80% of people in America will experience lower back pain at some point in their life and according to the Global Burden of Disease, it is the most common cause of disability in the world. This has become an epidemic however it is by no means untreatable or incurable.
There are multiple reason for lower back pain including injuries, lifestyle and genetics however if you are not suffering from a clear injury such as a torn muscle or slipped disc, then the chances are, your lifestyle is to blame. Lower back pain has been on the rise in the last two decades and the majority of these cases are from office workers which supports this hypothesis. With greater convenience and on average, less day to day movement for everyone, symptoms such as lower back pain can arise. Sedentary lifestyles, improper posture and lack of nutrition can combine to cause inflammation and pain.
How To Resolve Back Pain – Prevention and Cures
The idea behind natural, home treatment of lower back is to increase blood circulation, strengthen core muscles and correct posture.
Sedentary lifestyles from sitting at work for 8 hours a day to even just a general lack of movement restricts blood flow. Circulation is the core driving force behind organs functioning properly and maintaing health. Humans are meant to spend the majority of their days moving, whether it is was hunting for food or for exploration, all our vital processes rely it in. When there is stagnation, inflammation and pain is common which can cause or worsen any pain including in the muscles and joints.
If your job involves sitting for long periods of time, take regular breaks. Intense aerobic exercise, the kind that leaves you gasping for air is also important along with walks. None of these can be substituted for the other in that walking circulates blood in a different way to say cardio or weights at the gym.
Your posture can either make or break you. Incorrect posture can lead you down a steep slope of back problems and triggers for serious health conditions, perhaps due to a lack of proper breathing. Being on our phones and computers for a large part of the day has caused an unconscious slouch which can lead to improper positioning of the spine and lead to back pain.
How to Get a Good Posture?
Your posture should be as if a string is vertically going through the crown of your head, similar to a puppet. Allow your shoulders and back to relax and drop to their natural position so that your spine is straight. Forcefully pushing your shoulders back or sticking out the chest to over straighten is also incorrect posture so this technique is best to get the feel of standing/sitting straight.
Make sure your neck doesn’t bend forward nor do your shoulders slouch forward. Relaxing your weight into your lower stomach allows for deeper breathing and a more balanced resting position.
It is also a good idea to sleep, lying on your back only, on a hard bed or even the floor. This is an easy and almost certain way to re-align the spine and unconsciously support good posture.
Exercise and Strength
While strengthening the core muscles (abdominal, chest and back) is necessary, the importance of flexibility and strengthening tendons is often underestimated. Tendons act as the internal infrastructure so if there is weakness there, it can leave muscles and bones vulnerable.
Therefore, alongside core building exercises, yoga and other forms of prolonged stretching, keep the tendons flexible to improve overall mobility and reduce chances of injury.
If you suffer from back pain, there is naturally inflammation present. High calorie, sugar-rich foods with low nutritional density can contribute to chronic inflammation and worsen the pain. Also if you aren’t getting the right nutrition from the food, growth and repair of tissue is inhibited.
Ensure you are obtaining enough bio-available protein, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals. The most bio-available source of protein is in beef and B-vitamins and minerals can be supplemented with multi-vitamin tablets if necessary. Eating anti-oxidants will also counter the inflammation that is causing the pain.
Even the strongest, healthiest individual can be prone to injuries that can cause acute and chronic lower back pain. Be aware when lifting any object, even if you feel it is light and puts no pressure on your back, to always bend your knees and keep the back straight. Avoid slouched position for prolonged periods of time as the muscles around your spine can lock up after doing so, making you more injury prone.
How to Fix Lower Back Pain at Home – Other Methods
Whilst all the above suggestions can be done at home to prevent and treat without requiring a chiropractor or physician, if you are suffering from back pain and need immediate pain relief, there are some treatments that can also be done at home.
Epsom Salt Baths
A hot epsom salt bath can alleviate inflammation and relax your back muscles to provide pain relief. They also work as a method for detox so can be doubly useful. Make sure you keep a bottle of water with you to prevent dehydration.
Taking paracetamol or aspirin should not be a last resort. The sooner you can tend to the pain, the faster the body can recover. However, if these are not effective at all or the pain is too great, then contact a doctor or emergency services as it could be an underlying health condition.
Wearing a tight belt that covers your abdominal and lower back region can help support the muscles and manage the pain. It is also a good idea to wear this regularly to improve posture.
There are instances when lower back pain is a symptoms of another condition, in these instances it is best to seek medical attention. If lower back pain is accompanied by pain in the neck or elsewhere along spine or you are experiencing a numbing or tingling sensation then it may suggest an infection.