Table of Contents
- Different Strains to the Back
- Structural Problems
- Symptoms and Signs
- Natural Back Pain Remedies
- Cold and Hot Therapy
- Posture, Posture and Posture
- Stretch Yourself in the Morning
- Rub the Area
- Fight Back Pain with Pepper
- Bromelain and Valerian
- Let Your Endorphins Live
- Make Sure You Have Enough Sleep
- Make Sure You Exercise Your Core
- Some Exercises for Your Core Areas
- Learn to Work Your Brain
- Distract your brain
- Use some visual aides
- Relaxation tapes
- Get Help from Gadgets
- Be Happy
Allow me to first state this: back pain is one of the leading causes for people to miss work in the United States.
It’s also one of the main reasons doctor’s visits are so high.
When it comes to disability, it’s also one of the leading causes for patients to file.
In basic terms, back pain is described as a harsh feeling coming from the back.
This type of pain can range from very dull to extremely painful and excruciating.
Everyone gets back pain.
Sometimes it’s easy to get rid of.
Others find it to last a long time.
Did you know about 80% of all Americans get lower back pain at least once in their life.
Some even get it a few times.
There is upper back pain, but the lower back pain is more predominant.
What exactly is lower back pain linked to?
- The bony lumbar spine.
- The discs that happen to be between the vertebrae.
- The ligaments around the spine and discs could be inflamed.
- The lower back muscles could be hurt
- The spinal cord or nerves could be shot
These are just to name a few.
There could be issues with the abdomen or the skin around the lumbar area.
Any one of these could be infected and inflamed.
When it comes to the upper back pain, there could be some underlying causes.
- The spine could be inflamed.
- There could be a tumor in the chest.
- There could be issues with the aorta.
Why do some men and women get this type of pain?
Below are some factors that do play a role.
Different Strains to the Back
- The job. – Jobs tend to be stressful. The more mentally stressed out you are with your job, the more you will develop lower back pain.
- Are you pregnant right now? – Those who are pregnant tend to carry more back pain.
- Age does have something to do with it. – The older you get, the more likely you will develop some sort of back pain.
- Your lifestyle. – Lifestyle plays a part in everything a person does. That is why it’s important that you watch what you do.
- Are you anxious? – Those who are anxious, even just a little bit, will develop some sort of back pain.
- Same thing with depression. How depressed are you? How often do you get depressed? How long does it last? These factors all play a role in whether or not back pain will consume you.
- Are you a woman? Believe it or not, women tend to have back pain more then man do. Men get it too, but studies prove that women are more susceptible.
- Weight gain. This is another big one. Weight gain is a big issue in our society. The bigger you are, the more you will develop back pain at some point in your life.
- Physical activity. It is a good thing, but only when done properly. The idea is to workout properly. If you continue to exercise improperly, the more you will have back pain. You will also continue to get it for longer periods.
- Lifting heavy things; especially, something that is too heavy to lift. There is the age old saying “life with your knees.” It’s there for a reason. If you do not lift with your knees, you are putting your back at risk.
- Smoking. Believe it or not, studies have proven that smoking is a leading cause. Smoking affects your health. Back pain does too. It’s time to put the two together.
- You have a disc that ruptured. Every vertebrae has a safety net. This safety net is called a disc. When a disc breaks or ruptures, this puts more pressure on the back. This is not something to take lightly.
- Arthritis. This is when the space narrows. This puts lots of pressure on your back. People tend to getting shooting pain in their legs and lower back. If you haven’t already, see a doctor.
- Sciatica. This is something my one friend has. His disc is herniated. This puts pressure on his back too.
- Sleeping problems. This is one of the leading causes of back pain. Those who have trouble sleeping, will be more likely to develop lower or upper back pain. Another issue with this lies with the mattress. Check out your mattress. It could be bad.
- Shingles will do it too. This is an infection in the nerves. Over 1 million people suffer from shingles every day. It’s debilitating.
Symptoms and Signs
Now that I have identified some of the problems or causes of back pain, let’s look at what to watch out for.
Some have trouble knowing the difference between a sign and a symptom.
Allow me to clarify the difference between these two.
A sign is something someone detects or notices.
A symptom is something that is told to the doctor.
It’s pretty self-explanatory.
It’s any kind of pain focused in the area of the back.
It can be upper or lower, but it’s there.
It can be short and to the point.
It can also be very strong and drawn out.
Each person has his/her own experiences with this.
Back pain can travel down passed the butt, into the legs.
It all depends on how intense the pain is.
Most people only experience a short pang and it’s done.
Most back pian does go away on it’s own.
What happens if it doesn’t?
You should report any of the following to your doctor right away:
- The back is swelling.
- You are experiencing some weight loss. This is something that should not be ignored.
- Do you have a fever? This is not normally something that happens with everyday back pain. If you notice a fever, you need to see your doctor ASAP.
- Does the pain continue? Laying down and getting rest should help. What if it doesn’t? This is a sign of something major.
- You have trouble going to the bathroom, coming from either direction.
- You have had a recent blow to the head.
- You are feeling numb in your lower regions.
These are just some of the signs and symptoms you need to look out for.
If it has gotten this far, there is a much deeper issue going on.
At first glance, most will tell you to do the conventional thing.
What is the conventional thing?
Most tell you to go to the doctor and get some drugs.
Drugs have become the cornerstone of our society.
Some men and women really do need the medication to get through it; however, you should only use this as a last resort.
Below I have some home remedies that can help out more.
These are all natural and should be used before anything else.
Natural Back Pain Remedies
Cold and Hot Therapy
Do this a few times a day, depending on how bad the pain is.
Wrap an ice block into a towel.
Place the towel onto the area that hurts.
Keep it on there for about 20 minutes.
This will keep the swelling down.
It will also block certain signals that are being given out.
After about two days or so, switch to heat.
Apply some heat to the area, make sure it’s a moist heat.
You never want to do a dry heat.
This will also reduce the swelling.
It will get the blood to flow again.
It will also cause the spasms to go down.
Take a towel and dip it in warm water.
Place the towel on the problem area.
Put some shrink wrap over it.
Get yourself a heating pad.
Place it on top.
Set it to medium.
Let it sit there for about 20 minutes or so.
Do this a few times a day, for the next few days.
This should take it all down.
Your back pain should go away.
If it doesn’t, consult with your doctor.
Only use the drug path as a last resort.
Posture, Posture and Posture
This is a problem area for most people.
I have issues with it too.
When I am sitting at my desk working, I tend to do the “hunched over’ thing.
I know this is bad, so I am trying to correct it.
Here is what you do:
You need to find a position that is less stressful on the back.
Stand up straight.
Tilt the pelvis backwards and forward.
Notice where you feel the most comfortable.
Focus on your chest.
Focus on your abdomen.
Work all the way up.
Try to find your most comfortable place.
Remember this position.
This is the one you use when you are walking and standing.
This is also the position you use when you exercise.
If you can get into this routine early on, you will save yourself lots of pain.
Stretch Yourself in the Morning
The waking up part might be a bit more difficult.
I can relate.
I am not a morning person either.
If we all try this exercise, we can improve out bodies and our minds.
Extend your arms over your head.
Make sure you are lying on your back for this.
Take your knees and pull them to your chest.
Do this one leg at a time.
Get yourself to the edge of the bed.
Turn to your side.
Allow your knees to extend over the bed.
Using your arm, pull yourself up.
As soon as you reach the floor, lean back.
Do this slowly.
This will give your spine a chance to stretch out.
Try to do this every morning.
Rub the Area
This is a simple home remedy solution.
Ask someone you love at home to help you with this.
It can be a boyfriend/girlfriend or partner.
It can even be a friend or family member.
Have them take some cream and just rub.
It doesn’t have to be for very long.
Just long enough for the cream to work it’s way in.
Fight Back Pain with Pepper
Pepper is considered to be one of those natural healing agents.
It’s been used by millions of people all over the world.
People use pepper on their food, this acts as a cleansing agent for your body.
You can now use it on your back pain. How?
Look for the liniments products.
These products contain an ingredient that is there in hot peppers.
It’s a heating agent.
The name of it is capsaisin.
You can find this at any drug store or health food store.
All you do is rub it on the problem area.
It helps to reduce the swelling and brings down the redness.
It contains the substance P.
It helps to “bring down the heat.”
Your best bet is to look for the cream or ointment.
Look for the ones that contain .075 or .025% of the ingredient.
Using this requires some patience.
Do not expect this to happen overnight.
It might not take effect for a few weeks.
Each patient is different.
Some feel the full effects right away.
Others take a few weeks, even a few months.
If you really want this to work, you will have to exercise the patience.
It will work, so don’t give up.
If you start to feel irritation of any kind, stop using it.
Call your doctor to find an alternative solution.
Bromelain and Valerian
You can also take something called Bromelain.
It comes in 500 mg.
It comes from pineapples.
It will work.
You can also try Valerian.
You can try drinking it in tea.
The smell might be too overwhelming for some.
Capsules are the preferred method of ingesting.
There is a warning with this one.
It will cause sedation.
It will make you feel mellow.
It’s not as powerful as some of the other home remedies.
It is preferable to some of the other drug/medication paths.
I bring this up because in home remedies for pain, sedatives are not normally suggested.
This one is one of the few you will see being offered.
Each person is different.
Use your best judgement with Valerian.
Let Your Endorphins Live
Endorphins are a powerful thing.
In some cases, your endorphins can be even more powerful then using a medication.
Never underestimate your own inner power.
Let’s take a closer look.
- Try some exercise. Try some aerobics. This is one of the better ways to relieve back pain and reduce stress. Just ten minutes of cardio and aerobics can really do wonders for your body and mind.
- Meditation. This is something I am into. Stress leads to back pain. Cut down on the stress, learn to meditate. It’s not that hard. You just have to block out everything and free your mind. Let go of everything. Allow the universe to come in and guide you. This might only work for some of you. You have to really be open to the idea for it to work.
- Smiling can do wonders. Laughing can too. Just laughing out loud over something silly can really wake a person up. It will help you become more positive. It will also reduce the stress in your back. Try doing this a few times a day. Learn to laugh at yourself and jokes. Do not take yourself too seriously. Loosen up. Laughing will do this. After I laugh, I end up feeling 5 pounds lighter. I also feel better about myself. Try it. See what happens. You’d be surprised at the positive results you get.
- Listen to music. I am a profound music lover. Any time I listen to music I love, I feel so much better. My back also tends to not hurt so much. Just groove along to the music. Let it encapsulate you.
- Chocolate is a good thing. Eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has many profound health benefits. It helps to wake you up inside. It reduces inflammation. Of course, do this all in moderation. I am not saying to make a steady diet out of dark chocolate. This would be insane. Plus, you would end up sick as a dog. It is okay to include it in your diet more.
- Socializing. Some people develop back pain over being inside too much. Working at the desk for too long. Get out. Be social. I’m not saying to go to a bar. That won’t solve your problems. what I am saying is, take a walk in the park. Instead of sitting at your desk on your lunch break, go outside. Let the fresh air come inside. Fresh air can be very healing. Smile and say hi to people. This will also open the doors for you. If you do this a few times a week, you will notice a change.
Make Sure You Have Enough Sleep
This is one of the major causes in chronic back pain.
The reason the back pain exists is due to a person’s sleeping patterns.
It’s not just how a person sleeps, but for how long.
Sleep is a good thing. Sleep has to restore lots of things in the body.
There are some who are either afraid to sleep or can’t sleep.
Did you know that 2 out of 3 people suffer from this problem every day?
When this happens, both need to be treated.
What actually is at the core of the sleeping issue?
There are many things actually.
There is not one thing to blame, specifically.
Each person has his/her own set of issues.
Below are some symptoms to look out for with sleep apnea.
- Write all your worries down, even if it’s just a small one. Releasing this energy can do wonders for your sleep patterns. It will also help you to worry less and relax more.
- Get enough exercise. This is one of the bigger causes of most sleeping disorders. When you do not get enough sleep, your body reacts to this. Just doing a small amount of exercise can increase your sleep. This will cut down on stress. This will also cut down on back pain.
- Eating right. This is also a big issue for many people. Many people do not get the proper nutrients. When this happens, this causes many to gain weight. This leads to the back pain. These two are interlinked in lots of ways. Look at your eating habits. Is there something you can cut out? Is there something you really don’t need? Are you relying on unnecessary eating? When you do snack, are you picking the wrong foods? Just by subtracting one bad food from your diet, you can change the way your body looks and feels. This will also cut down on the back pain.
- Caffeine is another big one. Most of us like to drink coffee, myself included. Many of us reach for the sugary-soda drinks. They taste good, right?. They also are very bad for you. Think of how much soda you ingest on a weekly basis. Find ways to cut back. Drink water instead or tea.
How much coffee are you drinking?
I like coffee as much as the next person, but I try to do without it.
Can you do without it?
Most people need at least one hot cup of coffee in the morning to perk up.
Some individuals also need some more coffee midday and evening time.
This will start to become a pattern.
When it does, the caffeine intake will take a toll on your back; especially, if you are not aware of it.
Try doing something completely different for a change.
When you wake up in the morning, try to go for a short walk.
I have even started to do this.
It has done wonders for me.
I don’t do it every day, just every so often.
Each time the short walk perks me up more then the coffee ever did.
It opens up my senses more.
It allows my body to become more open.
My back is not hurting as much by the end of the day either.
Try drinking some hot tea, the decaffeinated kind.
Believe it or not, the decaffeinated kind is healthier for you.
It might not have that “perk up” factor, but it will be much better for your body.
If you do this for a while, your mind will respond, and it will start getting used to a new regiment.
It might take a while, but your mind and body will start to make adjustments.
If you want the back pain to go down, you need to start lessening your caffeine intake.
This might not be what you would like to hear; but, this will help your health.
Make Sure You Exercise Your Core
Did you know that your abs play a big role in lower lumbar support?
Your back does as well. If you really want to reduce the back pain, begin to exercise your core areas.
These are the “problem areas” for most people.
These areas also do not get the workout they should be getting.
These exercises are not only healthy for your abs, but they do strengthen your back.
There was a recent study done on this.
About 60% have said they wished they had exercised their core more, when they had the chance.
What kind of exercises should you be doing for your back?
Some Exercises for Your Core Areas
In spite of all the equipment geared at exercising your core area, most really do not do the trick.
There are lots of men and women who would like to get those six-pack abs.
In spite of the equipment, they can’t.
These areas are not being targeted enough.
Unless you work them out every day, these muscles will grow weary and tired as you get older.
In other words, the core areas must be worked out every day.
These are the back and butt muscles.
Some of us are not fortunate to be born with a tight,firm butt.
Some of us have to work on it.
Exercises for your extensors are a good way to achieve this goal.
You must work on it though.
These muscles are used to bend and straighten the spine from the front.
These muscles are used to keep the spine in balance.
This is usually when the person is sitting or standing upright.
These muscles help to keep the proper posture for a person.
Working out these muscles will come in handy when sitting.
When we sit, we all have a tendency to slouch or sit hunched over.
Working out these muscles will keep us from doing it as much.
As I mentioned before, sitting hunched over is a primary cause for back problems.
Stretching the Hamstrings
Never underestimate the power of your hamstrings.
This is a simple exercise, one which you can do each and every day.
You don’t need to spend all day doing it.
I don’t have that kind of time.
No one else I know does either.
All you need to do is do some simple exercises twice a day.
What type of exercises you ask?
- Just bend down and touch your toes. Stand up. Bend forward. Lightly touch your toes. If you can’t go all the way down, that’s okay. Do not force your body into getting hurt. Just lean forward and touch. Once you feel the pull in your hamstring, you are done.
- Sit in a chair. Stick your legs straight out in front of you. Reach forward to touch your toes. Do this one leg at a time. This is an alternative to the above first option. Some feel number one is too intense for them. This is why number two and three are good alternatives, all giving you the same results.
- Lie down on a floor. If you don’t feel comfortable on the floor itself, choose somewhere else. Stick your leg up. Take a towel and wrap it around your leg. Pull your leg to you. This is another great option for stretching the hamstrings. Only do this one leg at a time. Do this gently. Do not hurt yourself trying this out.
- The next and final option is called the wall hamstring. Lie on the floor, or anywhere else you are comfortable. Only make sure you are near a wall. The next step is pushing your butt towards the wall. This is why you need to be working with a wall. Place your foot against the wall. Now, try to push your knee straight.
HINT: ONLY DO THIS TWICE A DAY.
Only do this for about 45 seconds each round.
You don’t want to do too much.
The idea is to lessen the stress in the back, not add to it.
Just give one of these exercises a try, even if you do just one.
You will be surprised how much stress you get rid of.
The tighter the hamstring, the more stress you have inside.
Learn to Work Your Brain
Pain is not just a physical thing.
It’s how your brain processes the signals.
If your brain perceives things to an overwhelming degree, your body will channel the same energy.
Sometimes you have to reprogram your brain.
I know that sounds difficult, but it’s really not.
Once you begin to reprogram your thoughts, your body and mind will see/feel things differently.
Sometimes, you just need to ignore what your brain is processing.
I have had to do this with my brain numerous times.
Your brain likes to play tricks on you.
Your brain likes to mess things up for you.
If it can get you to believe that a certain pain is there, it wins.
The idea is to take the control back.
The idea is not to allow your brain to win out.
There are some pains in the back that cannot be ignored.
There are some pains that are really there.
There are, however, some pains that are imagined.
This imagined pain comes to your from your brain.
It is trying to trick you.
You know how your brain tricks you at night with certain dreams?
It’s doing the same thing here, just on a different level.
The idea is to see which pains are real in back, versus which pains are just imagined.
Distract your brain
Your brain is looking to overwhelm you.
Take this power away.
Talk to a friend.
Listen to some music.
Watch a movie you like.
Laugh with a favorite TV show.
Laughing, believe it or not, is very good medicine.
It loosens you up.
It takes you out of your own way.
Do some of these things.
You might just see a difference.
Once you come back from the distraction, one of two things will happen.
You will either still have the pain;in which case,the pain is real and does need attending too.
The other thing which could happen is you no longer notice it.
If the second option happens, you never really had the pain to start with.
Your brain was just trying to play games with you.
Try one of these options the next time you begin to “perceive” some back pain.
You might be surprised how much of it was all in your head.
This is a relaxation tool, one which many use.
It can be achieved through one of two ways.
You can get a shrink to do it.
This option I suggest for those who are new to the idea.
Many things can go wrong for those who are doing hypnosis the first time around.
It will reduce your pain; but, it could cause other problems too.
Get a shrink to help you.
He/she has been trained to snap you out of it, when the time is right.
This is probably your best way to go about this.
You could also try it yourself.
I’m not saying you can’t; however, I only suggest this option for those people who have done it before.
There are people who have been doing self-hypnosis for many years.
These people are skilled enough to go into self-hypnosis when the pain begins.
Once they come out of it, the pain is gone; again, I strongly advise this for people who are skilled with this training.
It takes years to develop the proper hypnosis skills.
If someone unskilled tries it, he/ she might not come back.
I’m not saying this to scare you, I am trying to help.
Use some visual aides
You can use images that invoke a happy time.
You can listen to some tapes that give off positive energy.
The idea is to concentrate on the images, not the pain.
This is another good indication for which pain is real or imagined.
Think happy thoughts.
Repeat these happy thoughts inside.
I try to do this every day.
This will help to reduce your pain.
Back pain is negative energy.
That is all it is.
Your brain, depending on your prior life circumstances and experiences, could be recycling that negative energy.
It’s all about reprogramming.
If you can tune out the negative energy and noise, your brain will not be as influenced by it.
This is one of the more common ways of canceling out the noise.
Pop in a tape/cd and listen.
Allow your body and mind to relax.
This might not be an easy concept for some.
The more you do this exercise, the easier it will become for you.
These tapes will give you a chance to forget about the pain, allowing you to focus on something else.
Give the tapes or cd’s a try.
They never really worked for me.
I tried them years ago, they never took.
You guys might have a different experience.
Give it a shot and see what happens.
Get Help from Gadgets
There are machines that help control bodily functions.
They are used by many professionals.
Talk to your doctor about it.
These machines can help you get more control over your body.
These machines provide feedback over which muscles are loosening up and which ones are not.
Back pain is an indicator that the muscles are not loosened up.
It’s also an indicator of lack of control over certain areas.
The idea is to get to a point where you do not need these machines.
These machines provide you with the training, so you can eventually do it on your own.
I know this sounds cliched; but, there is something to people who are always happy.
When you have constant back pain, your body and mind are going to be out of wack.
This will affect other areas of your life.
You will wake up feeling moody and withdrawn.
You will have issues with finances.
You will have troubles with sleeping, as I mentioned above.
You will have ongoing problems with your partner or family.
It all is interconnected.
Back pain tends to bring people down.
Back pain tends to bring on the negativity.
Do not let it.
Find something you enjoy doing in life.
Find a passion. Look into an activity you really like doing.
Focus on what makes you happy.
This is probably one of the most natural things a person can do.
It’s also very healing.
What makes you happy in life?
- Do you like going for a walk every day? I know I enjoy my walks.
- Do you like spending time with your favorite pet?
- Do you like reading the paper at the kitchen table?
- Do you look forward to a cup of coffee at a certain time each day?
- Is there a favorite show you look forward to watching each day?
These might not exactly be your choices, but you get my drift.
Find something you enjoy.
Some people like to focus on three things each day, some like to do more.
Looking forward to just one thing can boost your morale.
It can also reduce your back pain.
- Do you like hugging someone special in your life?
- Do you like talking on the phone with your best friend?
- Do you like going to the beach?
Doing any one of the above can help with your pain.
Is there nothing on the list you like?
Pick something that suits you.
Focus on that one thing.
Clear your mind of all the other mess.
Allow your mind to focus on the extreme joy you get from that one thing.
You will be surprised at how much calmer you will feel.
You will be surprised at how that one thing clears up the pain.
You don’t need drugs to clear up the pain.
I suggest only using drugs in the extreme cases.
I also suggest only doing it under a doctor’s care, and if the chronic pain is not subsiding.
When all is said and done, each person is different.
No two back pain situations are the same.
Back pain really is a serious problem, and some really do have chronic pain that needs to be dealt with.
Others tend to have the “mind over matter” situation.
The second one isn’t supposed to devalue you what the pain is.
You simply have to reprogram your head to receive the signals differently.
By doing some of the above exercises, your body will become reprogrammed.
It might not happen over night, but it will happen.
Your body and mind will begin to think differently, the more you takes these approaches.
In doing this, you will begin to look at your back pain in a different light.
These options will also teach you to handle the problem more naturally, instead of reaching for the pill bottle.