40 million American workers suffer from chronic back pain
Physical therapy, yoga, chiropractic, and inversion chairs can all help to naturally reduce lower back pain
And you can always try a natural, topical, deep tissue oil for back pain relief
How to Reduce Lower Back Pain Naturally
It’s hard to feel good about anything when your back is sore. Even if you find a comfortable position while sitting or standing, you may be painfully reminded of your sore nerve endings as soon as you move. And back pain is a very common problem that affects more than a quarter of working Americans, according to new research.
The study, conducted at the United States’ National Institute for Safety and Health at Work in Washington, DC, found that nearly 40 million American workers report having chronic lower back pain. These results are based on a survey of more than 19,000 adults in 2015. The questions examined whether a subject suffers from back pain, whether the pain is related to their work and whether the pain interferes with work performance.
About 26 percent of participants reported having lower back pain in both men and women. The most common ages at which lower back pain was reported was people between 45 and 64 years of age.
Whether an injury occurs at work, at home, on the go, or you can’t even determine exactly why the problem started in the first place, lower back pain can and should be treated for a positive outcome, quality of life and prevention that it is getting worse.
Your doctor’s recommendations for back pain
If symptoms come on suddenly or are so severe that you have trouble making simple daily movements, a visit to the doctor’s office can be a good first step. Recommendations vary depending on the cause of the lower back pain. Applying ice to reduce inflammation, using heat to loosen muscles and stimulate blood flow to the area, and resting for a few days are safe and wise instructions. You can also benefit from physical therapy, where a professional will assess your lower back and walk you through a series of exercises and massages to relieve the pain.
However, if your doctor is quick to prescribe pain relievers – even non-opioids – you should probably look in other directions first. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may relieve your pain in the short term, but has been linked to kidney failure, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Prescription pain relievers like COX-2 inhibitors can cause stomach bleeding, headaches, dizziness, and kidney problems. And you don’t even have to argue about why you want to avoid oxycodone as a remedy.
Yoga for back pain relief
The gentle stretches of yoga can help soothe sore muscles in your back and relieve pressure on your nerves in the area. The poses can also encourage greater blood flow to the area to initiate healing. And yoga will help you develop better posture, which can prevent back pain from recurring. If you are new to yoga, be sure to take a beginner class and let your instructor know where there is pain in your back, as some poses may require changes.
Yoga also gives you benefits in walking forward even after your back pain has subsided. It strengthens your core muscles – front and back – and keeps your back in line, which makes back pain significantly less likely.
Chiropractic can do wonders for your lower back
Visiting a chiropractor or osteopath can feel like a lifesaver for people with chronic back pain. They will ask you a series of questions about where is the pain, then manipulate the tissues and adjust the spine to provide relief. Make sure you see a trained and licensed doctor.
They use their hands or a device to put pressure on the joints of your spine. These techniques can effectively relieve pain whether the source is in the muscles, joints, or ligaments.
Inversion chairs for back pain
If you’re plagued by persistent back pain and find that chiropractors and medication only provide temporary relief, an inversion chair may be an affordable solution for the home. Using your own body weight and gravity, the chair gently elongates your spine, separates your vertebrae, and decompresses, elongates and strengthens your spine.
Natural, topical, deep tissue oils for lower back pain
The right combination of essential oils, herbs, and nutraceuticals can penetrate your skin quickly and penetrate deep into your soft tissues to:
Decrease the levels of “pain” biochemicals. Block the release of substance P and thus slow down the transmission of the pain impulse along the pain nerves, the C fibers. And slow down the transmission of pain down the spinal cord.
When it comes to topical pain relief formulas, cayenne pepper, menthol, and wintergreen are the big three. Virtually every formula you buy is based on one, two, or all three of these ingredients. But this is just the beginning. For more information on what to look for in a tweaked, up-to-date pain relief formula, see Jon Barron’s article: Give Me Your Pain.