Home Remedies for Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common health problems experienced across the board. Men, women, adults, teenagers and even children can fall victim to back pain. According to ACAToday, "31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time." While backaches mostly occur in the middle or lower spine, sometimes the pain may be in the hips. Sometimes the pain is so bad, the victim may not be able to move or function. Back pain is one of the main reasons why an individual misses work, according to the American Chiropractic Association. The major causes of backaches include:
- Overusing the back muscles
- Improper lifting
- Poor posture
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of exercise
While it might seem simple to treat an individual for back pain, as a matter of fact, it is more complicated because an individual may have underlying issues that are causing the pain. For example, while injuries from incorrectly lifting heavy objects are a cause of back pain, individuals may experience pain from the following conditions:
- Inflammation due to arthritis
Whatever the cause of the pain in the back, individuals will want to find a way to relieve the pain. Some may take over-the-counter and prescription medications. Others may opt for surgery. While these two methods may work there are consequences to them. Medications can be costly. They do not always relieve the symptoms and are sometimes unsafe to take. With surgery, it involves a long healing process and may not always be successful. That is why you should consider turning to home remedies to take care of your back pain. While pharmacies sell a wide variety of creams to put on your back, in most cases you will need somebody to help you put it on your aching back. What are you to do if you are alone? Should you use hot or cold treatments?
Herbs for Back Pain
- St. John's Wort: A popular herbal supplement in treating depression, is also excellent in treating lower back pain. You can purchase this at most pharmacies in the vitamin section. Your local health food store may sell this as oil where you can rub it directly onto the sore area of your back.
- Chamomile Tea: Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile tea contains relaxing properties and will help relax the muscles in your back.
- Epsom Salt: Fill your bathtub with warm water and Epsom salt. Sitting in the water helps reduce swelling in your muscles. Bathe for at least twenty minutes. This is an excellent remedy if you live by yourself or if no one is around when your back starts hurting you.
- Ice: Place an ice pack on the sore spots on your back. This is very effective if you have an inflammation in your muscles.
- Lemon Juice and Table Salt: Mix lemon juice and table salt. Rub this mixture onto your sore back. This helps soothe your sore back.
- Ginger: Ginger root contains anti-inflammatory properties. Cut a ¼ inch piece of root and put it in a hot cup of water. Drinking it will help reduce swelling.
- Massage: Massage is an excellent therapy when it comes to back pain. By getting a massage once in a while not only relaxes you, it relaxes your muscles at the same time. You will find that the amount of back pain will decrease after a massage session. To speed up the pain reduction massage either garlic or mint oil onto the painful areas of the back.
- Omega-3s: Omega 3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure you include this in your daily diet. When you do not have enough Omega 3, you are more likely to get back pain. Fish is an excellent source of this. You can also purchase supplements that contain fish oil at your local pharmacy.
- Garlic Oil: Garlic oil is very effective. Most drug and health food stores sell this in a soft gel form. Take one to two each day. This helps protect your back from pains and help relieve back pains when you do get them. You can also rub garlic oil directly onto your sore spots.
Your diet has a direct impact on your back. By eating the right foods, you are helping your painful back. Make sure that the food you eat contains enough:
- Vitamin D
If you are not getting enough of these vitamins and minerals, or are not sure if you are, include a daily multivitamin into your daily routine.
Always consult with a qualified medical professional before incorporating new treatment plans into your daily routine.
Additional Tips for Getting Rid of Back Pain
Make sure that you include more vegetables in your diet. Eat more vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and lettuce. Include milk and fruit with your breakfast. Avoid food that is high in fat and those that are fried. Sometimes a lack of vitamin C can cause back pain. Just by taking 2000 milligrams of vitamin C a day will make even the most severe pain dwindle in a couple of days
If you are overweight, change your diet and get an exercise program going. As you lose weight you will notice the pain in your back will be reduced. If you are a smoker, think about quitting. This is a hard habit to break. However, tobacco products have a direct impact on backaches. You back will thank you for it if you do successfully quit smoking.
Be aware of your posture since poor posture has a direct impact on back pain. If you sit for long periods of time, such as in front of the computer, take breaks where you stand up, walk around and stretch your muscles.
Using an exercise ball is an excellent piece of equipment to reduce back pain. When you sit on the ball, your body moves with it to keep balanced and from falling off. Yoga is also another excellent exercise because you are stretching your muscles and making them more flexible. Practice yoga and meditation exercises daily to reduce your back pains. These are effective and since stress is also another cause of backaches, these exercises help you to clear your mind and relax.
Hopefully, these remedies help you get rid of your back pains. These are just a few suggestions. There are many different ways you can treat your back without having to go to the doctor. However, if your backaches do not go away or if they keep coming back, make an appointment to see your doctor. Chronic backaches may be a sign of another illness such as kidney disease.
Using Ginger to Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
One type of back pain is sciatica which is caused when the sciatic nerve is inflamed. This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back, through the buttocks down to the lower limb.
The sciatic nerve provides the connection to the nervous system for nearly the whole of the skin of the leg, the muscles of the back of the thigh, and those of the leg and foot. — Wikipedia
There are many causes of sciatica. These include:
- Herniated Disks
- Pinched Nerves
- Prolonged Sitting
- Spinal Stenosis
- All these can bring about sciatic nerve pain which include:
- Pain in the lower back
- Shooting and burning pain in the thigh
- Pins and Needles tingling Sensations in the legs
Usually, when people go to the doctor when they are suffering from sciatic nerve pain, he will, in most cases, prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) to help with the inflammation. He might also recommend using ice packs for the painful areas of the back and legs to help reduce the inflammation. While ice packs are an excellent home remedy for sciatic nerve pain, some people would prefer not to use NSAIDs for their treatment. The side effects of these include:
- reduced appetite
- drowsiness (NSAIDs)
If you are one of these individuals who want to relieve your sciatic pain but would prefer to avoid the side effects of NSAIDs, ginger is a very useful herb. It is just as effective as these drugs and comes without the side effects. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the inflammation surrounding the sciatic nerve. You can add ginger to a cup of hot water and drink it as a tea. You can either purchase already made tea bags. You can also add a tablespoon of ground ginger to the water or add a ¼ inch of ginger root. However, if you add a piece of gingerroot, you will need it to brew for at least fifteen minutes to get the complete inflammation reducing benefits.
Chewing on a piece of gingerroot is very effective in reducing inflammation. However, since this is a hot herb, start out with a smaller piece until you get used to the spiciness.
If you are pregnant or nursing or are on blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using ginger to treat your sciatic nerve pain.
© 2018 Lois Ryan