Having surgery done on your back should be everyone’s last resort to back pain relief. All surgical procedures carry certain risks for most people, for example, medication allergies, bleeding or infections. Not surprisingly, doctors would be uncomfortable to guarantee that the relief will be as predicted after the surgery.
As any surgery is expensive and risky, it is in your best interest to give a shot at all non surgical treatments for your back relief before going to the operating table. In this blog, I will only cover the natural treatments. Medications and injection treatments will not be discussed here.
Try these safe and natural back treatments first and see any of these methods (or a combination) help you in any way. It is strongly recommended that you seek a medical professional’s advice before embarking on any massaging, diet or exercise routine.
The first person that most people think of when they have aches and pain is to visit a medical doctor. Often enough, you will be given a medication and sent home. Medication might just suppress the issue for the moment but may not address the root of the issue.
Chiropractors are well-trained in treating aches and pains. Their specialty is not only on bones, but also on the muscles and nervous system as well. Much of the research shows that chiropractic care ranks highly on non-invasive back pain relief over medical care. In short, it offers a more powerful pain relief. Studies have also shown that for chiropractic care, patients experienced faster results and that the relief last longer in the long run. Moreover, it is drug free and with few side effects !
Chiropractors may also incorporate other treatments towards your back pain management. For example, they might work with medical professionals to manage your back pain, or recommending a TENS machine(Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)to aid recovery, massage therapy and other complementary therapies.
Massage Therapy – Your way to relaxation
The use of massage therapy dates back thousands of years to India and China. Through the centuries, different massage techniques have been developed and became popular and still evolving.
Massage therapy helps to improve blood circulation and loosen muscles, which might be the cause of back pain and aches. You have a lot of popular massage styles to choose from. Three of the most popular ones are:
- Swedish Massage – a smooth gliding movement with various speed and pressure.
- Shiatsu Massage – This “Finger Pressure” technique involves fingers/palm applying pressure on your back.
- Thai Massage – This popular “yoga” type of massage involves compressing, stretching and using acupressure methods.
Massage therapists might combine different techniques to help relieve the pain. It is best to communicate with your massage therapist on the outcome of each session and the length of the massage. Some pain issues might take more than 1 session.
Staying fit and active is key to managing your back pain. Most people know this but unfortunately, many procrastinate and never got around to doing it. Others are too busy, lazy, or do not feel inspired to do it. They rather live with the discomfort till the pain becomes more severe.
People who are overweight should also try to exercise and lose some pounds. Their weight is causing unnecessary stress on their back
Exercises can be as simple as walking, stretching or doing certain aquatic movements while you are at a pool. All these exercises will strengthen the muscles around your back. It will also help improve your posture and increases your flexibility.
Some other back exercises you can consider doing:
- Tai Chi
Here is a well received exercise program, Back Pain Relief 4 Life, that received rave reviews that may be able to help.
Change Your Diet
Many people do not realize that diet also plays an important part in relieving their back pain.
Sugars can cause inflammation in your body, which you certainly want to avoid. Carbohydrates found in bread, pasta and other food made from flour may also cause inflammation. It is advisable to stay away from all the “oses”, Fructose, maltose, sucrose, etc.
A healthy diet coupled with exercise will help strengthen your back and core muscles. It may cause you lose some unhealthy weight and have less strain on your back.
The Art Of Posture – (Besides Looking Confident)
You would want take second look at your sitting and standing postures. Do you slump ? Poor posture may lead back pain.
Good posture can prevent back pain. The ideal posture according to experts, would be a straight line down from your ear to your shoulder and down to your hip.
If you slouch or hunchback, most likely your back muscles are in stressful positions as your spine is not in their natural position. In the long run, pressure is built up in those areas and will cause discomfort. If you find yourself often slouching, consider wearing a posture brace. It will help correct your posture and achieve proper back alignment.
So remember to do some stretches and to stand and sit up straight, like what mom always says “No slouching!”
I am a firm believer of preventive care and the phrase “prevention is better than cure”. I prefer not to wait till the pain issues develops and then take remedial actions.
Reports showed that 95% of adults will experience back issues at some point of their lives. While going on with your daily life, you can to prevent or minimize the pain from developing in your back, for example, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having a correct posture and lifting heavy things correctly.
Fortunately, most back pains are mild in nature. They may be as a result on poor posture or because of long working hours. The good news is that these back pains may be treated.
If possible, sit on an ergonomic chair while you work or try using a back cushion (I personally prefer memory foam cushions). Invest in a well-supported orthopedic mattress is a must.
Many people also use certain massaging tools in their homes to manage their back pain, for example, massaging chair, handheld back massagers, massaging cushions, yoga ball and foam rollers. Personally, I find using heating pads together with the massaging tools is very effective for me as it relaxes the muscles while the massaging is going on.
If your back pain does not respond well to these non invasion methods, you might want to consider taking medication or injections to relieve the pain and discomfort. At times decisions are hard to make. Only you know your body best. Listen to your heart and body together with the doctor’s opinion.