watch your posture and be careful not to bend over from the waist when you need to pick up something from the floor or when you need to lift heavy objects. Just bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load and straighten your legs to lift.
Massage therapy can provide healing and pain relief for low back pain caused by muscle strain and tension. But make sure that you go to a skilled and professional massage therapist. Studies also found that weekly massage can moderately improve and prevent low back pain.
6. Divert Your Attention
Sometimes, negative thoughts, anxiety and fear can increase the pain. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and other ways of diverting your attention can help lessen the intensity of the pain. But FYI, the pain you are feeling isn’t just in your head so don’t ignore that.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Consuming a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help you beat back pain. Some of these are: flax and chia seeds, cold water fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, etc., carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, berries, grapes, pomegranate, watermelon and true teas such as Green, Oolong and White.