It’s estimated a huge 8 out of every 10 Americans will suffer back issues at some point in life, with lower back pain now being considered the leading cause of physical disability. Whilst back pain hugely varies from person to person with many different causes and symptoms, it’s not hard to see that it’s a widespread problem affecting millions.
Generally, when experiencing almost any type of pain, the first thing most of us do is reach for the nearest painkillers. Whilst there’s no denying pain medications can be very effective, they’re only good as a short-term solution. Some painkillers can be extremely addictive if taken on a long-term basis so if you suffer chronic back pain that never seems to fully cease, relying on daily painkillers could actually cause more harm than good.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternative treatments for back pain that don’t involve any risky pain medication at all. In fact, most of these methods are commonly overlooked in favor of painkillers so, if you’ve been guilty of this, you could be cheating yourself out of permanent pain relief simply by not giving them a try. So, if you suffer from back pain and want to substitute the pain meds for something less risky and perhaps more effective, here’s some alternative treatments to try!
“There are many alternative treatments
for back pain that don’t involve
risky pain medication.”
Ever wondered why you’re always told to ‘put ice on it’ if you’ve ever suffered an injury? Treating painful areas with temperature therapy can be hugely effective in reducing pain, you just need to work out which works best for your back.
Cold therapy simply involves applying cold ice packs to the painful area. This will act as a natural anesthetic as it slows down nerve impulses sending pain signals to the brain, and will also reduce inflammation which could be an underlying cause of your back pain in the first place.
Alternatively, heat therapy can also be used for the exact same purpose. By applying a heat pack to your back, blood flow will be stimulated to bring nutrients to the painful area, and the heat sensation can also block pain signals being sent to the brain. Image source:
Try both cold and heat therapy and identify which works best. You may even find an alternating combination of the two gives you the best relief – it’s simply a case of trial and error with this treatment. But, as it involves little effort and doesn’t require any risky medications or procedures, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Stretching your hamstrings
Hugely overlooked and not given anywhere near the credit it deserves, this simple exercise can work wonders for relieving back pain.
If your hamstring muscles are tight and not stretched regularly, your lower back and surrounding joints will be stressed and compressed together. This can be a huge contributor to lower back pain without you even realizing it’s happening.
Hamstring stretching exercises should be done daily, and it’s important you get them right to avoid further damage to your back. Investing in an inversion table will likely benefit, and you can even look up some simple tutorials online which will show you exactly what to do. Image source:
An oral alternative to pain medication, herbal remedies can actually be just as effective. Some herbs are considered to be natural painkillers, with back pain being no exception.
Comfrey root extract, white willow bark, and cayenne are all great examples of herbs with significant pain-relieving benefits. Either applied topically to the back area or taken orally, these herbs could provide similar effects to that experienced from normal painkillers if used regularly.
You’ve probably seen bath salts in your local drugstore or pharmacy without giving them a second look. When it comes to back pain, bath salts can be very effective in not only soothing the painful area but also any surrounding areas too that may be suffering as a consequence of your back troubles.
Epsom salt is a common type of bath salt containing a compound of sulfur and magnesium. Easily absorbed into the body, combining this bath salt with essential oils such as lavender and rosewood in your bath water will help improve circulation and provide the desired soothing effects.
Whilst back pain is a widespread medical problem across the United States, this doesn’t mean you have to resort to equally widespread methods of treatment such as painkillers. Providing much less risk with the potential of better results, give these alternative methods a try and you could find yourself saying goodbye to back pain once and for all!
About the Author
Ethan Simpson is a physical therapist who enjoys helping people beat their back pain. Always looking for new treatments, he loves to share whatever he finds by posting on health and wellness blogs.
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