If you experience back pain, you are aware of how terrible it can make you feel. Chronic back pain can prevent you from working or engaging in your favorite activities, whether it takes the form of low back pain or spasms that don't go away, a sore neck, or leg discomfort from your sciatic nerve.
Back pain, regrettably, is extremely frequent. Eight out of ten persons have back discomfort at some point in their lives. Particularly low back pain is the biggest cause of disability worldwide, accounting for 2.6 million trips to the emergency room each year.
In spite of a wealth of recent information on how to treat back pain, too many patients continue to undergo needless and frequently excessive care.
Patients frequently receive advice to take time off to rest, referrals for scans and surgery, and prescriptions for painkillers, including opioids, instead of being encouraged to keep working and staying active, which has been proven to be useful.
Fortunately, there are a multitude of non-surgical approaches to treating back pain, many of which are simple, inexpensive, and do not require a prescription from a physician.
Try these 10 tips to relieve back pain without surgery
#1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Strengthening your back requires stretching, rest, and other factors. For instance, diet is a major component of back health, and certain foods are particularly beneficial in helping you feel limber and experiencing less or no pain.
The anti-inflammatory properties of kale, spinach, and broccoli make them some of the top choices for a back pain-fighting diet. Furthermore, avocados, nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, pecans, and Brazil nuts, et al.), lean proteins like chicken and turkey, beans, and cocoa are also excellent anti-pain foods.
#2. Get enough calcium (but not too much)
Osteoporotic fractures are painful and often crippling, but maintaining ideal calcium levels can help prevent them.
Plus, consulting with a professional spine specialist can assist you if you're suffering from back or osteoporosis pain.
Further, many with a calcium deficiency could also benefit from a boost of vitamin D3, as lower levels of this key vitamin can cause or worsen neck and back pain, and may lead to muscle spasms, as well.
It’s worth noting that calcium is best obtained by eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, but you may need to take a calcium supplement as well to ensure adequate levels.
Nevertheless, it's wise to remember that excess calcium can lead to a kidney condition called nephrolithiasis, in which calcium stones form in the kidneys.
#3. Achieve a healthy weight
Overweight and obesity can place extra strain on the back and joints, causing pain, soreness, and aches throughout the body.
Consequently, achieving a healthy weight or weight loss can ease or prevent back issues, as well as reduce stress on other joints.
Plus, your back can benefit greatly from losing a few pounds––with your spine being relieved of 16 pounds of pressure for every four pounds you lose.
#4. Consider acupuncture
As a traditional Chinese therapy, acupuncture is based on an understanding of the body's energetics.
The treatment involves inserting needles through the skin and at various pressure points on the body. No pain, harm, or discomfort should be caused by needles.
Back pain can be treated with acupuncture by concentrating on a number of the body’s meridian points.
The following acupuncture sites can be used to relieve lower back pain:
- back of the knees points
- foot points
- lower back points
- hand points
- hip points
- stomach points
#5. Ask your doctor about biofeedback
Biofeedback may relieve the discomfort of conditions such as low back pain, abdominal pain, TMJ disorders, and fibromyalgia by helping you identify and relax tight muscles.
Many conditions can be treated with biofeedback, but it is primarily used to treat high blood pressure, tension headaches, migraine headaches, chronic pain, and urinary incontinence.
The practitioner measures the functions of your body during a biofeedback session. As the practitioner observes the instrument feedback, he or she suggests ways to create physiologic changes.
With education and practice, you can learn to make those bodily changes without equipment.
#6. Practice mindfulness
People suffering from chronic back pain can benefit from mindfulness-based therapy. Mindfulness may offer longer-lasting pain management skills than other treatment methods like cognitive behavioral therapy or traditional medical care.
People can focus their minds and bodies on the present without judgment by practicing mindfulness exercises. The practice of mindfulness on a daily basis can be beneficial for people suffering from chronic pain because sometimes they think negatively or worry about what is going on.
It is normal to think these thoughts, and they can affect mood and increase pain, but you can offset the effects by maintaining your meditative practices.
#7. Skip the stilettos
A high heel puts the foot at an angle and pulls the muscles and joints out of alignment, affecting the entire body. People who spend a lot of time in high heels tend to experience low back, neck, and shoulder pain. The reason for this is that high-heeled shoes disrupt the body's natural alignment and form.
A high heel can alter the natural alignment of your spine due to the way it is constructed. As a result of frequent alignment disruptions, the discs, joints, and ligaments of your back are subjected to uneven wear and tear, increasing the probability of lower back pain.
So, skip the heels sometimes and swap in flats or sneakers instead to give your feet and back a break.
#8. Practice yoga
When you are suffering from low back pain, yoga can be especially helpful for the muscles that support your spine. This includes the paraspinal muscles that help you bend your spine, the multifidus muscles that stabilize your vertebrae, and the transverse abdominis, which also stabilizes your spine.
Those suffering from back pain or neck pain may find Iyengar yoga beneficial because of this close attention to detail and the modifications that are made to poses.
#9. Get moving
Even though exercise programs may not entirely eliminate back pain, they may reduce its severity and improve your fitness and mobility. Exercise can also reduce recurring back pain attacks by almost half if done regularly.
Particularly, depending on the cause of your back pain, it may be a symptom of an inflammatory form of arthritis. This kind of back pain doesn't go away on its own, so walking, stretching and moving more often will help you to feel much better in the short and long run.
#10. Stop smoking
The incidence of chronic back pain among smokers is three hundred times greater than that of those who abstain. In other words, just stopping smoking may also help people get relief from their pain, regardless of whether they have surgery.
Additionally, smoking may reduce the flow of nutrients to joints and muscles and damage tissue in the lower back and elsewhere in the body. Another great reason to give up the dud habit in the new year to boost back and overall well being.
Chronic aches and pains can negatively impact every area of our lives.
As a result, discovering effective methods to restore back strength and eliminate soreness is an essential tool for individuals to add back-soothing components to their self-care plans––even augmenting your meal plan by including nutrient-rich foods to boost your back health.
There are several ways to reduce back pain and increase mobility to achieve optimal quality of life by modifying your diet and lifestyle habits. Make simple, long-lasting changes and you'll find the compounding effects will work in your favor over time.
- Treat low back pain with acupressure. (2006). BMJ, 332(7543). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7543.0
- Subhadra, K. T. (2020). Medicinal and placebo effects of homeopathic remedies: A comparative study of patients with somatoform low back pain and patients with pathological low back pain. HRI London 2019—Cutting Edge Research in Homeopathy: Presentation Abstracts. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1702132
- &NA; (1993). Treating spinal stenosis without surgery. The Back Letter, 8(2), 1. https://doi.org/10.1097/00130561-199308020-00001