31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, and you're reading this article so you probably are too! Although it's a very common issue, most people aren't aware of the correct way to treat the pain. Many deal with this issue by simply taking medicine and hoping that the pain will go away. However, this doesn't always work and can be very tiring to keep up with. Here are some ways that you can naturally relieve lower back pain and increase the quality of your life!
Meridian/Acupuncture points were used in ancient China, and can be very effective when relieving pain from many parts of your body, including your lower back. Massaging and stimulating these points promotes the circulation of blood throughout your body and releases muscle tension. Not to mention that this method is completely natural! If you'd like to learn more about this ancient Chinese secret, you can watch this video to find out the exact steps to take when it comes to long term back pain relief.
Sometimes, people experience back pain simply because they're tense! Here are some simple stretches that you can do at home to relieve tension in your lower back.
2: Supine Hamstring Stretch
While laying on your back, bend one of your knees and place a rolled up towel around the ball of your foot. Next, straighten your leg so that the bottom of your foot is pointing towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 3-5 minutes, and repeat on the other leg. This is called the Supine Hamstring Stretch and can be very useful while stretching not only your lower back, but other parts of your body as well!
3: Two Knee Twist
This is great if you're a fan of stretches that don't require a lot of effort! Simply lay on your back, and turn both of your knees to one side; make sure your shoulders are pressed down firmly on the ground. This stretches the lower back, and might even help you relax if you're having a stressful day. Keep this pose for 2 minutes, then switch to the other side and repeat.
While stretching is a great way to relieve pain, exercising can go one step further and strengthen your back muscles. Strengthening these muscles will help to support your spine and relieve pain in the long run. You don't need any equipment, and these few examples can easily be done at home!
4: Partial Crunches
Partial crunches are a great way to strengthen back and stomach muscles. While laying on the floor, bend your knees and put your hands behind your head. Raise your shoulders off the floor, hold the position, and slowly come back down; don't forget to breathe! Repeat this 8-12 times and be sure to use proper form so you get the best results. Also, avoid sit-ups! Most people perform these incorrectly and use their hip muscles. These put a lot of pressure on the disks in your spine, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do!
5: Wall Sits
Another easy at-home exercise to try are wall sits. Stand about a foot away from a wall, then lean back until your back is flat against it. Slowly slide down, pressing your back against the wall, until your knees are slightly bent. Hold this position for 10 or more seconds, and repeat 8-12 times. The more often you perform these exercises, the stronger your back will be!
Another method to relieve back pain in the long run would be to change certain aspects of your lifestyle. One easy way to do this is to correct your posture. On average, American's spend about 13 hours a day sitting, so why not spend those 13 hours relieving your pain? Improving your posture might be easier than you think!
Ergonomic chairs give better back support, and should help relieve pain after using them for a period of time. These chairs are a good idea if you have an office job and spend most of your day sitting.
7: Sitting Position
Sitting differently in your chair can also have a huge impact on your posture and the way you feel. Some things to avoid would be slumping forward, and sitting on the edge of the seat. Instead, try sitting up straight and use the back of the chair to support yourself.
8: Get Up And Move
While these are good suggestions for sitting, the best thing to improve your posture and relieve pain is to get up and move. Your spine is made to move in fluid motions, so moving during the work day will help relieve pain. Get up and take a break every once in a while, your back will thank you!
9. Proper Footwear
Another easy thing to change in your lifestyle would be your choice of footwear. It is obvious that some shoes offer more support than others, but some people ignore this fact or don't have the option when going to work. If you can make the switch, sneakers give great support! And if not, adding insoles to your shoes can make a significant change in your lower back pain levels. While shoes are great, they aren't the best thing. Going barefoot helps improve posture and balance, and at end of the day it's a great method to relieve your pain.
If you still like the idea of just taking medicine or using natural remedies to relieve your pain, here are some ideas to try! Remember that it is important to consult your doctor before taking these supplements.
Try supplements that include Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
11: Try Vitamin D
Having a deficient amount of Vitamin D will make your pain worse, so make sure you're getting plenty of it!
12: Comfrey Root Ointment
If you're looking for a natural remedy, Merck produces a Comfrey root ointment that reduces lower back pain, up to 95% within 5 days. Just be sure to use it for only 10 days at a time, it can be toxic when used more than recommended.
Possibly the easiest way to get rid of lower back pain would be to do it while sleeping! Many people would agree that the way you sleep has a tremendous effect on your lower back. Adjusting the way you sleep is a great way to relieve this pain, especially if you don't want to put much effort into it! Here are a few ways that you can change the way you feel all day, in just a few hours overnight.
13: Pillow Between Legs
By laying on your side and placing a pillow between your legs, this relieves stress in your lower back. Your spine is aligned and in a natural position which makes sleeping much easier, and won't cause you pain throughout the day! If you're a person who likes to sleep on their back, try putting a pillow underneath your knees.
14: Comfortable Mattress
Make sure you have a mattress that is comfortable, yet still supportive. This support you and help your spine to be aligned correctly while you sleep.
Get plenty of sleep! Making sure you get a good nights sleep is important to many aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but it will also help to relieve pain.
What Are The Causes Of Lower Back Pain?
There are a large number of causes of lower back pain. Following are some of the main causes of lower back pain:
The ligaments and muscles in the back can stretch or tear and this is usually due to excess activity. Symptoms can include stiffness and pain in the lower back, as well as spasms in the muscles. Physical therapy and rest are the best remedies for these symptoms.
The discs found in the back are prone to injuries. The risk of disc injuries increases with age. The outside of the disc can herniate or tear.
A herniated disc, which is often referred to as a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when the cartilage which surrounds the disc pushes against the nerve roots or the spinal cord. The cushion which sits between the spinal vertebrae extends outside the normal positioning.
This can then result in compression of the nerve root where it exits the spinal cord and through the vertebral bones. Disc injuries usually occur suddenly after twisting the back, or lifting something heavy. Unlike back strain, pain from a disc injury usually lasts for a lot longer.
Sciatica can occur along with a herniated disc if the disc presses on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is what connects the spine to the legs. As this is the case, sciatica can cause pain in the legs and feet. The pain caused by sciatica usually feels like pins and needles, or burning.
Spinal stenosis is where the spinal column narrows, and this puts pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves.
It is most commonly due to the degeneration of the discs which lie between the vertebrae. The result from this is compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots by soft tissues or bony spurs, such as discs.
Pressure on the spinal nerves can cause symptoms such as the following:
You may feel these symptoms in any area of the body. Many people that have spinal stenosis will notice that their symptoms worsen when they stand or walk.
Abnormal Spine Curvatures
Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis are all conditions which cause abnormal curvatures in the spine.
These are congenital conditions which are usually first diagnosed during childhood. The abnormal curvature in the spine causes poor posture and pain because it places pressure on the following:
There are a number of other conditions which may cause lower back pain. these conditions may include:
- Fibromyalgia – this is a long-term pain and tenderness in the muscles, tendons, and joints.
- Arthritis – this is inflammation of the joints.
- Spondylosis – this is a degenerative disorder which may cause the loss of normal spinal function and structure. Although aging is the primary cause of this condition, the location and the rate of degeneration is specific to the individual.
- Spondylitis – this inflammation in the joins between the spinal bones.
There are additional health conditions which may cause lower back pain and these include:
- Kidney problems
- Bladder problems
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
Separately, all of the above methods can be helpful when trying to get rid of lower back pain, but they can be even more useful when put together! Try a mixture of these remedies, stretches, and lifestyle changes to help reduce your pain. And don't forget to check out this video to learn more about how to use those secret Chinese Meridian/Acupuncture points to your advantage. Try these tips for less pain and a better quality of life!
Makayla has lived her whole life in central Pennsylvania, and is currently a student in Harrisburg, PA. Besides her love of writing, she also has a passion for many different types of music and connecting with people.