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11 Natural Ways to Relieve Back Pain

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Lady receiving back massage to ease back ache

Many people suffer from back pain, particularly in the lower back. 

Backaches and pains can be extremely debilitating. It can stop you sleeping properly, cause you to be miserable and depressed, prevent you from taking part in activities and, worst of all, can really affect your quality of life.

Taking medication to get rid of your back problems should be a last option when all else fails. Thankfully, there are many natural ways to treat back pains.

Here are 11 all natural ways that will show you how to relieve back pain.

1. Take Lots of Gentle Exercise Regularly

If you are sat down a lot during the day, you are more likely to experience back pain than if you are active, particularly if you’re hunched over a desk or computer. 

Walking is good gentle exercise and mixed in with some gentle stretches, this could he extremely beneficial if you make sure it is a regular part of your routine. 

One point we should make is that you should be aware of is how you walk. It is thought that if you roll your feet inwards you might be creating more stress for your back. This is called pronation.

Lady keeping fit and healthy by walking
Walking regularly can help prevent back aches and pains

2. Improve Your Posture

Think about your posture when you're sat down as well as when you walk.

It's very easy to end up in a slouching position and this can cause real problems for your back.

When walking, stand up straight, making yourself as tall as you can. Imagine you're trying to make yourself look taller than those around you. pull your shoulders back but make sure they're relaxed too. Try to walk from your hips. “Chest out stomach in” as they say!

Each time you notice your posture slipping, correct it and hopefully it will become more of a habit the more you do it.

3. Try Heat Packs or Ice Packs on Your Back

Either of these may work for you depending on the type of back pain that you have.  

The general rule is that the cold packs work well for inflammation and injuries whereas the heat packs are good for muscle spasms, cramps, chronic pain, and relieving tense muscles. Try whichever you think is most appropriate for your back ache but do be careful because if you use the wrong one it could exacerbate the pain.

Heat Pack 

Use a hot (not too hot though!) damp towel and place it in the area on your back that is most painful or use a bought heatpad. Leave it in place for 15-20 minutes and then remove it. You could also try a warm bath.

Cold Pack

You can either buy a reuseable cold pack that you keep in the freezer or you can fill a plastic food bag with ice, squeeze out any air, seal it and wrap it in a towel. Put the ice pack in place for up to 20 minutes but no longer.  One point to bear in mind is not to place the bag directly on your skin as the ice can burn. 

4. Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest

While your body is resting and sleeping, it has the opportunity to repair itself. Sleep is a great healer. Different people require different amounts of sleep but when you wake up in the morning, you should feel rested, full of energy and ready to get out of bed. 

When you have back problems, particularly if you suffer chronic back pain, it is likely to prevent you sleeping as soundly as you need.  But there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good night's sleep. 

One is to make sure your mattress is firm and offers good support to your lumbar region. Find the best sleeping position for you. If it is more comfortable, have an additional pillow to the side of you that you can rest on.

Some other points mentioned in this article might also aid your sleep.

Woman relaxing and sleeping
Your body heals while it sleeps so get plenty of sleep to help reduce your back pains

5. Take a Relaxing Therapeutic Massage

A massage treatment can be extremely beneficial to those with backache. It is a great muscle relaxer and fantastic for washing away all that stress which builds up in the body.

You can see a chiropractor, osteopath or a massage therapist who offer different types of massage. Find out which is the right one for you and try it out. 

You could also invest in a massage chair which will save you the time and money in having to see somebody. There are some wonderful chairs on the market now with incredibly advanced technology offering you a fabulous relaxing massage that you can take whenever you need it in the comfort of your own home.

6. Reduce Your Weight with a Healthier Diet and Gentle Exercise

If you are overweight, it can put extra strain on your back and if you are carrying a lot more weight than you should, it can cause severe back pain. Although losing weight is never easy and something many people struggle with, you could even cure your backache for good if it is this additional burden that is the cause.

There are 2 ways of tackling it: 

  • You can either throw yourself right in with a strict diet and exercise regime (you must be careful and consult your doctor if you plan to do this, particularly if you are quite a bit overweight). 
  • Or you can take it more gently. It would even benefit you to do a little extra walking at a brisk pace (once your body has warmed up) and consider healthier alternatives to some of the foods you eat. Once you see the improvements in your weight and how you feel, it can only help to inspire you to take it a step further.

7. Yoga or Pilates to Stretch Your Muscles & Relax

These workouts involve gentle stretching of the body and require proper breathing too which will also be beneficial. Your muscles will gradually become more flexible and this can help reduce or eliminate back aches and pains.

Ladies in a Yoga Class
Exercise such as yoga and pilates is good for stretching the back and reducing back aches

8. Aqua Therapy Using Gentle Exercise

Gentle exercises in a warm swimming pool, whirlpool bath or jacuzzi will help soothe those back aches. Because the water supports your body, it means that you can exercise, strengthen and flex those muscles without putting stress on them.

Whirlpool baths can give you a good water massage if you make sure you are positioned so that the jets of water target your back wherever the pains are.

9. TENS machines  (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) 

TENS machines work by sending electrical currents through your skin via electrodes that you attach to your back. This is a therapy that many people with back aches and pains have found to work well for them.

10. The Holistic Traditional Chinese Therapy of Accupuncture

You could try out this holistic traditional Chinese therapy which many people find reduces or heals their back pain. It is thought that the needles used in accupuncture make the nerves react differently which seems to relieve pain in many people. Joint inflammation may also be reduced with this method.

11. Reduce Anxiety Levels and Do What Makes You Happy

It may seem strange point to include here. But when you think about it, when you are anxious, worried and upset, you will tense up. If you are in a constant or regular state of anxiety, this could all add up and be the cause of aches and pains in your back. 

Try lying on your back and breathing deeply by imagining the air filling your stomach rather than your lungs. Breathe in slowly and then breathe out slowly feeling your stomach rise and fall. 

Another good way to reduce anxiety is  to do things that make you feel happy and positive. Always plan something into your day which you know will have a positive effect on your happiness.

There are some mild natural remedies that you could try to reduce your anxiety too but you shouldn't rely on these long-term. The best way to cure anxiety is to get to the root of the problem and find out how you can get rid of it.

In Summary

Now you have a few ways to try and help relieve your back pain naturally. Not all of these work for everyone and not all will appeal to everyone. Do what you feel comfortable with and find out by testing the different methods which is the best approach to help reduce your backaches and pain.