Natural Ways to Rid Yourself of Lower Back Pain

  • Tara Andresen

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6 Simple & Natural Ways to Rid Yourself of Lower Back Pain

Just because your lower back pain is chronic doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it for the rest of your life. But some people lose hope when their doctors say there isn’t much they can do for them but try to manage the pain.

If this has happened to you, despair no more. It’s not that your problem is unfixable. You’re just asking the wrong person to fix it.

The sad truth is that Western medicine comes up short when treating soft-tissue injuries and spines that are out of alignment. And that’s what most cases of lower back pain are all about.

In many cases, chronic lower back pain is reversible with the right plan of attack. Keep reading to find out about our six-point plan for better lower back health. And get ready to start feeling less pain.

1. See a chiropractor

It’s surprising that even today people get the wrong impression about chiropractic medicine. You tell them to take their back pain to a chiropractor and they imagine something violent. Something that involves being bear-hugged and shaken like a rag doll.

There must be something about the phrase being adjusted that gives people the wrong impression. In reality, chiropractic adjustments are minimally invasive. And often surprisingly gentle.

In many cases of lower back pain, one or two of your vertebrae are misaligned. Sometimes only by a fraction of a millimeter or so. A chiropractor correctly realigns your vertebrae. No popping, no twisting. And it can make a world of difference.

Contrary to what you might think, you won’t leave the appointment in more pain than you were in when you arrived. And soon, you’ll enjoy the feeling of your pain lessening as you spend more time with a spine that’s properly aligned.

2. Do physical therapy

To help keep you back in neutral spine position, give physical therapy a chance. A physical therapist can give you a series of exercises designed to tone and strengthen the muscles that keep your spine straight. In doing these exercises, you’ll gain more control over your spine, lessening the chance of it falling out of alignment in the future.

Physical therapy gets you moving muscles you’ve been trying to keep still for a while. There might be a few initial twinges of pain, but your overall level of pain will soon be lower. The motions you’ll go through will help heal the underlying soft-tissue injuries like strained muscles and torn ligaments.

There are no off-the-rack, one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to physio. It works best when a licensed therapist gives you a personalized assessment. This enables her to give you a specific set of exercises custom tailored to address your personalized needs.

3. Take healing supplements

In this article, we looked at natural and herbal remedies for dealing with general pain. But lower back pain is often the result of injured soft tissue that needs help to heal properly. So let’s look at a few natural remedies to help speed that process along; fish oil, turmeric, proteolytic enzymes, MSM, and magnesium.

  • Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils help reduce inflammation in the body. But regrettably, most diets are deficient in this regard. (2,000 mg/day)
  • Turmeric: The spice turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that also helps relieve pain. (1,000 mg/day)
  • Proteolytic enzymes like bromelain and papain: These anti-inflammatory enzymes that also help reduce swelling are naturally found in pineapples. But you’d have to eat a lot of them before it made a real difference. (500 mg 3 times/day)
  • MSM: This sulfur-rich supplement promotes the regrowth of connective tissue and fights inflammation. (2,000–8,000 mg/day)
  • Magnesium: This mineral is a natural muscle relaxant. But take care to get the dosage just right as it’s also a natural laxative. (400–500 mg/day)

If you’re looking for an all-natural muscle rub to help loosen up your back, try making your own. Combine an effective analgesic oil, like peppermint or wintergreen, with coconut oil and rub it on. For reduced inflammation and improved circulation, try mixing in some frankincense.

4. Get active regularly

Unfortunately, many lower back injuries are at least partially the result of a sedentary lifestyle. We spend so much time commuting and sitting at desks our backs never get to move effectively. They need to go through a full range of motion on a regular basis to remain strong and prevent injury.

Getting active is important for maintaining a healthy, pain-free lower back. But if you’re out of practice, start slowly and work your way up. Look for little ways to make your day more athletic.

Plan activities that’ll require some movement. This could be as simple as grocery shopping. Pay attention to how much activity you do in a typical day. Then do your best to kick it up a notch every so often.

Instead of hunting for the most convenient parking spot, grab an open spot that’ll require a bit of a walk. Your back will thank you for it, and you might even get where you’re going a little quicker.

5. Get plenty of sleep

It could also be that your lower back injury is the result of not enough sleep. It’s during normal, healthy sleep that the body restores itself. When old injuries heal, and damage undoes itself.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body can’t repair itself effectively. This is when we quickly run down and run into trouble.

But a solid six- to eight-hours rest on a regular basis seems an impossible dream for many. The demands of modern living often call on us to work late, often well into the night.

And when we do have the evening to ourselves, we often spend it staring at blue-light emitting devices like smartphones and laptops. What seems like a great plan to relax and unwind actually disrupts melatonin production. And melatonin is critical for restorative sleep.

To get the most out of the hours you’re unconscious:

  • aim for about 6–8 hours’ sleep a night
  • take a break from screens at least an hour before bedtime
  • make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible
  • avoid recreational drugs and alcohol

6. Eat a balanced diet

Another indirect cause of lower back pain comes from eating a less-than-ideal diet. With our hectic lifestyle, our metabolisms can’t keep up anymore. It’s almost impossible to burn calories at the same rate we consume them. So all those extra calories often get stored as body fat.

Carrying extra weight can lead to your spine coming out of alignment. It puts extra stress on parts of the skeleton optimally designed to carry less. And that can lead to pain and discomfort.

Reigning in your diet can help alleviate this stress. And sometimes all it takes are a few simple changes.

As a case in point, let’s look at actor/comedian Jeff Garlin. You may be familiar with his work on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm or in the movies Daddy Daycare and WALL-E. When he weighed over 300 pounds, Garlin consulted with a dietician to see what he could change to live healthier. They concluded he ate too much sugar and red meat and added too much salt to his food. After cutting all three elements out of his diet, Garlin lost over 50 pounds.

Now Garlin’s case is a little extreme. Chances are you only need to cut back in one or two areas, possibly snack-related, to see a positive change. But if you do plan to follow Garlin’s lead, make sure you also consult with a dietician. You have to make sure you’ll still be giving your body everything it needs.

Insist on proper treatment for your lower back pain

Relying on the medical establishment to heal back pain is like taking your car problems to a bicycle mechanic. Sure, they’re great at what they do. But they’re the wrong professionals to consult on that problem. Period.

Most lower back pain is best dealt with by a team of professionals that includes:

  • a chiropractor to get your spine realigned
  • a physiotherapist to tone and strengthen your muscles
  • a naturopath to promote healing of your soft-tissue injury

Depending on your specific needs, your team might also include:

  • a personal trainer
  • a sleep specialist
  • a registered dietician

If lower back pain is a chronic, persistent problem for you, start putting together your dream team today for a happier, healthier tomorrow.

Take your first step toward a life free of lower back pain

To find out more about how naturopathy can help heal your lower back pain, book an appointment with Dr. Tara Andresen today.