Chronic back pain is one of the most common complaints that physicians find difficult to treat. It can be caused by a back injury, muscle strain or a variety of health conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis or scoliosis. Because there is no single cure or treatment for chronic back pain, physicians oftentimes recommend surgery. But there are other ways to relieve back pain that don’t involve invasive methods. Here are six proven, non-surgical treatments that can help manage chronic back pain. (h/t to MedicalNewsToday.com)
Spinal manipulation, also called chiropractic manipulation or spinal manipulative therapy, is a technique that involves the use of the hands to apply pressure or a controlled thrust to a joint of the spine. This allows the joint to move more than it would on its own and is said to help with pain in the lower back.
Spinal manipulation is and should only be performed by a trained and licensed therapist, such as a chiropractor. Although it is one of the most commonly used health approaches in the U.S. according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), it is not for people who suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis or spinal cord problems.
Acupuncture is a healing art widely practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This technique involves the use of thin needles to stimulate certain points along the body. This stimulation is said to address the root of various problems, such as chronic diseases and chronic pain.
Many studies have been done on acupuncture and its pain-relieving effects. Today, even cancer patients use it as a complementary medicine to reduce the painful side effects of chemotherapy. Acupuncture is also a popular treatment for nerve pain, back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and menstrual cramps.
Chronic back pain can be caused by being overweight. People put unnecessary pressure on their spines and strain their back muscles as they gain more weight. In addition, overweight people overwork their back muscles, bones and joints whenever they move, and this can result in back pain that won’t go away.
To alleviate pain in the back caused by muscle strain or obesity, a simple solution would be to lose weight. Studies show that obesity and being overweight increase the risk of low back pain, as obese people are not only more prone to injuries, but their spines also suffer from increased mechanical load and higher compression or tear.
Chronic pain has been linked by numerous studies to higher levels of inflammation. To combat this, eating an anti-inflammatory diet and avoiding foods that promote inflammation are the two best options for sufferers.
Foods that are laden with sugar or have undergone heavy processing can worsen inflammation. On the other hand, unprocessed, plant-based foods like organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are said to decrease inflammation inside the body. Fatty fish, which are rich in anti-inflammatory fats like omega-3 fatty acids, are also great additions to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Developing good posture may be the key to eliminating back pain, as poor posture causes the loads on the spine to disperse incorrectly, weakening lower back tissue. This can stress the muscles, discs and joints along your back and cause chronic or severe pain.
To correct posture, people can wear devices that gently pull the shoulders back. Changing the position you work in or your workspace can also help relieve back pain, especially if it does not have proper ergonomics.
Some exercises and stretches are effective at relieving back pain. Although doing these activities may seem impossible when you’re in pain, research suggests that being active is the best natural remedy for many painful ailments. (Related: Try yoga to relieve back pain caused by cycling or spinning.)
In the case of chronic back and neck pain, a recent study found that exercises that strengthen the lumbar and cervical muscles can significantly reduce pain. These exercises have provided relief for many patients in numerous clinical trials.
Other studies have also found that exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that bind to opioid receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain. This has a similar effect to pain medications.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural oil extracted from hemp. It is a well-known natural remedy for a variety of ailments, especially those that involve pain. According to studies, cannabinoids — active compounds present in cannabis plants — like CBD not only have pain-relieving properties, they also exert anti-inflammatory effects that can help protect nerves and joints.
In addition, CBD is not known to cause the “high” associated with marijuana use, so CBD oil won’t have an intoxicating effect. However, CBD oil is not legal in all states, so check state laws before using it as a pain remedy.
Chronic back pain can be dealt with using natural treatments and without the need for surgery. For more tips on how to relieve different types of chronic pain, visit BackPain.news.