According to a 1994 report in the New England Journal of Medicine 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time, leading to billions of dollars spent in back care every year. Indeed, back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, which was published in The Lancet.
Unfortunately, few viable, long-lasting treatment options exist among convention medicine. Many pain medications cause damage to vital organs like the kidneys and liver, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, cause stomach ulcers or are highly addictive. Surgical options have a very low success rate—some reports suggest only 25 percent of patients are satisfied with their back surgery results—or may produce new pain, a condition known as “failed back syndrome.”
Fortunately many effective, safe and long-lasting options exist in natural medicine.
Strengthening and Stretching Exercises: Keeping your back strong and healthy with stretching and strengthening exercises may be the single most important action you take to support back health. A variety of gentle exercises commonly recommended by chiropractors and physical therapists are very effective in reducing back pain. This healthy back protocol has helped numerous people find relief.
Yoga: An ancient discipline that connects the mind and body, promotes proper breathing, increases physical strength and enhances spiritual and emotional depth , yoga profoundly diminishes pain. Articles published in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine and the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that yoga eases chronic lower back pain and improves back function. In fact, a 2009 study published in Spine reported that yoga was more effective than conventional treatments in relieving lower back pain.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic: Hundreds of thousands of back pain sufferers have relied on acupuncture and chiropractic care to reduce pain, and science supports this action. A growing body of evidence suggests that acupuncture provides positive benefits for patients with chronic lower back pain. In 2012, scientists completed a systematic review of multiple studies and published their findings in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research, which concluded that acupuncture is an effective option to relieve back pain. Chiropractors specialize in aligning your spine and retraining your muscles to relieve back pain and encourage overall well-being. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide attest to the fact that chiropractic care is an effective option for back pain.
Topical Remedies: Several topical remedies from plants provide soothing comfort to a sore, achy back. Some great options include the essential oils of peppermint, wintergreen, clove, balsam fir, marjoram, and frankincense. When multiple oils are blended together, your chance of achieving results increases. Many users also report that cayenne or homeopathic creams effectively relieve back pain.
Dietary Supplements: If you know that cartilage, ligaments or tendons are damaged and require repair, taking a dietary supplement may support the repair of these tissues. The most popular dietary supplements for pain relief include white willow bark, glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), boswellia, hyaluronic acid, UC II Collagen, turmeric, ginger and marine oils. These remedies have scientific evidence to support their usage.
For best results, and to sustain results, it is often necessary to use a combination of the above suggestions. As always, consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise routine or taking/using a natural remedy. The advice in this article is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to replace proper medical care, diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.