Statistics indicate that just over 30-million Americans experience low-back pain at some point in their lives. Actually, low-back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Many cases of back pain are due to health conditions such as an infection, cancer, fractures or even inflammatory problems, like arthritis. Sports injuries or just bending over to pick something up can lead to a back problem. The bottom line is, when you sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks or irritate joints, it can be really uncomfortable. Muscle pain and back spasms are common complaints.
It’s true that in some cases back pain can be related to a disease of the internal organs. Kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss are some examples; however, more often than not, it is physical movement that leads to muscle pain and back spasms.
The spine consists of many different pieces that interlock. The vertebrae, facet joints, discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all major parts of the spine. Each has a role in helping us bend, twist and move freely and comfortably. When something goes wrong with one or more of these pieces, we can experience pain. Safe, effective back pain relief isn’t always easy to find.
If you are like millions of Americans and have experienced tightness, hardness and/or a bulging feeling in a muscle, then you have had a spasm. It can happen in your back muscles, or in your arms, feet or hamstrings (to name a few locations). People with acute neck and back pain often experience spasms, but there are natural muscle relaxers that can help. See the list below for some natural remedies.
Bromelain is a naturally occurring enzyme that is found in fresh pineapple. It can break down proteins in the human body. It is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Research published in the Alternative Medicine Review, suggests that Bromelain inhibits the body’s inflammatory response and can reduce swelling, pain and tenderness. While we can get Bromelain from eating fresh pineapple, it is also found in capsule or tablet form.
A recent study showed that our muscles can benefit from the consumption of blueberries. It has been suggested that enjoying a blueberry smoothie – particularly if you are an athlete – before and after you exercise, can help speed up recovery from any muscle damage. Previous studies have shown that blueberries have antioxidants and help decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.
Natural back pain remedies are not confined to food or back pain relief herbs. Since back pain can be associated with stress and being tense, relaxation techniques can go a long way towards helping with back pain, including low-back pain, which is experienced by eight out of 10 people.
Traditionally, back pain relief consists of strong painkilling medications, some of which can have unpleasant side effects and be highly addictive. In recent years, more research has suggested a gentler approach can lead to positive results. Acupuncture is one of the natural remedies for back pain that has been getting ample attention. Traditional Chinese medicine dictates that pain is the result of blocked energy along the energy pathways in the body. These pathways are unblocked when acupuncture needles are inserted in the right locations.
Some research indicates that music therapy should be added to the list of natural remedies. Music therapy is the skillful use of music by a qualified therapist to promote good physical and mental health.
Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and light yoga, have served as great back pain relief for many people. Massage is another natural way to treat pain. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, chronic low-back pain sufferers who received weekly massages reported less pain after 10 weeks than those who didn’t receive massages.
Let’s face it: living with back pain is no picnic. When someone is in constant pain they can get depressed, angry, anxious, and they can re-injure themselves over and over again. The longer the problem goes on without being addressed, the more chance the person has of impacting their overall quality of life.
Experts report that chronic back pain takes a heavy emotional toll. In fact, they say it makes the initial pain worse. Stress and anxiety can decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers and negative feelings could increase the level of substances that make us more sensitive to pain. It’s a vicious cycle, but with natural remedies like the ones outlined above it can be stopped or at least diminished, so pain sufferers can start living again.
A recent study uncovered that acupuncture is even more effective in back pain relief than drugs such as ibuprofen. Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine frequently used to treat pain. Continue reading…
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