Holistic Treatments for Back Pain
Back pain can interfere with every part of your life. Fortunately, there are many ways to relieve the pain that don’t involve medical procedures or strong pain medications.
If you’re interested in holistic healthcare for back pain, read on for a list of alternatives to back pain surgery.
12 Holistic Remedies for Back Pain
Try the following natural remedies if you’re seeking holistic relief from back pain.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Upper cervical chiropractic care focuses on the part of the top of the spine known as the cervical spine. This area is a major neurological control center for the muscles and nerves in the back, so therapeutic interventions employed here may greatly reduce back pain.
After a thorough consultation and exam, your doctor will create a care plan tailored to your needs. At Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth, LLC, providers use unique methods to deliver natural back pain relief. They gently adjust the vertebra to bring your spine back into alignment and relieve pain-causing pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissues.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into the skin at key points on the body. It’s used to manage pain, manage stress and enhance overall wellness.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that acupuncture helps balance the flow of energy within the body, while Western practitioners believe the needles stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue to release the body’s natural painkillers.
If you want to try acupuncture for back pain, your doctor may be able to help you find a reputable practitioner in your area.
Massage therapy can help relieve back pain in the short term. There are a few types of massage that could ease back pain:
- Swedish: The most common type of massage in the US, practitioners of this style use oil or lotion to deliver long, smooth strokes of pressure.
- Deep tissue: In this style, therapists target deep layers of tissue to release chronically tight muscles. The pressure can be intense, so some degree of discomfort and soreness after the massage is normal.
- Shiatsu: Practitioners of this Japanese form of bodywork use their fingers to apply localized pressure to areas on the body.
In addition to providing pain relief, massage therapy could help reduce stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure and may improve circulation and energy.
Doctors used to suggest bed rest to manage back pain. Today, many physicians may encourage you to continue your normal activity level and avoid long periods of bed rest. Physical activity promotes blood flow and keeps your muscles warm and engaged, helping the back to recover faster.
Stretching before your usual activities and incorporating walks into your routine can help you remain gently active while your back heals.
A lack of vitamin D in the body can lead to bone softening, which may result in back pain. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and maintain calcium and phosphorus, essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin D also supports muscle function with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Most people get vitamin D through sunlight exposure or foods like fish, eggs and cow’s milk, but your doctor may suggest additional vitamin D supplements for back pain.
Your doctor may suggest applying capsaicin cream to your skin for pain relief. As the active ingredient in chili peppers, topical capsaicin has been found to decrease a neurochemical messenger that transmits pain signals.
Capsaicin cream is available over the counter, or you can get a prescription from your doctor for a capsaicin patch.
Magnesium is another vitamin that can help alleviate back pain. It plays a role in bone and muscle health. Magnesium may promote stronger bones and works to maintain muscle and nerve function, helping guard against painful muscle spasms.
You can take a magnesium supplement or fill your diet with magnesium-rich foods, such as:
- Dark chocolate
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish
- Leafy greens
Yoga is an ancient practice that promotes balance in the body by developing strength and flexibility through various poses. The stretching and strengthening aspects of yoga can help build a strong, flexible back and release tight muscles.
There are many types of yoga ranging from slow and gentle to intense and vigorous. If you have chronic back pain, you may want to start with a gentle, restorative type. Your doctor may be able to help you choose a style of yoga that’s right for you.
You can attend classes at a yoga studio or practice it at home with online videos or classes.
Eating a nutritious diet benefits your physical and mental health in countless ways. Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties can help with back pain by reducing the swelling that causes discomfort.
Consider adding the following anti-inflammatory foods to your diet:
- Olive oil
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale
- Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
- Fruits like berries, cherries and oranges
A solid eight hours of restorative sleep each night can benefit your health in many ways. Sleep is a time for your body to recuperate and heal from physical stress, but it also promotes immune function, metabolism, memory, learning and other important functions.
Sometimes back pain can prevent a restful night of sleep, but there are measures you can take to sleep well despite the pain:
- Invest in a comfortable, supportive mattress
- Gently stretch your back muscles before lying down
- Try natural sleep aids like melatonin
The position you sleep in matters, too. Sleeping on your side in the fetal position with a pillow between your knees can align your spine and help relieve pressure. You can also try sleeping on your back with your knees slightly elevated to reduce tension in the lower back.
The Alexander Technique
The Alexander technique teaches you how to correct your posture and avoid slouching, which can cause tension, pain and decreased mobility in the back. The Alexander technique has often been shown effective for managing chronic low back pain.
You can learn the Alexander technique from a specially trained instructor in private or group classes.
Find Alternative Treatment for Back Pain at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth, LLC
The experienced doctors at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth, LLC, will conduct a thorough physical exam and study diagnostic images of your spine to tailor a care plan to your needs. We use special techniques that do not involve cracking, twisting or popping your spine to help relieve back pain.
Schedule an appointment today to meet with a chiropractor for back pain, and start your journey to the fulfilling life you deserve. We look forward to assisting you!