While popping a pill may be the easiest way to reduce lower back pain, long-term use of analgesics could be harmful to the body. Aside from gastrointestinal effects, the use of drugs to reduce pain could lead to kidney and liver problems. The ideal way is to reduce back pain through natural ways. Here are a few natural back pain relief measures that you can use at home, at the office or even as you travel.
Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that sometimes the quickest and most effective way to reduce back pain is to see an osteopath. Our personal favourite osteopaths at Form Clinic has helped us through many tricky situations.
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Get endorphins flowing
Endorphins are natural chemicals in the body that help reduce pain naturally. Endorphins are actually as powerful as any pain medication and can stop lower back pain without causing any untoward effects. This natural pain-relief works by blocking pain signals from registering in the brain. Aside from pain, endorphins also reduce depression, anxiety and stress. You can get your endorphins flowing by engaging in activities like aerobic exercise, massage therapy and meditation.
Get enough rest and sleep
The body releases natural chemicals that help restore normal function and therefore, not getting enough sleep will affect your body’s normal healing and restorative capabilities. There are many ways to improve sleep, among them, are meditation, using aromatherapy, exercise, relaxation therapy and so on.
Strengthen your core muscles
You must support your lower back by strengthening your abdominal muscles. Most of the activities like you do during the day may not be enough to exercise your core and therefore, these muscles should be targeted using specific exercises. A good 20 to 30 minutes exercise would do and if you are a beginner, you can sit upright on an exercise ball for 30 minutes.
Reduce pain with cold or hot
You can reduce lower back pain using cold or hot packs. Applying cold or hot can stimulate the healing process and help manage back pain naturally.
• Cold can reduce inflammation which is mostly the reason for having back pain. Cold is a natural anaesthetic that slows down nerve impulses and thus reduces pain. Use an ice pack but don’t apply cold directly to your skin. Place a thin cloth or towel over the skin before applying an ice pack or cold pack.
• Heat can improve blood flow which transports healing nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. Heat can also stop pain messages that are sent to the brain. You can use a hot pack over the affected area, take a hot bath or shower or use a heating pad.
Stretch your hamstrings
Support your lower back by strengthening your hamstrings. These are muscles located at the back of your thighs which are connected to the main back muscles of the lower back. You can strengthen the hamstrings by performing stretching exercises.
A standing hamstring stretch is performed by initially bending forward at the waist and keeping your legs very straight. Touch your toes and try to hold this position for a long period of time.
Meanwhile, a sitting hamstring stretch is done by sitting at the edge of a chair and straightening one leg in front as the heel of the foot is on the floor. Afterwards, sit up straight. Try to push your navel towards the thigh by arching your back. Do not lean forward. Hold this for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise on the other leg.