Non-Drug Options for Back Pain Relief
Back pain is one of the top reasons for frequent hospital visits. This article explains three ways to treat back issues without using over-the-counter medications, painkillers or going into surgery. Non-drug techniques for relieving back pain are non-invasive and effective since they deal with the underlying cause of the problem.
Back pain is a common problem affecting people across all age groups, from teens to young adults to the elderly. Approximately 8 out of every ten people will experience some form of back pain in their life.
Ordinarily, people go for medication as the standard care for backaches. But, medication does not treat the underlying cause of the problem. Instead, it relieves the ache by blocking pain signals from registering in the brain. The problem with this is that the pain may re-occur as soon as the drugs wear off.
And every time the issue comes back, you will need more drugs to experience the same relief as before. This might lead to dependency, creating an even bigger problem of addiction.
A better alternative for relieving back pain is the use of non-drug techniques. Such approaches eliminate the upper, middle, and lower backaches as fast as medication does without the risk of addiction. In addition, they activate and boost the body’s internal healing mechanisms to get rid of the pain naturally.
There are several non-drug options for back pain relief. Here are 3 of the most effective ones:
1. Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is a body-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) technique that can ease back pain successfully. It focuses on remedying the issue from its root, so there are no chances of re-occurrence.
One of the leading causes of back pain globally is spinal disc issues such as slipped disc or a pinched nerve. Chiropractic care professionals, often known as chiropractors, may be able to fix these issues. They use their hands to adjust the body in a way that re-aligns the spine and relaxes the nerves around it, providing long-lasting pain relief in the process.
(It is important to note that chiropractic care may not be suitable for each individual person and their back problem. Always be cautious, listen to your body, speak with your physician, and make sure you go to the best chiropractic provider)
Chiropractic Care Methods That Relieve Back Pain
Two chiropractic care approaches have proven beneficial for treating all forms of back pain: spinal manipulation and massage therapy.
The relief that comes with spinal manipulation takes some time. But, things are different with massage therapy which releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins that provide immediate back pain relief.
Endorphins get rid of aches as fast as pain medication. However, instead of blocking pain signals as drugs do, they interact with the receivers that interpret these signals inside your brain. As a result, they also reduce stress, boost whole-body relaxation, and trigger positive feelings, promoting the healing process.
Contrary to popular belief, staying active when you have a backache helps to eliminate the pain. Depending on the pain level, you can start with gentle exercises such as walking, lifting small weights, and sitting upright on an exercise ball. Such low-impact movements can release muscle tension giving you almost instant relief.
Weak and stiff muscles, especially in your core and back, are another common cause of back issues. Aim to increase the intensity and frequency of body movements that strengthen these muscles as soon as the pain goes away. In addition, your core and back muscles support your spine. So, when they are strong and flexible, the spine remains aligned. And you stay well-balanced and pain-free.
Generally, exercise prevents back pain if done correctly. However, you won’t have to worry about the pain coming back if you choose to keep fit as your preferred form of care. Start slow and build momentum gradually to make exercising part of your lifestyle instead of it being a goal you struggle to meet on an on-off basis.
3. Topical Therapy
Topical therapy is a quick way to relieve back pain at home. It is a pain management technique that requires a source of constant, low-level heat or cold to jumpstart the healing process.
There are 2 major types of topical therapies:
i. Hot Application Therapy
For hot therapy, place a hot water bottle or heating pad on the affected area for some time. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself in a hot tub or shower. Any source of controlled heat works fine for this purpose. The heat stimulates blood circulation throughout your body.
Good blood circulation provides relief from back pain in 2 ways:
– It boosts the flow of oxygen around your body, allowing your back muscles to work efficiently, thus, easing the pain.
– It boosts your immune system by transporting white blood cells throughout your body (including to the affected area), thus, helps the healing process.
ii. Cold Application Therapy
As for cold therapy, apply any easily accessible cold packs such as an ice pack or a pack of frozen legumes. It reduces inflammation and relaxes nerve impulses, which soothes the pain by preventing muscle cramps and spasms.
The back is one of the most vital parts of the human body. Any form of pain in your back interrupts how your entire body functions. You can prevent backaches by engaging in regular exercises and being keen to maintain an upright posture when walking, sitting, or standing.
But, if you already suffer from back pain, the non-drug forms of treatment may help you manage and get rid of it without surgery or medication. Plus, the benefits of some of these techniques, like massage therapy and hot tub therapy, extend beyond pain relief. And improve your whole life experience.
You can use one technique or more at a time. Just make sure you discuss it with your doctor before you start. Most of these techniques, particularly chiropractic care, work well for mechanical back pain. So it is essential to see your physician and figure out the underlying cause of the pain first. Then, with your doctor’s help, you can tailor an effective non-invasive treatment plan specific to your issue.
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