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Dump the Drugs: Prevent and Heal Back Pain Naturally

By on May 20, 2013

Back pain is second only to headaches as the most common neurological disorder in America.  Conventional ways to ease back pain include rest, medication, injections and even surgery. Pain medication masks the underlying issues, has side effects and does not promote healing while surgery and injections carry with them great risks. Before you start popping the pinks or sign up to go under the knife, consider the many natural ways that can reduce and prevent back pain.

The back is an elegant strong and flexible anatomical structure. According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 80% of Americans experience pain in their back at some point. According to Dr. At Brownstein, author of Healing Back Pain Naturally, back discomfort is extremely painful due to how close the back is to the spinal cord.

Sometimes it is hard to think rationally when we are in so much pain, but it is important to realize that conventional treatments can cause irreversible damage and only mask symptoms. Here are some ways to heal and prevent back pain naturally that offer an alternative to other invasive or dangerous therapies.

Improve Your Posture

Although it may seem way too easy, it works. Paying attention to posture can prevent back pain and injury. According to Esther Gokhale, a licensed acupuncturist, poor posture causes misalignment, which leads to pain. Many Americans are extremely sedentary, sitting at desks that are not ergonomically made for hours on end, sitting in the car and sitting on the couch. There are numerous opportunities for poor posture to set in. All the slouching that we do puts a kink in our spines. High heels, large backpacks, purses and other accessories push hips and the lower back out of alignment, which contributes, to chronic pain and inflammation.

Gokhale’s approach to posture as a preventative and healing tool for back pain is gaining much attention both within the alternative and conventional medical communities. Gokhale observed people and posture in over a dozen countries including Thailand, Ecuador and India. She watched how they carried themselves, in what she calls an erect, almost regal manner, no matter what they were doing. On the other hand, Americans tend to slouch which creates stiff necks, back pain and even paresthesia of the arms and legs.

Historically, Gokhale feels that problems with slouching began after World War I when styles of clothing became less pretentious, and furniture was more rounded rather than erect. We have become very comfortable with collapsing our body and curving our spine. Today, laptops, video games and other handheld devices don’t encourage good posture. Spending too much time looking down instead of slightly up and straight ahead compromises the natural line of the spine.

To sit correctly, flatten the middle of your back and push gently on the bottom of your ribs. Align your shoulders, roll them up and back and straighten your neck. To stand correctly, flatten your spine as in sitting,  and be sure that all of your weight is evenly distributed on both legs. Keep your weight on your heels and keep your knees soft, this will help you avoid a sway in your back.

Herbal Treatments

Herbs are the oldest form of medicine known to mankind. While not entirely accepted in America, more and more practitioners are coming to understand their value as part of a holistic treatment and prevention plan.

If your back discomfort is the result of overuse, a tea made from cramp bark (Viburnum Opulus) will help induce relaxation and healing. Boil a cup of water and add a teaspoon of cramp bark in. Let it set for ten minutes and drink a cup three times each day for best results.

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a potent herb, which is known for its ability to reduce stress, by blocking stress signals between the body and the brain. If your pain is the result of stress, try valerian root in capsule or tablet form.

Devils claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is native to Africa and has been traditionally used to treat fever, pain, kidney problems and malaria. It has also been used as an ingredient in topical ointments to heal boils, sores and other skin conditions. Research demonstrates that African claw has the capability to reduce pain just as well as prescription medicine and without adverse side effects. The active ingredient in the herb, harpagoside, reduces the inflammation that leads to pain.

Tips for a Healthy Back

Besides working on excellent posture and using some safe and effective herbal treatments when pain strikes, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Invest in a good medium-firm mattress
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Stay active
  • Wear good shoes without a high heel
  • Stretch daily
  • Don’t smoke

Resources: www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68

www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/devils-claw-000237.htm

About The Author: Health Cracker!

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One Comment

  1. alan

    July 31, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Back Pain for most people is from muscular strain. Most back pain shows up two or three days after straining the muscles.By then most people don’t relate the incident to the resulting pain, so they crawl to the doctor. The doctor must ethically go through the gamut of tests.

    Chiropractors make thousands “treating” back pain that will usually go away in a few days anyway as the muscle recovers.

    I,m a veteran of back pain and when I finally realized that my atrophied back muscles were suffering every time I picked up something unusual, I headed to the gym. A strong back and small ,tight abdomen…and finally,goodbye back pain.

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