Back pain is both sore and frustrating, and can impact other areas of your life as well. A 2013 nationwide survey by Physiotherapy New Zealand revealed that 79% of people with sore backs had sleeping problems as a result, 46% had missed out on sports or activities and 37% had taken time off work.
Common causes of back pain include:
- Sleeping on a bad mattress
- Poor posture
- Emotional stress
- Muscle strains
- Non-supportive shoes
While taking pain killers does help pain relief, consuming pills everyday isn’t the best approach to dealing with a sore back. Instead, try these natural ways to alleviate back pain.
Certain foods can help with pain. First and foremost, drink the daily recommended intake of water, as dehydration can increase soreness in the back. Try to eat more foods that are rich in potassium and fiber. Potassium minimises swelling, while fiber prevents constipation, which exacerbates back pain. Adding lean protein to your diet will also help, as protein maintains bone and muscle health vital to lessening back pain.
Poor posture can worsen back pain, so make sure you sit up straight at your desk and avoid slumping. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your body supported by the back of your chair, with your feet flat on the floor. If your back is really bothering you, try placing a pillow or rolled towel between your lower back and seat.
Peppermint oil lessens back pain and cools inflamed joints when applied to the area. Other oils such as cypress and wintergreen enhance circulation and reduce inflammation. Mix any of these oils with coconut oil for a homemade muscular rub that will soothe and restore.
Our spinal column is designed to move, and limited motion can cause discomfort. Stretching and exercising has been clinically proven to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain. Try low impact activities such as walking, yoga and swimming, and make sure you stretch throughout the day, especially if you have a desk job.
There are several supplements that ail a sore back and can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle. Fish oil and turmeric tablets reduce inflammation, while magnesium reduces stress and relaxes muscles. Other vitamins such as a MSM and bromelain are naturally anti-inflammatory, mitigating swelling and minimising muscle pain.
A good sleep
Sleeping is difficult when you’re suffering from back pain, but a decent bout will certainly make you feel better. Try lying on your side with a pillow placed between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position and alleviate the strain on your back. If you must sleep on your back, slide a pillow under your knees. A firm mattress is also important for supporting your spine.