Are you not able to be as physically active as you’d like to be? Do you get pain getting up and down from a seated position? Is your sleep affected because you can’t get comfortable? Don’t worry, you are not alone. It is estimated up to 16% of the Australian population suffer with back pain, lower back pain being the most common.¹
If you experience long-term back pain you are very well aware of how debilitating it can be. With many people having to take time off work or caring for their families because the pain is too great.
Here are 10 ways to relieve back pain naturally..
- Do not sit for too long
After 20 minutes of sitting your muscle tone starts to become static and develop a low grade stiffness.
Get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes to stop these changes from developing into further pain and dysfunction.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
Stiffness and cramping occurs more frequently when dehydrated. Adequate water intake can often improve the degree of discomfort.
- Try taking Magnesium
Australian soils are notoriously low in Magnesium so our diets can sometimes be lacking as a result. Deficiencies of this mineral are linked with muscle cramps and pain so supplementation can reduce these symptoms.³
- Do some light exercise regularly
Exercising at a low level helps to increase blood flow, aid circulation and release static muscle tension. As long as you don’t strain yourself, light exercise tends to lessen pain.
- Have a Massage, Acupuncture or Cupping
These treatments tend to relieve pain quite quickly, and with regular therapy your baseline pain and stiffness tends to be improved. Acupuncture and Cupping can help with both acute and chronic pain. Whilst massage is mostly appropriate for chronic, moderate or low grade pain.
Many studies have shown that Acupuncture has an analgesic (pain killing) effect to reduce discomfort and give patients back their freedom of movement.
More than just pain relief, Acupuncture techniques focus on the treating the inflammation and muscle tension that can occur with back issues.
A study was conducted in Melbourne hospitals showing that Acupuncture can be just as effective as opioid medications for all types of pain, without harmful side effects.²
- Try taking Glucosamine or Chondroitin sulfate
If you have pain near the joints in your back it could involve cartilage degeneration; these supplements can help maintain the health of cartilage, prevent further degeneration and reduce pain.
- Occupy your mind with something other than the pain
The more pain is granted attention the stronger its representation grows in the nervous system. Focus on other things as much as possible in order to help diminish the neural networks that are responsible for the experience of pain.
- Do regular Pilates
Back pain is often related to reduced mobility, muscular imbalances and poor core strength. Pilates addresses all of these issues.
- Use heat packs
The regular use of heat packs can help reduce pain, relax muscles and increase circulation to improve the function of muscles and joints.
- Stretch regularly
Light stretching of the back and legs can improve your degree of pain and function. Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong can also be very helpful in this regard.
I recommend daily practice in the morning after a light walk, and just before you go to bed to help you release tension that may have built up during the day.
We provide all of the above treatments here at Freedom Chinese Medicine. And we have several practitioners who have a particular passion & experience for helping people with back pain. Click here to read more about these excellent practitioners.
This article written by:
Dr Daniel Gibbs
Chinese Medical Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist
Dr. Daniel Gibbs has been practicing Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Massage since 2005. He has experience in treating a wide range of conditions and has a special interest in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Daniel has worked as an independent therapist and adjunctively alongside physiotherapists.
Daniel is available:
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
Call (03) 9486 5966