With neck pain and low back pain being all too common, learn the best methods for naturally treating back pain so that you can stop the pain in its tracks and experience a fuller life.
If you are someone who experiences back pain, you are not alone. Most people will experience back pain at some point in their life. According to the CDC, 29% of people suffer from low back pain on a regular basis. Though low back pain has been a worsening issue over the past decade, chronic low neck pain has surged in recent years due to an increase in cell phone and computer use. According to the National Center for Vital Statistics, from 1979 through 2009, spinal surgeries have increased 137%. Treatment for back pain costs approximately 240 billion dollars annually and is the most common reason for missed days of work. It is estimated that 13 million people see a doctor every year for chronic back pain. This is why it’s important to learn how to learn the methonds of naturally treating back pain.
Naturally Treating Back Pain: Understanding your spine
To understand why back pain is so common, you must first understand your musculoskeletal system. The human body is a biomechanical marvel. The vertebral column exhibits more varied functions than any other unit of the human body.
The vertebral column is a structure made up of 26 bones in the adult body. Between the vertebras lies a discs made up of tough fibro cartilage that allow for movement. Within each disc is the nucleus pulposus that works as a shock absorber and keeps the vertebra from crashing into each other especially under load. The spine is divided into regions known as the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper middle back), and lumbar (low back). Attached to the spine are hundreds of muscles ligaments and tendons.
The integrity of the spinal structures are extraordinarily crucial as they protect the central nervous system which sends and receives billons of nerve messages every second. When spinal integrity is compromised, malfunction of the nervous system occurs. When the nervous system is compromised there is no limit to the amount of dysfunction that can occur in the body. Many chronic spinal pain issues occur either in the cervical or lumbar spine. Now that you learned about the spine as part of our ways to naturally treating back pain, lets talk about your neck pain.
Neck pain is more common than ever before as technology consumes every aspect of our lives. Many people sit with poor posture at a desk all day for work. The problem is further compounded with the countless hours of social media, texting, and web surfing on their phones. Ultimately spending hours a day on technology promotes destructive biomechanics.
The major issue that comes from this lifestyle is Anterior Head Syndrome. What this is referring to is positioning of the head. In proper positioning the ears should be placed directly vertical to the shoulders, not anterior to the shoulders. According to Kapandji in the Physiology of Joints, for every inch the head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds, putting enormous stress on the muscles and joints. This puts enormous pressure on the 3 sub occipital nerves causing headaches.
When Anterior Head Syndrome becomes a chronic issue there are many conditions that follow. It begins with:
- Muscular spasms and tension
- Dowagers Hump
- Compressed (degenerated) discs
- Nerve impingement syndrome
- Damaged (degenerated) vertebra
These are just the beginning stages; from here there are over 40 conditions that occur as a result. It can be anything from numbness and tingling in the hands to shoulder pain. Many people who suffer from Anterior Head Syndrome also suffer from chronically sore shoulders. This often times leads to more complex shoulder conditions that should not be treated as such since they are rooted in the cervical spine.
Low Back Pain
Low back pain is the other major problem area when it comes to spinal pain. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, low back pain costs 240 billion dollars worldwide on a yearly basis. Just like the cervical spine, careers that require constant sitting and a state of perpetual spinal flexion are the cause of most low back conditions. During the industrial revolution hard labor was the major destroyer of low backs, now chronic sedentary lifestyle is.
The lumbar spine (low back) consists of the largest and toughest vertebrae and discs in the spine. The lumbar spine is essentially the foundation in which the spine rests upon. As the foundation crumbles, the entire spine suffers. It is very important to get the back pain treated before it becomes a chronic issue and leads to nerve damage. An indication of nerve compression would be numbness and tingling in the leg and foot. Shooting pain down the leg is another common symptoms related to nerve compression in the low back.
Organ dysfunction can also be a cause of low back pain. Many issues such as kidney infections and appendicitis cause horrendous back pain. This is why low back pain should not go unchecked.
It is my personal experience that treating low back pain naturally is the absolute best route to get to the root cause of the problem. In most cases steroid packs and cortisone injections are offered by conventional doctors. The problem with this is that these forms of treatments do not get to the root cause, but rather cover up the pain. It you have a slipped disc, reduced curve in your back, or a misaligned vertebrae, is very important to get the structure of your spine realigned and functioning properly rather than covering up the pain until the next exacerbation.
Natural Treatments For Back Pain
Natural solutions for back and spinal pain are the best way to target the root cause of the pain and rid them for good. A proactive approach is the ideal approach.
Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that spinal manipulation, as performed by Doctors of Chiropractic, is an effective conservative treatment option for certain types of low back and neck pain and for some headaches. A clinical guideline issued jointly by the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommended spinal manipulation for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain.
Doctors of Chiropractic focus solely on the spine and are the most equipped profession to handle spinal disorders. Many Doctors of Chiropractic have focuses in particular areas (ex. Pediatrics, disc degeneration, neurology) so it is best to sit down for a consultation with the local chiropractor to make sure his/her services are the right fit for you.
Sedentary lifestyles is the bane of today’s society. Most people get up from bed, drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home, then kick back in the La-Z-Boy to watch T.V. A movement deficiency will destroy your body. Though many suffered during and after the Industrial Revolution from hard labor, more people suffer today due to a lack of movement.
In 2011, the orthopedic textbook Joint Structure and Function pointed out that “a lack of regular full range of motion in any joint (the spine is made up of all joints) , either due to immobility from injury or from immobility from being sedentary, results in scar tissue deposition that if uncorrected, results in permanent loss of motion.” Loss of motion soon turns into degeneration and chronic pain.
Stretching is very simple and it yields huge results. In this study, 81 people found a significant reduction of pain associated with the neck, shoulders, lower back and lower extremities after performing stretching techniques for only 4 weeks.
This is one of my favorite supplements to support not only back pain, but any type of pain. Many of my patients who have suffered from chronic back pain have found relief as this dynamic blend reduces inflammation at the site of irritation. Though this does not fix structural damage to the spine, it certainly gives incredible natural relief for those were suffer from either acute or chronic pain.
It’s estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. When dehydrated, the body cannot adequately flush out waste and toxins. Those who are dehydrated also experience more aches and pain on a regular basis as their muscles become more rigid.
Muscle calm is a dynamic calcium magnesium blend design to calm the muscles. When back pain occurs it almost always includes muscle tension and spasms. This will support the relaxation of your muscles to help ease the pain.
This essential oil is an effective analgesic that supports the reduction of pain and inflammation. Mix this oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil for soothing relief.
The above mentioned recommendations for naturally treating back pain involve little money and little time but yield incredible results. These non-invasive, holistic healing strategies for back pain can transform your quality of life. If you or someone you care about suffers from neck or low back pain, I encourage you to utilize one or all of the above recommendations. If you need help getting started, please comment below or schedule a complimentary consult.