Estimates suggest roughly 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. For many, it can become a chronic condition that strips away functionality, enjoyment, and happiness.
But what’s interesting is that much of the back pain people experience is not the result of acute injury. Some experience it from stress, inactivity, or other psychological reasons.
This may create a dangerous cycle, where depression and anxiety lead to low back pain, while the back pain itself begins to serve as a cause of these psychological conditions.
No matter how you want to cut it, pain relief can be the key to restoring functional ability, happiness, and more.
But can you do it without medicine?
There is plenty of research suggesting you can. One review published in February suggests that yoga, tai chi, and qigong can all be effective movement-based tools to relieve chronic back pain.
Tai chi and yoga involve gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness. Both feature a meditative, calm approach that can help ease stress while promoting mobility.
Qigong is a traditional Chinese meditative movement therapy focused on body awareness and attention during slow, relaxed, and fluid body movements. Like its more common counterparts’ yoga and tai chi, it is also a form of physical mindful meditation.
Researchers found that each of these interventions can be used as an effective alternative to pain medications, surgery, or injections, which come with plenty of potential adverse side effects.
The findings were published in Holistic Nursing Practices.
These practices may be particularly useful if your back pain is not the result of acute injury. Even better, they cost nothing and can easily be performed outdoors, making them perfect for the pandemic.
You can find instructional videos online to help you learn the movements, or you can likely find an online group to join.
Pain relief doesn’t always have to be elusive or treated with medicine. Sometimes movement and meditation are enough!