Everybody experiences back pain at some point. In fact, studies show that over 264 million work days are lost per year because of back pain complaints. If you’re looking to avoid missing work because of a hurting back, you should consider natural remedies. Since most back pain isn’t caused by serious conditions, you may be able to heal your back on your own – and get back to work in no time. Let’s look at some natural back pain hacks below.
- Switch out salt for nutrient-rich spices
Salt is bad for your health, period. It hikes your blood pressure and can increase inflammation in your body. If you’re looking to reduce back pain, try to switch out salt for other nutrient-rich spices and oils. There’s a whole host of interesting spices that have proven anti-inflammatory properties. For example, turmeric has incredible antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Moreover, ginger is another anti-inflammatory herb that is tasty and rich in nutrients. You might also try olive oil instead of cooking oil or other sauces. By switching out salt, you’ll get delicious food with anti-inflammatory properties for your back pain.
- Do warm-up and cool-down exercises
Regular exercise is key for keeping your muscles fit and flexible. However, warm-up and cool-down stretches are just as important. Every time you start physical activity, you should get your muscles ready for intense activity with 5-10 minutes of exercises. At the end of your session, you should also cool-down to keep your muscles nice and loose. These stretches are important for making sure your lower back doesn’t get stiff or tense. Make warm-up and cool-down a part of your regular exercise routine so you don’t forget!
- Make your workstation back-friendly
Your workstation should inspire good posture. Make sure your chair is level with your desk and has good back support. Adjust your screen to be at eye level and your keyboard within natural reach of your hands. Sit all the way in the back of your chair and avoid slouching, leaning over too much, poking out your chin or sitting for a long period of time. Also, check your stress level! Often when you’re stressed at work, you don’t notice that you’re slouching or leaning over.
- Carry around a water bottle
Follow the 8×8 rule – that is, 8 glasses of 8 oz. per day. Staying hydrated is important to keeping your discs working well and your back flexible. That’s a lot of water, so it’s a good idea to buy a high-quality, insulated water bottle that you can carry around during the day. By using the same water bottle, you’ll be keep track of how much you’re drinking and also have the visual reminder to drink up!
- Take omega-3 supplements
Your back could get a boost with omega-3. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory compound found in fish and nuts. It’s a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet, which can help keep your back pain under control. Try taking a daily omega-3 supplement to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.
- Dive into water aerobics
Water aerobics is twice as good for your back. First, water aerobics is great exercise for reducing muscle stiffness and enhancing range of motion. But the warm water also can have a relaxing effect on your back pain because it boosts blood flow. In fact, new studies confirm this double effect of water exercise on certain pain conditions. Sign up for a regular water aerobics class or get a swim pass at your local pool. You’ll get both the exercise and the pain relief.
- Master practical fashion
Certain fashion choices can really throw your back for a loop. Avoid wearing high heels on a regular basis, because they shift your center of gravity and place more pressure on your back. In addition, be careful with tight clothing that restricts your blood flow and aggravates pain, as well as heavy bags that can put excess stress on your upper back. By avoiding these fashion triggers, you’ll be sure to keep your back healthy while looking great.
- Relax with essential oil baths
There’s nothing better for pain than a hot bath with an essential oil. There are several essential oils with pain-reducing properties, including marjoram, ginger, frankincense, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and basil. A few drops of an essential oil can be placed in a hot bath, so you get both pain relief from the water and the essential oil. This will reduce inflammation and keep you stress-free.
- Start regular massage therapy
Professional massage therapy is a great idea for recurring back pain. A expert massage therapist will keep your muscles loose and flexible, relieving you of stiffness and tension. Over time, this will help your back become stronger and improve back function. In addition, a massage therapist or a chiropractor can help you create a holistic care plan that includes diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, supplements and other areas. In particular, seeing a professional chiropractor, like like our Juneau city’s 5-star rated chiropractor, can make you more aware of your health as a whole. Depending on your situation, you may even need an adjustment to get your back out of a painful, unnatural position.
We hope these nine natural remedies for back pain will keep your back healthy! Oftentimes, back pain relief is a matter of trial and error, so try out several remedies and find out what works best for your back. We hope these back-friendly suggestions make your pain stay away for good.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.