Are you sick and tired of being down and out with back pain on a chronic basis? Then we have just the thing for you! Here are six ways to curb back pain fast. You’ll notice that none of them involve medication (although we realize this may sometimes be necessary to get a break from the pain). We’re trying to provide some natural sources of relief for our readers. The final tip involves a natural therapy that has helped many back pain patients, including those suffering from sciatica. Read on to gain hope that back pain doesn’t have to be a permanent issue.
#1. Sleep Better
What does sleep have to do with back pain? There are several ways the two are related. The first is getting enough sleep. A good night’s rest each night is a key part of helping the central nervous system (CNS) deal with pain and inflammation (which adds to pain). If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule, your CNS will feel more pain, and increased inflammation in the body can cause more pain.
Another reason sleep is a vital part of back pain relief is because everything from the quality of your mattress and pillow to the position you sleep in may be contributing to pain. Here are a few tips based on the way you prefer to sleep:
- Back Sleepers – This is the best position for your spine, but there still may be things you can tweak to make it better. For example, don’t use a pillow that is too firm. You don’t want your head tilted up all night. You can also place a pillow behind your knees to remove even more pressure from your lower back.
- Side Sleepers – This is another acceptable sleep position for the back, but you do have to keep a couple of things in mind. First, your head will need to be propped a little higher up off the bed, it is a good idea to get a slightly firmer pillow. Second, you will want to keep another pillow between your knees. This will keep the upper leg from sliding forward or back, which would twist the lower spine.
- Stomach Sleepers – This is the worst position for your spine, especially your neck. Think about the position you have to lay in when sleeping on your stomach. Would you stand with your head turned to the side for 8 hours straight during the day? If this is your normal sleep position, and you deal with chronic back problems, changing your sleep position has to be one of the first things you work on.
#2. Get More Exercise (But Don’t Over Do It)
Frist of all, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine. With that disclaimer out of the way, how can exercise help reduce your back pain? There are actually several ways. First of all, exercise releases hormones in the body that make you feel good both physically and mentally. Second, exercise can reduce stress (which may increase pain levels and inflammation). Finally, the right type of exercise can strengthen the core muscles and provide greater support for the spine. This can assist with good posture and help you to reduce the likelihood of recurring back pain.
#3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is tough on the spine in a number of ways. It can compress the discs between the vertebrae and lead to muscle strains. All of the bones and soft tissue have to work harder to support and move the extra weight. This can also lead a person to live a more sedentary lifestyle. As a result, a cycle begins that leads to less activity, more weight gain, and increased pain (particularly in the back).
Stretching can improve back pain in a number of different ways. First of all, it can loosen stiff muscles, which works against the effects of stress. Second, it can increase your flexibility. A greater range of motion will help to reduce soreness. Finally, it is good for breathing, and getting more oxygen to the body is also good for promoting healing.
#5. Heat or Cold
Which will be better for your back, heat or cold? The answer actually depends on what is causing the pain. While cold can reduce inflammation and reduce pain levels in that way, heat promotes blood flow and healing. However, heat can also increase inflammation issues, and cold can slow down healing. So the rule of thumb is that cold is used for injuries and inflammation, especially the first few days, and heat is a more long-term form of care while the body is repairing itself. You can get cold packs online for use on most parts of the body (be sure not to have the pack directly in contact with your skin), and a hot bath is great for whole body relaxation.
#6. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top bone in the neck, the atlas, which balances the head. Even the slightest misalignment can lead to changes throughout the back as the body makes an effort to keep the head level. As a result, the pain may occur anywhere throughout the back where the greatest changes take place.
Correcting the underlying issue, the atlas misalignment, can give the body the time it needs to reverse the changes and heal from the effects. As a result, upper cervical chiropractic makes a great drug-free therapy for back pain. To learn more, find a practitioner near you and schedule an appointment.