7 Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help With Lower Back Pain Issues
It can often take time to diagnose the cause of back pain, which can range from strained muscles to a herniated disc. However, once the cause has been identified, corrective steps can be taken to either mitigate or eliminate the source of pain. In severe cases, medication or surgery might be necessary, but in most cases, alternative medicine can provide a variety of ways to be intentional and practical about reestablishing spinal health.
1. Properly rest the spine when you are sitting or lying down.
After a hard day’s work, getting off your feet and lying down relieves the pressure on the entire structure of your spine. In order to relax deeply, try a firm mattress and a comfortable pillow that supports your spine. If for some reason — perhaps, due to acid reflux shortly after dinner — you can’t sleep well on a flat mattress, then using the perfect sleep chair will help take the pressure off your spine.
2. Seek out chiropractic care.
Chiropractors provide a non-surgical alternative to health issues related to the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Treatment focuses on spinal manipulation and the surrounding muscles. An article by Steven G. Yeomans, D.C., Chiropractic Treatments for Lower Back Pain, points out that many “studies have concluded that manual therapies commonly used by chiropractors are generally effective for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as for treatment of lumbar herniated disc for radiculopathy and neck pain, among other conditions.”
3. Get a massage.
While many people think of massage as a way to provide general stress relief, it does far more. A professional massage encourages blood flow in the tissues, brings healing nutrients to sore muscles, and stimulates an increase of endorphins in the bloodstream. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers.
4. Exercise abdominal and back muscles.
By stretching and strengthening the core muscles around the lower back, hips, buttocks, and abdominals, you will take the pressure off your lower back pain and relieve pain in this area. Doing specific exercises that target these muscles for 20 minutes a day can provide relief within a week.
5. Practice good posture.
Good posture does not come naturally to us. It’s much easier to develop bad posture because the body tends to slump. Practicing the habits of good posture when sitting, standing, walking, and lifting things will ensure that the vertebrae are properly aligned.
6. Wear good shoes.
When it comes to spinal health, good shoes provide a supportive base to stand upright and keep your body and spine in alignment. Your shoes should snugly fit the back of the heels and prevent pronation or supination, rolling the feet too much to the inside or outside. Since it can sometimes be difficult to find good shoes, try adding shoe orthotics to assist with balance. Avoid high heels as much as possible.
7. Use an ergonomically-designed office chair.
When you sit down, you load the discs on your spine on top of each other. This is why your lower back hurts after you have been sitting down for a long time. In addition, when you are staring at a screen and typing, you are probably leaning forward, which places additional pressure on the lumbar discs. The way to reduce this pressure is to find an ergonomic office chair. Consider using a lumbar support pillow while sitting in your office chair. In addition, get up at least every half hour and walk around a little. Movement helps the spine stay healthy because it not only relieves pressure but also improves blood circulation, which in turn encourages the flow of nutrients to muscles and bones.
Ashley Andrews is a San Diego-based freelance writer who blogs on a wide range of green living, business, health and technology topics.