Natural Remedies For Back Pain

 It seems almost everyone experiences lower back pain at some point in their lives.  It can be contributed to all sorts of problems from muscle strain, stress, a previous injury, lifting too much weight, aging, osteoporosis, herniated disc or even a tumor.  It is important to find out what is causing the back pain by your primary care physician, however, here are some natural remedies to consider before your next doctor’s appointment. 

1.  YOGA – is one of the best ways to alleviate or eliminate pain in the back as well as the entire body.  The postures in Yoga, called Asana, are designed to make space in the body without struggle.  Struggle is the opposite of yoga and even if you arrive at your yoga class feeling anxious or stressed out, you will walk out of class feeling relaxed, calm and pain-free.  It is so important to be consistent with your Yoga practice to reap the endless health benefits of better sleep, weight loss, a sense of well-being and reduced back pain. 

2.  Vitamin D3 – chronic muscle pain can be a symptom of a Vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D is found in fortified milk and many cereals, however, you do not want to consume too much, if at all, of those products to get your Vitamin D.  Your body will produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight so you should spend 15 minutes a day in the sun if you can.  Depending on where you live, this might be a little difficult so it is a good idea to supplement with Vitamin D3. 

If you are deficient in Vitamin D, you may experience:

– digestive disorder like celiac disease and you should avoid gluten- a protein found in wheat products

– allergies

– difficulty with medications

– a lack of sunshine, especially in northern climates so it is important to supplement with Vitamin D3 daily.  Make sure the label reads D3.

3.  Music Therapy – is a great, low cost, effective way to reduce disability, anxiety, and depression that often comes with chronic pain.  You will be amazed how effective music is when it comes to relaxing the entire body including the lower back. 

4.  Capsaicin Cream – Capsaicin is the active ingredient found in chili peppers and if you have ever eaten a chili pepper and experienced the burn in your mouth, then you know capsaicin can create some heat.  Capsaicin patches are available at your local health food store or pharmacy.  When you apply them to your skin or to your low back area, the capsaicin in the patch depletes substance P – a neurochemical that transmits the pain and causes an analgesic effect in the low back area or wherever you place the patch. 

5.  Acupuncture – Many people do very well with acupuncture treatments and report reduced pain and are less likely to use pain medications because it works so well.  How does it work?  According to Chinese medicine, pain results from blocked energy along energy pathways of the body. 

The needles help to unblock the pain when inserted along these energy pathways.  A treatment generally costs between $ 60 – $ 100 and some insurance plans do pay for acupuncture.  You need to plan on going 3 times per week initially to see results. 

It is important to do all you can reduce your lower back pain naturally to avoid the endless side effects of pain-relievers that eventually quit working for you.  Try some of the natural remedies listed above and you may be surprised how quickly you can reduce or eliminate lower back pain without surgery.  I wish you a pain-free life – always!

Sherry L. Granader, ACE, AFAA, NETA, ACSM, BBU 517-899-1451

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