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Ease Back Pain

Disclaimer

Any information from this book should not be reproduced or transmitted


in any form without the prior permission of the author.
The materials contained in this book are based on the author’s
experience and research through credible sources.
The statements presented here are meant to help you control your back
pain, but results may vary from person to person.
In no event, the author will not be liable for any damages of any kind
whatsoever concerning the service, materials, and products contained within
the package.
The information presented in this book should not be interpreted as
medical advice. If you have any doubts concerning your health, I strongly
recommend you to seek the counseling of your qualified physician for the latest
treatment options.

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Contents
The Start of Back Pain and Osteoarthritis .............................................................................................. 4
How the Human Spine Functions .......................................................................................................... 10
Back Pain: What Causes It? ................................................................................................................... 13
Physical Exercise, A Great Ally in Healing Back Pain ........................................................................... 18
Back Exercise Stretches – For Back Pain Relief ................................................................................ 19
Swimming and Back Pain Relief ......................................................................................................... 24
Yoga for Back Pain Relief ................................................................................................................... 26
Natural Remedies for Back Pain Relief .................................................................................................. 29
The Heat is On for Natural Back Pain Relief ..................................................................................... 34
Back Pain Natural Supplement Treatments ...................................................................................... 36
Vitamins and Minerals ..................................................................................................................... 38

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The Start of Back Pain and Osteoarthritis

Back pain is the most likely thing to elicit a twinge of sympathy from the
hardest of hearts. It is estimated that every person in the world will suffer
from it in their lifetime – mild to serious, chronic or temporary.
Lower back pain is a common infliction that affects over 80% of the adult
population at one time or another in their lifetime. There are also many causes,
and it can be difficult to directly determine the source of the problem without
medical intervention, i.e. a visit to the doctor or chiropractor.

You could get an attack at any point along the spine, especially the lower
back area which takes on the maximum weight and stress. Most common
causes: strain or bruising of muscles; sprain or injury to ligaments; and spasms
when the injured muscle knots up as part of the body’s attempt to immobilize

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it to prevent further injury. Other causes include osteoporosis, arthritis, a


slipped disc, or even excessive gas, besides more serious causes like tumors,
diabetes or kidney malfunctions that emerge in a doctor’s clinic.
Back pain causes a lot of inconvenience and hindrance to the normal
lifestyle of a person. There are a number of back pain causes, but the two
most common causes related to discs are disc injury and degenerative disc.

Disc degeneration leads to water content loss that narrows the gap
between two vertebrae. This can cause pinching of a nerve and subsequent
pain. Bulging discs are generally confused with ruptured discs. While the
former condition is normal, the later condition can be serious. Discs may bulge
during the day as they carry the body weight, and get back to normal at night
when we sleep. Ruptured discs are damaged discs caused by leakage of jelly
like substance called nucleus pulposus.

Blame it on your lifestyle

An important factor and one that is entirely in your hands, is your


lifestyle. For instance, improper postures while sitting and sleeping, and
carelessness during walking, stretching or playing, especially when you are
overweight, are few common causes.
Grand illusions of being a Hercules incarnate and lifting heavy weights or
improperly hefting them around are other frequent errors.

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Bad posture is the biggest culprit. Desk jobs mean sitting for hours
before computers where we unconsciously slump into odd positions, or twist
our backs frequently while trying to reach for something behind or beside us,
or stretch forward too far, too fast. We also unconsciously slip into awkward
positions while reading or watching TV sprawled on the bed or sofa.
The pain may be characterized as a dull ache,
shooting or piercing pain, or a burning sensation. It may
radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet,
and may include paresthesia (tingling with no apparent
cause), weakness or numbness in the legs and arms. The
anatomic classification of back pain follows the segments of
the spine: neck pain (cervical), middle back pain (thoracic),
lower back pain (lumbar) or coccydynia (tailbone or sacral
pain) with the lumbar vertebrae area most common for
pain.

The pain may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other
structures in the vertebral column (spine). Internal structures such as the
gallbladder and pancreas may also cause referred pain in the back.

Back pain is common with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it
at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults having it every
year. However, it is rare for it to be permanently disabling, and in most cases
of herniated discs and stenosis, rest, injections or surgery have similar general
pain resolution outcomes on average after one year. In the United States,

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acute low back pain is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and
causes 40% of missed days off work. Additionally, it is the single leading cause
of disability worldwide.

Let’s take a look at what osteoarthritis is

The most common form of arthritis affecting people today is


osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. It is estimated that
over 20 million Americans suffer from this disease, and it remains the biggest
cause of disability among adults. But this number is expected to skyrocket in
coming years as the growing numbers of baby boomers retire. Still, young
people can also acquire osteoarthritis from severe joint injuries, but it remains
a major health concern for older persons.
Although diagnosed in over 20 million people, it is estimated that half
the population has osteoarthritis in at least one or more joints. Basically, it is
a very common affliction and risks increase as we age. And unfortunately,
osteoarthritis is common in both men and women. Oddly enough, however,
the condition is more common in men before the age of forty-five. After 45,

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osteoarthritis is more prevalent in women.

So how exactly does osteoarthritis affect the body? Well, the


disease mainly affects the cartilage in our bodies. Cartilage is important to us
because it is what covers the ends of our bones. Those bones come together
in joints and the cartilage is what prevents them from rubbing together.
Cartilage is also a natural shock absorber and helps our bodies withstand the
physical activity we put them through.

However, osteoarthritis causes the surface layer of the cartilage to break


down and dissipate. What then happens is the bones no longer have the same
level of protection so when they rub together. The result will be painful and a
person will lose movement as the disease progresses.

The joint itself will actually start to lose its shape as osteoarthritis
progresses. This may then allow bone spurs to grow on the edges of the
bones. When these bone spurs break off, they may become lodged in the joint
and cause further discomfort and injury. In time, osteoarthritis can
incapacitate a person and leave her immobile.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot physicians can do in order to stop the


progression of osteoarthritis. Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen will generally
help alleviate the swelling in the joints and thus lessen pain, but no actual
treatment exists. However, research has shown that maintaining a healthy diet
and active lifestyle tend to delay the onset of the condition.

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Osteoarthritis is known by many as “wear and tear” Arthritis. It is one of


the most common forms of Arthritis and is the result of cartilage wearing away
from the joints. This cartilage is responsible for the smooth gliding of joints,
and once it begins to deteriorate, the patient is left with pain, joint swelling
and inflammation, and even deformity.

Osteoarthritis patients usually state that their pain is greatest during


times of movement, and then lessens significantly during periods of rest.

The cause of Osteoarthritis is not known, yet doctors have many


suspicions. Some of the symptoms of Osteoarthritis boggle the minds of
scientists and more research needs to take place to determine the actual root
of the disease. For instance, X-rays can tell if Arthritis is present, yet the
amount of pain reported by Osteoarthritis sufferers differs from the results of
the X-ray.

Though many people refer to Osteoarthritis as the “wear and tear”


disease, evidence shows that this disease and its mysterious cause are not as
simple as that definition. In fact, “wear and tear” does not take place in just
one joint, but affects joints simultaneously throughout the body. Also, doctors
have noted that patients don’t suffer from Osteoarthritis on just one side of
the body (as would be expected due to wear and tear) but because it seems
to affect the body concurrently, it appears that Osteoarthritis is a systematic
disease affecting all of the cartilage at once.

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One suggestion is that Osteoarthritis is a result of cartilage that has


stopped functioning at optimum level. Cartilage is continuously undergoing a
process where it is broken down, then rebuilt. Some theories state that this
process becomes unbalanced and out of hand. This is referred to as “End
Stage Osteoarthritis.” It is at this stage that joint pain and impairment begin
to manifest.

Research is currently being conducted with the purpose to make the


cartilage be able to repair itself and thus fix the damage caused by
osteoarthritis. Until that miracle happens, those with the condition should
consult with their physicians in order to determine the best pain management
strategy for their osteoarthritis.

How the Human Spine Functions

The human vertebral column is a vital


and complex component of the skeletal system
that provides movement of the back and neck,
and protection for the spinal cord. It is
composed of multiple individual bones called
vertebrae that are stacked one on top of the
other forming a column, which is anatomically
divided into five categories.
One of its major purposes is to protect the
spinal cord (or spine) and the nerves that run through it, which are vital to the

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body's central nervous system.

These nerves travel through a canal made by the vertebral foramen


within the vertebrae. Due to its complexity and frequent use, this important
piece of equipment is subject to complications related to several disorders and
injuries. Many of the problems that occur are due to nerve compression by
bones or muscles within the spine.

The vertebral column consists of four main regions. The cervical


vertebrae are primarily for the neck as it moves and supports the head. It can
be divided into two parts, the upper and lower sides. The upper part consists
of two vertebrae called the atlas and axis. The atlas is formed specifically to
support the head. It is ring-shaped and looks different than other vertebrae.
The posterior and anterior arches combine two lateral masses that form the
atlas bone. The axis provides the head with movement by allowing it to pivot.
It has a dense, or odontoid, process that projects upward and connects with
the atlas.

The thoracic vertebrae support the chest cavity of the body. They join
with the rib cage as it wraps around the cavity. The only ribs that are not
attached are the eleventh and twelfth, which are called floating ribs. The size
of each bone increases from top to bottom. Unlike the cervical vertebrae, they
are more limited as far as movement is concerned. Each vertebra in this
portion has a large intervertebral foramen for nerves, a long spinous process,
and small pedicles.

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The lumbar vertebrae support the lower back. Just like the thoracic
vertebrae, they too increase in size from top to bottom. Being at the bottom
of the vertebral column, they support much of the weight. They also obtain a
lot of biomechanical stress. They have long and wide pedicles and the spinous
processes are different from the others, as they are horizontal and square
shaped. Despite the fact that the intervertebral foramen is also large, nerve
compression is common within the lumbar vertebrae.

The sacrum is located within the pelvic girdle and is made up of five
separate bones that fuse together as a person matures. At the very end of the
vertebral column is the coccyx, which is also a part of the pelvic girdle. It is
made up of three bones and is commonly known as the tailbone.
The human vertebral column is a combination of both convex, kyphotic, and
concave, lordotic, curves.

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Back Pain: What Causes It?

There are several potential sources and causes of back pain. However,
the diagnosis of specific tissues of the spine as the cause of pain presents
problems. This is because symptoms arising from different spinal tissues can
feel very similar and it is difficult to differentiate without the use of invasive
diagnostic intervention procedures, such as local anesthetic blocks.

One potential source of back pain is skeletal muscle of the back. Other
causes of pain in muscle tissue include muscle strains (pulled muscles), muscle
spasm, and muscle imbalances. However, imaging studies do not support the
notion of muscle tissue damage in many back pain cases, and the
neurophysiology of muscle spasm and muscle imbalances is not well
understood.

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Another potential source of lower back pain is the synovial joints of the
spine (e.g. zygapophysial joints/facet joints). These have been identified as
the primary source of the pain in approximately one third of people with
chronic low back pain, and in most people with neck pain following whiplash.
However, the cause of zygapophysial joint pain is not fully understood. Capsule
tissue damage has been proposed in people with neck pain following whiplash.
In people with spinal pain stemming from zygapophysial joints, one theory is
that intra-articular tissue such as invaginations of their synovial membranes
and fibro-adipose meniscus (that usually act as a cushion to help the bones
move over each other smoothly) may become displaced, pinched or trapped,
and consequently give rise to nociception (pain).

There are several common other potential sources and causes of back
pain– these include spinal disc herniation and degenerative disc disease or
isthmic spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and
lumbar spinal stenosis, trauma, cancer, infection, fractures, and inflammatory
disease. The anterior ligaments of the intervertebral disc are extremely
sensitive, and even the slightest injury can cause significant pain.

If your pain in the back is started by normal movements like bending or


twisting, it could be a result of a slipped disc or a joint problem of the spine.
It could also be because of muscle pull in the back. Muscular pain is among
the common Back Pain Causes, which can occur while attempting to carry a
heavy weight.

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While there are many factors that can contribute to back pain, one of
the most common problems is poor posture. Some people get into the habit
of sitting or standing improperly, and over time this contributes to pain in
their backs.

Understanding the causes of back pain will allow you to avoid it, and will
lead to a healthier and more active lifestyle.
When someone first begins feeling pain in their back, they can easily correct
it by improving their posture. However, if you don’t correct your posture your
joints will eventually begin to wear out over time. Studies have shown that in
the long term, the ageing of joints in your back can be just as extreme as the
effects of suffering a back injury.

People who continue to have poor posture will eventually feel the effects
of ageing. Their poor joints will force them to stoop over, and their mobility
will be greatly decreased. With the rising costs of healthcare, it will be
expensive to correct such problems, if it is even possible to correct them at
all. Is it not better to correct your posture while you still have the chance?

The vast majority of the deformities seen in the elderly are a result of
poor posture. Often, other parts of the body are affected such as the lungs,
which will not be able to get a proper amount of oxygen due to the upper body
being bent over. This may also eventually cause problems with your stomach
and other organs.

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While many people consider weak back joints to be just a normal part of
ageing, by taking a few simple steps everyday people can avoid back problems
in the long term. By standing up at least once a day and bending backward,
people can avoid back pain.

Doing this simple routine on a daily basis can keep you from being
impaired when you get older. Walking or running can help people to relieve
pain in their lower backs. Because most people drive or work in an office, they
have less time for running or walking. Exercising is an important part of
keeping both your back and the rest of your body healthy.

Sitting improperly is one of the leading causes for back pain. Once you
begin having problems in your lower back, sitting improperly will exacerbate
the problem. It is also important to stand up and lay down properly. You may
find that you suffer from pain in your lower back only at certain times, such
as when you sleep or stand for extended periods of time. If this is the case, it
can be easily corrected by practicing good posture.

Sit up

Chairs with gaps at the lower back level are deadly – avoid them. And if
you think you are invulnerable because you have that perfectly ‘ergonomically’
designed chair; know this – most people unconsciously lean forward in such a
way that their lower back moves away from the chair base and thus remains
unsupported.

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Get up and walk around


Sitting anywhere, anyhow, for long periods means that dangerous
pressure points develop along the back. The load on your back is the highest
when you are sitting, less while standing and least when you are sleeping.
The golden rule is to get up and walk around every 15-20 minutes. When on
a long drive, get out of the car, walk around, stretch your limbs after every
two hours. While driving, the back of the car seat should not recline beyond
30 degrees and ideally the seat bottom should be tilted up slightly in front.

It’s not a high


Avoid regular use of high heels – they hamper good posture, ruin your
body’s alignment and hurt the back, feet and neck. Our feet are designed to
bear the entire weight of the body evenly across their surface. However, the
feet and legs are placed in an unnatural position when you wear heels. Most
of the pressure is transferred to the front of the foot.

Stressed Out
The modern-day stress epidemic is another factor since back pain can
be psychosomatic. Stress/emotional problems both cause back pain and
aggravate any existing pain. Yoga and meditation sessions are effective in
such cases.

Weak stomach muscles heighten back strain and cause your pelvis to
twist abnormally. Regular and proper exercise help tremendously since it
keeps joints mobile, muscles conditioned and, more importantly, raises your

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pain threshold.
Doctors receive many back-pain patients who are victims of improperly-
trained gym instructors or half-baked yoga teachers. Suddenly launching into
heavy, unaccustomed activity is a sure recipe for disaster.

Physical Exercise, A Great Ally in Healing Back Pain

Back exercise stretches the lower back muscles to help bring


relief to back pain caused by over-stressed back muscles. Spine rehabilitation
too is done through back exercise. People suffering from back pain are put
through an exercise regimen, as exercise stretches the back and promotes
better blood circulation in the area

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You will hear many people complain of back pain occasionally. About
75% to 85% of the people experience back pain at some point of time in
their life. The most common area of back pain is the lumbar region of the
spine. This is the region that bears most of the body weight. Sudden twisting
and bending can cause injury to the back. Back pain also occurs when the
muscles get stiff because of poor posture. Back exercise stretches the stiff
muscles to provide relief.

Back Exercise Stretches – For Back Pain Relief

Back exercise stretches need to be performed softly. You should


treat your back gently and not subject it to jerky and violent movement.
The exercise routine that you follow should start gently, and gradually built
over a period of a few weeks. You could cause more harm than good, if
you do not follow expert advice in matters of back exercise.

Warm up your body before you embark on the stretching routine.


Exercise stretches the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the area
surrounding the back. The muscles and tendons associated with the spine
are designed for movement. Hence, they need to be stretched every day to
perform optimally. The hamstring muscles are an important factor in back
pain problems. Most people with back pain have stiff hamstring muscles.

Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Now slowly
bend forward and try to touch your toes with your hands without bending
your knees. Your action should be smooth and not jerky. Be careful not to
Erase Back Pain

overdo the stretching part. Stop when you feel pain. This exercise stretches
your hamstring muscles. Your back pain will improve gradually, as you
continue with the exercise. The exercise can also be performed while lying
down.

It is important to perform proper exercises before joining in sports.


Proper exercises start with warm ups. Warm ups include neck, shoulder,
arm, and leg stretches.

How to perform neck stretch exercises

To start neck stretch exercises, you want to stand erect. Lift the head
so that it extends upward. Now, move your head so that it bends slightly
forward. Continue to change directions, bending until your chin rests slightly
on your torso. Balance the head, turning it to the left or right and hold your
position. After a few seconds turn your head so that it rolls to the other side
of your body. Keep the jaw down, hold, and continue stretching the neck up
to five counts.

How to perform shoulder stretches

Again, stand erect. Lift your arms so that they extend above the head.
Clasp the hands, joining them and pulling the hands downward and behind
your head. Hold and repeat the steps five counts.
Next, with your arms behind your back, reach down and hold your
hands at a pointing position. Bring your fingers together at the points while
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one arm is over the shoulder and the other arm is behind the back. Pull in
opposing directions once in position. If the arms are bent, extend the right
arm, bending it back and over the right shoulder and the head. With your
free hand, grab your elbow and hold. Pull the elbow gently toward the free
shoulder, and repeat the steps on the left side.
You can practice the windmill, shoulder shrug, triceps stretches, arm
circles and more to warm up before breaking into a full-speed workout.

How to perform the windmill

The windmill is one of the oldest stretches in the history of workouts,


yet the stretch is often missing in action, since many people do the windmill
incorrectly. To start, stand erect. Your arms should be down at your side.
Once in position, swing upward, the right arm and bring it to the front, up,
and around behind your back so that it forms a circle. Repeat your steps up
to five counts and continue to the other side.

Stretching to Avoid Back Pain

The stretching technique is a great way to avoid back pain, since it


stretches the muscles, joints, bones, etc, thus promoting fluid and blood
flow. Stretch workouts include shoulder shrug, triceps, arm, leg, trunk, torso,
and other stretches. To help you avoid back pain we can perform a few
workouts to help you stretch those muscles.
Starting with the shoulders, stand erect. Rest your hands upon the hips

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and shrug those shoulders. Rotate the shoulders in slow motion and to the
back up to ten counts. Next, perform the same actions; yet rotate the
shoulders in slow motion toward the front.

Working the triceps

Triceps are the extensor muscles, which require stretching to avoid


tension. Stand erect and lift one arm and rest the tips of your fingers on the
shoulder. Use your free hand and push it against the opposite elbow. If
possible, lower the fingers down the length of your back while pushing the
elbow. Count to eight and perform the same actions on the opposite side.
Next, stretch the arms. Form a circle. First, stand erect while keeping
your feet at shoulder length. Level the arms and stretch them outward in
sync with the shoulders. Circle and bring the arms ahead. Count to ten and
perform the same actions on the opposite side. Circle the arms largely as
feasible.
Now work that torso. Stand erect, keep your feet at in alignment with
the shoulders and gradually rotate. Stretch ahead and move your body in
rotation to the opposite side. Extend back and around again to the opposite
side. Continue on each side.

Work that trunk

Stand erect, keep the feet the length of your shoulders and slightly
apart. Bend the knees slightly. Lock the fingers behind the head, and bend

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starting at the waistline, touching your right knee, joining it with the elbow
on the right side. Next, rotate the torso, or trunk, rotating it to the left and
then touch your left knee. Extend backwards after standing erect again.

Once you are standing up, slightly move your feet apart and bend the
knees somewhat. Lift your arms to the height of your shoulders and grip the
hands while turning to the side, starting at the waistline. Hold, count to five
and do the same on the opposite side. Next, keep the hips and legs
motionless as you turn the upper section of your body, only.

Stand erect, while extending the hands down at the sides. Bend the
knees somewhat and gradually lift the arm as far as you can reach over the
head. Slowly, glide the free arm, sliding it down to the leg, and pull the arm
so that it is over the head as high as you can reach. Push down and onto
the thigh, returning to standing position. Continue on the opposite side and
do three reps.

Stand erect, keeping the feet at length with your shoulders. Bend the
elbows at the height of your shoulders. Join your fingertips and gently fling
the arms toward the back, staying consistent with the height of the
shoulders. Continue the action on each side, counting to ten as you move
along.

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Continue

Stand up, and grip your hands, joining them and extending them
behind the back. Lift the hands up and out as high as you can reach. Count
to five and lower. Stand erect and keep the feet at the length of your
shoulders. Bend the knees somewhat and lock your fingers, while raising the
arms to the height of your shoulders. Once in position, push the arms ahead.
Do not lean to the front. Stretch and count to ten. Perform the same actions,
counting to five.
Keep doing these exercises on a daily basis, and very soon, you will
find that your back will feel better, and all the pain and medication will be
outdated.

Swimming and Back Pain Relief

Swimming is considered a beneficial activity in alleviating pain.


Whenever athletes experience an
injury, swimming can be one way to
keep active while avoiding undue
stress on the swimmer’s back.
However, there are instances when
swimming can also result in back
pain and back injuries.

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Back problems and lower back injuries can be caused by certain


swimming strokes. To avoid these incidences, recognizing the following
factors while performing particular strokes may help:

1.) Rotating the head too far up while doing the freestyle can result in neck
and back injuries. Swimmers normally roll their heads upwards to the right
to breathe out of the water on the upstroke of the right arm. It is advisable
rotate the head upwards only within the axis of the body, and keeping the
head down the rest of the time when not going up for air.

2.) If not conditioned properly, the anterior neck muscles become subject to
stress while doing the backstroke. This stroke is one that has to be
performed gradually to avoid excessive muscle strain.

3.) Flip-turning can have an adverse effect on the neck and back muscles if
the head is overextended from the body and not tucked in.

4.) While doing the breaststroke, the head and neck is held still, with only a
minimal head raise to take in air.

If constant back pain signals the need to cease all swimming activities
consult a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis. Continuing to swim despite
the pain is a detriment to healing and will only make the condition become
worse. The resulting severe pain may even require surgery to correct any
back irregularities.

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In general, swimming is a beneficial activity that may alleviate


symptoms of back pain. It is not unduly stressful nor does it involve motions
that weigh heavily on the back. In fact, it is a preferable exercise option for
people who want to avoid neck or back strain, or aggravate any symptoms
of other ailments they may have. It is advised, however, to take lessons in
the proper safety measures and swimming techniques to refrain from
repetitive or awkward movements that may lead to back injury.

Yoga for Back Pain Relief

The back is a well-designed body part that is made up of bones,


muscles, nerves, and soft body tissues. It is a very important part of the
human body because the bones of the back act as a supporting frame for
the back and the whole body. The back muscles work with abdominal
muscles to keep the body upright and mobile.

However, because of the stress of everyday life, many individuals tend


to overwork or overuse their back muscles, which then leads to back pain.
This condition may hamper performance and affect every day.

Common symptoms of back pain may include spasms, stiffness, pain,


numbness, and sometimes pain in the leg area and depends on the cause of
pain and its severity. Back pain is one the most frequent health complaints
that are received by doctors in the United States. However, individuals
experiencing back pain should not despair because of the availability of many
methods and medication that may give back pain relief. One of the most
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popular alternative back pain treatments is the ancient Indian meditative


exercise called yoga.

Not long ago, the primary treatment for chronic back pain was
sufficient rest and the use of painkillers. Nowadays, doctors are encouraging
their patients to manage pain and illness by engaging in activities like yoga.
Many medical researchers suggest that yoga is one of the most effective
treatments for body pain.

Yoga has gone from a spiritual discipline practiced by many in the Far
East into a mainstream exercise routine that is taught in many fitness gyms
around the world. Other than back pain relief, many medical researchers also
show that yoga helps strengthen one’s bones and muscles, reduce stress,
and promotes moments of relaxation. Yoga works by building strength,
improving flexibility, and reducing joint and muscle pain.

If you have lower back pain, you may find it harder to perform
everyday tasks that involve lifting, bending, reaching or merely walking.

Over time, allowing back pain symptoms to worsen may lead to serious
problems, including chronic aches, immobility or disability.

To stretch out your lower back, try doing these effective Dahn Yoga
exercises:
Step 1: Stand straight, then bend forward slightly at the waist. Reach

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back with both hands and pat your kidneys 20 to 30 times.


Step 2: By using the palms of your hands sweep down your lower back
a couple of times. Keep going down to your legs.
Step 3: Bending over further, with your open palms firmly pat the
backs of your legs, beginning with your hamstrings and moving over the
backs of your knees and all the way down to your ankles.
Step 4: Pat the tops of your feet, and then slowly move up the front
of your legs, patting your thighs and hips.
Step 5: Repeat. This time, concentrate on the insides and outsides of
your legs. This exercise will be a good stretch your lower back.

However, not all forms of yoga can be used for back pain relief. When
the back is injured or hurting, slow-paced and gentle stretches and poses
should be practiced. Some yoga poses and stretches may aggravate back
pain and lead to serious injuries. A type of yoga called Viniyoga gives
emphasis on precise deep breathing and slow stretches. Another type of
yoga called Iyengar yoga, focuses on accurate bodily alignment. Students of
this practice use different props like straps, blocks, blankets, and many more.
This type of yoga works best with individuals who have little mobility and
need some support.

Individuals who want to engage in physical activities like yoga should


consult doctors and other health professionals before taking classes. Certain
injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may prevent some individuals from
practicing yoga postures and positions. Furthermore, yoga should be

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practiced with care and precaution. Some people have reported injuries that
were acquired by executing yoga postures without focus, or by attempting
difficult positions without working on them gradually or by not having proper
supervision. Oftentimes, beginners complain of muscle soreness and fatigue
after engaging in yoga. These effects may disappear with continuous
practice. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the body and improve overall
health.

Natural Remedies for Back Pain Relief

Back pain has become a real problem of the current society. Whether
you perform too much physical effort, you spend too much time at the office,
you have an intense activity or you drive way too many hours a day, back
pain is inevitable. There are a couple of things you can do to ease the heavy
burden of this pain.

Alternate ice with heat

Ice makes wonders when it comes to temporarily block the pain and
reduce the swelling. Just prepare yourself an ice pack, wrap it in a towel and
place it on the painful area for at least 20 minutes. Do this several times a
day. 48 hours later switch to moist heat to reverse the process and activate
the blood flow and get rid of the horrible, painful spasms. After dipping the
towel in hot water, squeeze it so you don't get wet and place it on the painful
area, covering it with plastic wrap. On top of the towel comes a heating pad

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that you set on medium at then all you have to do is to relax and wait for
the results to happen. 20 minutes should do the job and if you have the
time, you can repeat the process three or four times a day, for several days
in a row.

Mind your posture

I know you're extremely comfortable sitting in a wrong angle or


excessively curving your back when working on your computer. Stop doing
that and stand straight, trying to balance your weight on your both feet. The
catch here is to find your comfortable and least stressful position by
concentrating on an area at a time: on the area near the waist, the chest
area and then the neck and shoulders.

Good morning

So, you open your eyes and think about getting out of bed. Stop there!
Before doing that, lie on your back and stretch your arms by reaching the
headboard behind you and then bring your knees to your chest. Then the
fun thing comes when you roll to the edge of your comfy bed and you turn
to one side, supporting your weight with one hand, as you push your body
up and place your feet on the floor. Stand up and position your hands on
your buttocks, leaning back extremely gentle and performing a quick stretch.

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Massage it the right way

Here's a funny but effective way of getting a good massage: get a long
sock and several tennis balls. Insert the balls into the sock and tie the end
of it. The nice part is when you ask your partner to massage your aching
area with this new useful invention.

Water therapy

This allows someone with a back injury or severe back pain to exercise
in a way that makes the physical effort much less. Although you will do very
similar exercises to what you’d do out of the water, the buoyancy sports your
weight, making it easier to do the workout. As well, warm water therapies
are a good method of reducing pain and relaxing the muscles.

Exercise

Tai Chi or yoga are two excellent exercises for back pain. The
stretching aspect of yoga lessens the tension on the muscles, increases blood
flow and promotes healing. Tai Chi is similar in that it too promotes healing
and prevention of back pain by the use of gentle movement and non-impact
exercises. It teaches you how to improve your posture and balance. Tai Chi
also helps to build muscle strength and balance.

Supplements

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Supplements are used to rebuild bone and cartilage, reduce pain and
inflammation as well as relax muscles. They are divided into two groups. The
first ones build strength and the second relieves pain. When deciding to use
nutritional supplements it is best to first discuss it with your doctor. Make
certain that your back problem is not caused by something more serious that
requires medical intervention. Then your doctor can help you determine the
correct dosages of the supplements.

Going the natural way

*Pepper is the solution. The drugstores provide an incredible offer of


products containing capsaicin, which is the substance in hot peppers that
produces heat.

When it comes in contact with the skin, this heat-producing substance


unloads the nerve endings of a neurochemical, which is known as substance
P. This substance is responsible for the pain sensation you feel in your brain,
so the less substance P in circulation, the less pain you feel. Ask the
pharmacist for an effective cream that contains capsaicin and use it for
several weeks to feel its effect.
*Take 500 milligrams of bromelain three or four times a day. This
enzyme is found in pineapples and is a great ally for the circulation. The
concentration that works best is somewhere between 1,200 and 2,400 MCU
(milk clotting units) or 720 and 1,440 GDU (gelatin dissolving units). Take

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the bromelain at least one hour after you eat; otherwise, it won't do the
work for your muscles but your gut.

*Valerian is also effective, being known for its sedating effect. No


worries, because this herb is way much milder than any other pharmaceutical
product on the market. So, you can try treating your back pain by taking one
capsule of valerian (250 milligrams) four times a day.

*Some useful strength builders are Glucosamine sulfate, calcium,


magnesium, and vitamins C and D. All of these will help to build bone and
cartilage. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B, assists with the healing of
cartilage and like white willow bark, Boswellia, Bromelain, and turmeric are
also anti-inflammatories. Devils' claw diminishes muscle pain, is an anti-
inflammatory and will enhance the effects of regular pain medications, and
S-Adenosylmethionine strengthens the muscles.

With so many options, you just need to decide which combination


works best for you. Also, work on good posture. Hold yourself straight; keep
your shoulders back and your head up. Don’t lead too much to sedentary a
lifestyle or you’ll find yourself inflicted with aches and pains. Adopt regular
sleeping hours and make sure that you have enough rest every day.

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The Heat is On for Natural Back Pain Relief

Natural pain relief comes in many forms. Some of it are acupuncture,


relaxation techniques, hypnosis, massage, reflexology, chiropractic
manipulations and a lot more.

These methods are quite popular nowadays as they have proven to be


effective and have fewer side effects compared to medicines with chemicals
and other unknown artificial ingredients.

Some of the most widely known natural and herbal remedies for pain
relief include varying dosages and combinations of Devil’s Claw, Willow Bark,
the ayurvedic compound Boswellia, Chamomile, Bromelain, St. John’s Wort,
Horsetail, and numerous other plant-based cures. While these herbs and
alternative natural substances may have indeed possessed some therapeutic
anti-inflammatory and pain relief qualities, they could not kill the pain
sufficiently enough on their own.

A recent research was done by the VA Medical Center at the Lovelace


Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, regarding one kind of a natural
back pain relief that can supposedly improve muscle flexibility. The research
acknowledged that heat therapy application could help relieve pain from the
muscle spasm and related tightness in the lower back. Many episodes of
lower back pain result from strains and over-exertions, creating tension in

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the muscles and soft tissues around the lower spine. As a result, this restricts
proper circulation and sends pain signals to the brain.
Muscle spasm in the lower back can create sensations that may range
from mild discomfort to excruciating lower back pain. Heat therapy facilitates
stretching the soft tissues around the spine, including muscles, connective
tissue, and adhesions. Consequently, with heat therapy, there will be a
decrease in stiffness as well as injury, with an increase in flexibility and
overall feeling of comfort.

Flexibility is very important for a healthy back. Heat therapy dilates the
blood vessels of the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine. This process
increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal
the damaged tissue.
Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means
that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain
signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort. There are several
other significant benefits of this kind of natural back pain relief that make it
so appealing. Compared to most therapies, heat treatment is quite
inexpensive, and in many circumstances, it’s free such as taking a hot bath.
Heat therapy is also easy to do. It can be done at home while relaxing, and
portable heat wraps also make it an option while at work or in the car.
Although heat therapy is commonly administered with hot packs and
hydrotherapy, ultrasound is also considered a form of heat therapy. Hot
packs heat up affected body parts by the process of conduction,
hydrotherapy heats by convection, and ultrasound heats tissues as the result

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of the transduction of sound waves to heat. Radiant heat, short-wave


diathermy, and paraffin baths are also used on occasion to heat up
troublesome body regions.

For many people, especially among athletes, this natural back pain
relief works best when combined with other treatment methods, such as
physical therapy and exercise. About most medical treatments available,
heat therapy is appealing to many people as it is a non-invasive and non-
pharmaceutical form of lower back pain relief.

Back Pain Natural Supplement Treatments

In general, there are two types of pain. Acute pain is one that lasts for
as little as a few seconds to as long as a few weeks. It generally signals that
your body has suffered some sort of injury or infection. Chronic pain lasts
longer and may continue even after the original injury healed. There are
many ways to relieve pain, including medications, natural remedies, and
lifestyle changes. Be aware that pain may not be controlled even if you follow
all of these recommendations. It is important to have reasonable
expectations for pain management.

There are some different ways you can treat your back pain naturally:
vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrition, and homeopathy medicine.
Some will help heal your back pain, and others are dangerous, so it’s
best to consult with a physician or nurse practitioner before taking anything
and never, ever exceed recommended dosages.

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The FDA has no control over natural supplements, so it does not


recommend them.
Since supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied
by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not
been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

That doesn’t mean, though, that all supplements are bad. Some
medications turn out to be unsafe, too, despite rigorous trials and testing.
The bottom line is to research every product you consider taking and make
sure you get supplements from a reputable source, like a health food store.

Everybody’s chemistry is different and reacts differently, so if you are


considering taking a supplement equivalent to a pharmaceutical one, you
may still experience some side effects.

Listed below are some natural supplement treatments that have been
publicized to help alleviate back pain. When dosages are listed, you should
know that if you are particularly thin or heavy, you should consult an expert
before taking the supplement.

And remember, natural supplements will not relieve pain immediately,


but have to be taken for weeks or sometimes even months before you see
results.

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Vitamins and Minerals

VITAMIN E - 400 IU daily; anti-inflammatory VITAMIN C-250-500mg twice


daily
ZINC - 30 mg twice daily; anti-inflammatory CALCIUM-600mg daily;
strengthens bones
BORON: 1-3 mg daily with food; helps the body absorb calcium and
magnesium MAGNESIUM- 250 mg daily; strengthens bones and relaxes
muscles
COPPER: 2 mg daily
GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE: 500 mg. three times daily. Can rebuild cartilage
in joints and has been studied by the American College of Rheumatology as
an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
NIACINAMIDE: 500 mg three times daily; anti-inflammatory and heals
damaged cartilage. Can cause liver damage and aggravate diabetes, low
blood pressure, ulcers, and glaucoma, so have a doctor monitor you if you
take this supplement.

Herbs

Herbal supplements can be found in capsule or powder form, or as


teas. If you are making your herbal tea, use one tsp. of herb per cup of hot
water. Cover mixture and steep for 5-10 minutes, or 10-20 if you are using
roots. You can safely drink 3-6 cups of tea daily.

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Though not rigorously tested, some people report that they may help.
In case you are pregnant, do not use herbal remedies without previously
consulting your doctor.
• Ginger reduces inflammation.
• Feverfew alleviates headaches, stomachaches, and toothaches.
• Turmeric is excellent for reducing inflammation, treating arthritis, and
calming heartburn.
• Devil’s claw is recommended for treating arthritis or back pain. Avoid
taking them if you have gallstones, stomach ulcers, or intestinal ulcers.

Muscle Relaxants

KAVA KAVA: Recognized by some doctors as a safe alternative to Xanax


and Valium.
BLACK HAW: relieves muscle spasms and is similar to aspirin
VALERIAN ROOT: Widely researched and documented as a sleep aid,
valerian has been given a number 1 rating for safety by The American Herbal
Products Association.
WILD YAM: Long used to treat menstrual cramps; generally taken as a tea.
JAMAICA DOGWOOD: Used to treat muscle inflammation and spasms;
little research has been done on it and excessive amounts can be toxic. Do
not use with sedatives.

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Anti-inflammatories

BROMELAIN: 500 mg three times daily


BOSWELLIN: 150 mg three times daily. Has been proven in clinical trials to
help alleviate low back pain
CURCUMIN: 400-600 mg three times daily; sometimes mixed with ginger,
curcumin has not been studied in clinical trials, but herbalists use it as an
anti-inflammatory.
MSM: Has not been researched, but herbalists use it as an anti-
inflammatory.
ST. JOHN’S WORT: 300-500 mg capsule three times daily; interacts with a
wide variety of medications and should only be taken under the advisement
of an herbal specialist.

Pain Relief

WHITE WILLOW BARK: effects are similar to taking aspirin


DEVIL’S CLAW: 400 mg three times daily. Used to treat arthritis, research
shows devil’s claw may boost the effectiveness of conventional drugs.
Homeopathy is a practice of medicine that has been around for about 200
years. It is based on what is called the Law of Similars and works on the
same principle as do immunizations: give someone a small dose of what
would make them sick to cure their sickness.

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Here are some natural homeopathic remedies that are helpful in


alleviating back pain:
AESCULUS: used for dull, nagging pain
ARNICA MONTANA: used in cases of trauma to the back
COLOCYNTHIS: used for weakness and muscle cramps in the lower back
GNAPHALIUM: used to treat sciatica, which is often associated with back
pain
LYCOPODIUM: used to treat burning pain
RHUS TOXICODENDRON: used for lower back stiffness and pain.

To Your Health!

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