No one wants to live with back pain. Whether you pushed too hard at the gym or if you have a constant, nagging ache that just won't go away, there are some things you can do to help. The next time your back signals you to slow down, try one of these strategies to stop it cold.
Experiment With Oils
Essential oils are basically concentrated versions of the chemical properties of plants. Each bottle generally contains the health-boosting qualities of the original plant in a much more user-friendly version. Several of those oils have shown promise in helping to reduce inflammation and ease pain levels. Some of the most studied and widely used oils include the ever-popular lavender, peppermint, arnica, bergamot, german chamomile, and juniper berry. Since essential oils are really strong, they should only be used diluted in another oil, cream, or lotion.
Exercise Your Core
This may not be what you really feel like doing when your back hurts, but establishing a regular back routine that includes both strengthening and stretching exercises can help to ease back pain. It can be especially effective for consistent pain that can be aggravated by muscle weakness. Making you back stronger can help to correct posture issues like slouching at your desk. It may also help to stabilize your hips and pelvis, which can aid in balance.
Try adding a short yoga sequence to your day. They can both help energize you in the morning and relax you in the evening depending on the poses you choose. Taking a longer, more intense class a couple of times a week is a great idea. Yoga, Pilates, and Barre are all designed to work your entire core, including your back and hips. Tai Chi is another form of exercise that is incredibly safe and effective at helping people manage pain. Some classes are even designed specifically for specific health concerns.
There are some really innovative and forward-thinking supplements on the market today to help with pain and inflammation. That includes your aching back. Look for products like heal-n-sooth, that are designed to address inflammation and not just mask the pain for more complete results. Spices like turmeric and ginger are showing promise in their ability to help reduce swelling at its root cause.
Ditch the Desk
It may be time for an office remodel. While you might love that worn, comfortable office chair, it may be contributing to your back pain. While you can choose to add a back support system to your current chair, why not rethink the entire design. Standing desks are a great alternative that can really help with health issues that result from sitting all day. Those tight hip flexors, stiff hips, and aching back could easily become a thing of the past if you decide to stand at your desk instead of sit. This allows your legs to be in a more natural position so that they are not pulling on your lower back.
If you still aren't sure about standing at a computer all day, try swapping your chair out for a yoga or stability ball to use at your current desk. If you aren't familiar with them, these large, sturdy balls support you in an active way, so that your core and back are engaged even while sitting. If you aren't sure about sitting on something that can roll out from under you, look for a specially-designed chair base for your ball. These are widely available and are a great way to use a stability ball for seating. Many of the designs have wheels that can lock for an added safety feature.
Turn Up the Volume
It turns out that playing music may help soothe chronic pain. So, if you live with back pain that just won't go away, consider adding some music therapy to your routine. If you want to relax, try soothing music. For pain management, however, simply pick music that you already know and enjoy. This ups the entertainment factor and boosts your body's chemical reaction, resulting in lower levels of pain and better function in at least one study.
Back pain can quickly derail plans and keep you from doing activities that you really enjoy. The next time it flares up, however, don't automatically reach for an over the counter pain reliever. Instead, try adding one of these ideas to your routine to beat the pain naturally.