Ibuprofens and massages will only take you so far.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, the regular avenues of pain relief will only take you so far. But what about solutions?
According to experts conducting the Global Burden of Disease Study in 2010, back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. And, even more alarmingly, nearly 80% of the American population alone will experience prolonged back pain at some point in their lives.
There are plenty of tips to prevent or avoid back pain entirely.
These include tips like lifting heavy packages with your knees, in a squat position, wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes and stretching before taking on long periods of outdoor physical activity.
And while these are no doubt wise and true, these 5 alternative therapies will be useful for those who want to beat back pain.
1. Eating an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Can lower back pain really be combatted with…food?
Absolutely. After all, the phrase, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine and medicine be thy food,” is not just a platitude — it comes from fact.
The truth is that eating an anti-inflammatory diet has a positive effect on your body, beyond simply relieving your back pain. It also has a direct effect on one’s mood, mobility, the body’s ability to heal, the gastrointestinal and digestive system and lymphatic system.
No surprise — to soothe your back pain, you’ll need to stock up on your veggies. Yes, your mother knew what she was talking about!
Start to lean towards a more plant-based diet. You don’t need to cut out meats entirely but even incorporating foods like chia seeds in combination with omega-3-abundant fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Eating more deeply colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, beets and berries as well as herbs such as ginger, rosemary, basil and cinnamon. Remember to keep a rainbow plate!
2. What to Avoid
Now that you know what to take in, you’ll also need to know what to avoid. Generally, physical activity is a good thing. Stretching, yoga and even exercises that work with your core can actually help soothe your back pain and strengthen the back muscles overtime.
However, it’s important to avoid processed foods and saturated fats. These accelerate the occurrence and intensity of lower back pain. Foods such as white bread and white pasta, fried food and sugary drinks include non-organic chemical structures that are not naturally-occurring.
These foods often include preservatives and severely hinders the body’s ability to heal naturally.
3. Inversion Therapy
One good turn deserves another — so a good internal cleanse and dietary shift deserves an external prop to help move the healing of lower back pain along. Keeping your body on track, after all, requires both internal and external to work in tandem.
Alternative therapies such as inversion therapy has several upsides, including the fact that it relies on absolutely no “magic” — just good ol’ gravity. For those who are familiar with the origin and intended use of Pilates, inversion therapy will sound quite familiar.
The idea of using inversion therapy is based on a 1978 study showing that an inversion table could lengthen the spine and reduce muscle spasms. The best inversion table of 2017, then, would be able to harness the natural anti-gravitational effect to reduce the compression one feels during back pain.
4. Keeping Calcium Consistent
Muscles are intricately connected to bones and skeletal structure so a loss in density due to aging or issues like osteoporosis are likely to cause muscular pain as well.
It’s important to incorporate plenty of leafy green vegetables and take supplements of vitamin D and calcium to maintain bone health and muscle litheness. Because much of back pain is related to spinal vertebrae health, keeping your calcium intake consistent is part of the strategy of eliminating recurring back pain.
This intake of calcium, along with with an exercise regimen and the use of inversion therapy or chiropractor and massage therapy, can ensure back pain can be a thing of the past.
5. Using an Alpha Stim for Muscles
Now consider this: what is back pain, exactly? It’s literally pain experienced in the back. It could be upper, lower, middle or, all three. It could be spinal. But what’s really going on? The body is sensing pain and that pain is manifested as a physical, felt feeling.
Which is why so many individuals with back pain turn to over-the-counter ibuprofen: it’s supposed to work by blocking pain receptors and, in some cases, reducing constricted vessels for easier blood-flow.
Pain, then, is a physical manifestation but is also, deeply, a sensory experience. The brain is very much engaged in the sensation of and signals regarding pain. Does this mean pain is “all in your head”? No, not at all.
But, it does mean that one of the ways of coping with and then eliminating pain — be it back pain or any other kind of muscular pain — can be a cranial activity as well.
Many individuals who are looking for more alternative and holistic therapies to eradicate back pain will seek to address the issue from this kind of holistic perspective. And this is where specifically manufactured CES devices come into play.
Short for “Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation”, CES involves a method of brain stimulation that uses a small device and a couple of little nodes to send out a small pulse of electric current.
Used consistently and over time, users of various CES devices report an improvement in sleep patterns and muscle healing and fatigue.
So can you take back hope for reducing and eradicating back pain? Try any of these 5 alternative therapies — or use two or more in conjunction with each other.