Back pain or sciatic nerve pain is a common health issue these days, and it affects one out of 10 people. Back pain is the main reason for job disability globally.
This is a serious problem in the U.S. where eight out of 10 Americans suffer from back pain, and it becomes the main cause for the addiction to painkillers.
Yet, back pain can be effectively treated with the help of a combination of posture-correcting exercises and strictly limiting sitting. On the other hand, opioid drugs are the leading cause of fatal drug overdoses in the US.
Moreover, people who suffer from anxiety or depression and back pain are at an increased risk for opioid abuse and addiction. Medical News Today published a 6-month study which involved 55 chronic lower back patients with symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Participants received either morphine, oxycodone, or a placebo, and the ones that suffered from depression and anxiety experienced the greatest side-effects, were more likely to abuse drugs, and they got the least relief.
They had 50 percent less improvement of their back pain, and 75% of them abused the drugs they received.
Moreover, researchers have found that two-thirds of the patients believe that their back pain is a result of a specific incident on the day it began, for instance, lifting of a heavy load.
Yet, lower back pain can be triggered days and weeks before the first symptoms, by fatigue, alcohol consumption, sex, and distraction while performing physical tasks. The most common causes of chronic back pain are accidents and sports injuries, as well as inactivity, stress, obesity, and poor body posture.
The Epoch Times reports that 75 to 80 percent of back pain cases resolve on its own within 2-4 weeks, but you can accelerate the recovery.
First of all, as soon as you experience the pain, relax the mind and body, as anxiety and depression decelerate the innate ability of the body to heal itself.
You can apply some ice to the painful area, or try acupuncture or chiropractic care. Instead of painkillers, enjoy the pain-relieving properties of ginger, curcumin, and Boswellia.
Furthermore, our brain remembers all thoughts and emotions, and any pain longer than a few minutes is memorized in the central nervous system.
Even after the injury is healed, these memories can become vivid. Therefore, try to retrain the brain with the help of some mind-body techniques.
Sciatic nerve pain is another common issue caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. This pain is felt from the buttock, downward to the thighs and feet. It can be significantly relieved with the help of stretching exercises.
This nerve runs through the piriformis, a muscle located deep in the glutes, and if this muscle gets tightened, it will impinge the sciatic nerve, and lead to tingling, numbness, and pain.
The following four exercises will help you soothe these symptoms:
- Piriformis stretch
- Pigeon Pose
- Self-trigger point therapy using a tennis ball or foam roller
- Seated hip stretch
According to Prevention Magazine, the following natural treatment alternatives for treating sciatica are highly efficient:
The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine published the findings of a research which discovered that 17 out of 30 patients with sciatica experienced complete relief with the help of acupuncture.
The findings of a Spanish study indicate that Pilates soothes the pain, improves balance, and lowers the risk of falling in older women.
One 2010 study showed that 60% of the sciatica patients who received chiropractic care three times a week for a month experienced the same degree of relief as those who underwent surgery.
“A study in the journal Pain reported that people with chronic back pain who practiced Iyengar yoga for 16 weeks saw pain reduced by 64 percent and disability by 77 percent. Although yoga’s effects on sciatica are less clear, gentle forms may be beneficial.”
The use of anti-inflammatory oils and liniments, such as cayenne pepper creams and c St. John’s wort oil, a few times daily, relieves the pain.
You will drastically relieve the pain in the back if you avoid sitting. Even though you will feel more pain while standing at first, but it will soon become more comfortable than sitting, and you will start feeling the benefits.
Namely, our bodies were designed for continuous movement, so prolonged standing causes numerous issues. Even one consecutive hour sitting has been found to be too long and harmful.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point therapy involves the application of firm pressure to points on the glutes, piriformis, lower back muscles, which releases the pressure and impingement on the sciatic nerve.
Back Pain Prevention
It is much easier to prevent back pain than to treat it, so follow the tips below and enjoy a pain-free life:
Exercise and physical activity strengthen the spine muscles. Therefore, exercise at least a few times a week. To boost flexibility and tone the core muscles, try yoga, and include high-intensity sessions to strengthen the muscles of the back.
To improve the height of the intervertebral disks, and reduce stiffness, you must keep your body properly hydrated at all times.
You need to mind your posture to prevent back pain. Support your back and do not bend awkwardly. When standing, the weight should be spread evenly on both legs. Avoid lifting too heavy loads too.
Researchers have shown that insufficient sleep can often lead to increased back and neck problems. Moreover, you should also pay attention to the position you sleep in.
You should choose a firm mattress, stretch before going to bed, and sleep on the side to reduce curving of your spine.
Grounding or Earthing reduces inflammation, soothes back pain and other types of pain, and the constant supply of electrons will boost the immune system.
Researchers have shown that the electrons from the earth are the ultimate antioxidants. Therefore, walk barefoot on sand or wet grass whenever possible.
Vitamin D and K2
To protect the bones from softening and lower back pain, you need to optimize your vitamin D and K2 levels.
Infrared laser therapy treatment boosts the tissue healing, treats pain, and fights inflammation, due to the boosted microcirculation, as the treatment stimulates red blood cell flow in the affected area, and improves venous and lymphatic return.
The K-Laser is the only Class 4 therapy laser that utilizes the appropriate infrared wavelengths that penetrate deeply into the body and are able to reach areas like the hips and spine.
You should give up this detrimental habit, as despite it numerous harmful effects on health, it also reduces the blood flow to the lower spine and promotes degeneration of the spinal disks.
Address Psychological Factors
Very often, pain has emotional or psychological origins, so address these factors as well.