Home Remedies That Can Beat Backaches
At the end of a long day at the office do you find yourself absentmindedly rubbing your lower back or shoulders? You’re not alone. Backaches are one of the most common health problems among middle-aged and elderly people in the United States, but sometimes young adults and children may also suffer from back pain. As recent statistics claim, about 90% of Americans suffer from mild-to-moderate backaches.
According to WebMD, a backache may be defined as a pain happening from the neck to the hips. Pain located in the area from the hips to the ribs can be classified as lower back pain.
Back pain: causes and risk factors
A number of factors can be causes of backaches which may start from a mild neck pain and slowly reach hips. According to some health care specialists, the weakest areas of the spine are the nape of the neck and the back’s base. These areas are the most likely to be injured. There is also a strong symbiotic connection between the nerves, muscles, and bones in the back and the injury of this area may lead to more serious problems.
Besides physical injuries due to the falls, sudden movements, and lifting a heavy object, the following factors may cause backaches:
- Repeated stress on the back;
- Bad posture – for example, from sitting at a desk for a long time;
- Chronic illnesses which may lead to poor muscle tone;
- Lethargy and fatigue;
- Overweight and lack of exercise;
- Poor nutrition;
- Depression and other mental problems;
- Disorders of the feet, ankles, and the knees;
- A urinary tract infection;
- Kidney stones or other problems;
- Prostate problems;
- Some gynecological conditions;
- Gout and constipation;
- Herniated discs.
Symptoms of backaches
It is rather difficult to miss the signs of a developing backache. Commonly, a backache may start with small twinges and cramps in the neck or back and then escalate to a throbbing, radiating pain that may restrict your movements. Mild-to-moderate backaches may be experienced with symptoms like:
- Pain in the areas around the waist and hips;
- Pain in the middle and lower back;
- Throbbing pain in the legs and arms;
- Difficulties with bowel movements and urination;
- Numb neck or legs;
- Difficulties in moving.
In most cases, to resolve a backache naturally, it is enough to wait for a few days. However, it is possible that chronic back pain may develop if you choose to neglect this problem for a long time while continuing habits that exacerbate your condition.
What can you do for back pain relief?
There are a few methods that may work as rapid back pain remedies. As soon as you start feeling pain, consider using one of these remedies:
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. As a rapidly working back pain medicine, you may take Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Diclofenac, etc. Basically, any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may work as a medication for back pain. Keep in mind that taking NSAIDs and other OTC painkillers can be very dangerous for your health, especially if taken for a long period of time. There is also a risk of developing an addiction to these drugs.
- Try changing your posture – keep the back straight, the shoulders back, and tuck in the stomach. Also remember to sit with both feet out in front of you, flat on the floor.
- Low back pain relief can be achieved by the application of a hot water bag, heating pad or warmed up wheat bag, to the affected area where it hurts the most.
- If you are sure that your backache has been caused by sprains or muscle injuries, you may apply a cold compress with ice cubes wrapped in a towel. A cold compress can be helpful in reducing the swelling and inflammation rapidly.
- Try taking a warm bath with Epsom salts. For relief of back pain and swelling, you may add 2 cups of Epsom salts to a bath with warm water. Stay soaking in this bath for 30 minutes.
Natural pain relievers for a backache
Safe and effective treatment for back pain with natural remedies at home is possible. If your back pain is serious, natural remedies may turn to be ineffective. But for treating mild-to-severe backaches, you may try these methods:
Rub with garlic and mustard oil
For a home back and neck pain treatment, you may try making your own rub in such way:
- Fry 3 cloves of fresh garlic in mustard oil;
- Take out the cloves – you need only the oil;
- Rub the cooled oil on the painful parts of your back;
- Leave it for a few hours;
- Rinse off with warm water.
Lemon juice mixed with salt
Sipping a mixture of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of kitchen salt may deliver pain relief for your sore back.
A homemade paste with sliced ginger root and some eucalyptus oil may help relieve the mild-to-moderate backache, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of this herb. Alternatively, you can make the herbal tea with ginger in such way:
- Take 6 thin slices of fresh ginger root;
- Place the slices into a one-half cup of water;
- Simmer the mixture;
- Boil the water with ginger on low heat for 15 minutes;
- Let the water cool and then strain;
- Add some honey to taste;
- Drink this ginger tea 2-3 times throughout the day, for a few days.
A concoction with basil leaves
For a natural back pain relief, you may try the following recipe:
- Boil 1 cup of water with 10 added basil leaves;
- Stop boiling when the water evaporates to half;
- Let the water cool;
- Add a pinch of table salt;
- Drink this mixture 1-2 times a day.
Dietary tips for natural pain relief
Poor nutrition may be the cause of a low supply of the essential nutrients for the skeletal and tissue health. If you are constantly suffering from mild-to-moderate back pains, you may try changing the daily diet in this way:
- Try consuming as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible;
- Fresh juices;
- Raw salads;
- Lightly steamed vegetables.
Consider avoiding spicy, fatty, and processed foods. Also, limiting the consumption of black tea, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can be a good idea for your back’s health.
Lifestyle tips for the home back pain treatment
- Consider trying yoga for back pain – some asanas targeting the back may reduce and prevent the painful sensation by relaxing the tensed muscles;
- Regular back pain exercises may be also helpful, as well as daily walks;
- Try sleeping on a firm mattress with a special supporting pillow;
- Lifting heavy objects may be a bad idea if you suffer from a chronic back pain. Alternatively, try lifting objects very carefully by bending at your knees but not from the waist. In this way you can reduce the pressure on the back;
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same pose for a long time, especially if you have a desk job;
- Consider wearing only comfortable, flat shoes.
Backaches may trigger severe, unbearable pain. In this case, it can be a symptom of more serious health condition. Consider visiting a doctor if severe back pain is accompanied by high fever, the loss of control over bowel movements or bladder, vomiting, nausea, and unbearable movements.
Back pain can significantly affect your life, and you’re not alone. As we are in a society that hunches over our computers and smartphones, living at our desks, it can be hard to move our bodies as they were meant to. Remember to take breaks, stretch out your contracted muscles, and keep your shoulders back as much as possible. We hope with these tips you’ll suffer from less backaches and be able to enjoy your life more.