Back pain takes the lead among common chronic conditions. With any
number of factors—including injury, illness, and inactivity—it is best to first
identify the source of your back pain in order to find effective treatment.
Whether you choose a regimen of alternative remedies or a more conventional
approach, the ultimate goal is to reduce back pain while improving your overall
quality of life.
If you frequently find yourself waking in the morning to a sore back,
you may want to examine your sleep habits.
Your preferred sleep position may be causing more harm than good. Poor habits—and
unwanted pain—can be alleviated by placing a pillow between your knees.
Too many or not enough pillows can put strain on your neck, because this takes
your spine out of alignment.
Before rushing off to the shower, consider a few moments of deep-breathing and
stretching in bed. When you’re ready to rise, you want to do so gently. Roll to
your side, bending hips and knees, and use both hands to push your body into a
Healthy diet is important for a healthy back. Hand-in-hand with proper
nutrition is maintaining a healthy weight, which puts less stress on your
joints and back. According to the National
Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, most adults are
not getting enough calcium and vitamin D, both of which maintain
strong bones. A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, as well as fruits, vegetables,
and whole grains, energizes your body and powers your muscles. Drinking
plenty of water helps reduce inflammation—the culprit of many conditions for
Sticking to a regular exercise routine is a good way to strengthen your
core. But be careful; rigorous, high-impact exercise may aggravate back pain if
you have not trained to handle such high-impact workouts.
- Take a
walk. Exercise that gets your heart pumping is good. Aim for about 30
minutes—at least three times a week—of gentle aerobic exercise like brisk
walking, jogging, or swimming.
gentle stretches. Although it may take some time, if you maintain a regular
routine, the benefits of stretching will help improve the extension of muscles
and soft tissues in your back and reduce stiffness and pain.
- Go in the
water. Aquatic therapy is a low-impact activity that helps ease back pain.
The natural resistance from the water promotes muscle strength and reduces
pressure on your bones and joints. Even if you’re not swimming, you can walk in
waist-high water or perform arm and leg exercises against the resistance of the
the mind to help treat illness is at the core of healing approaches like traditional Chinese medicine (based on
restoring the flow of energy and imbalances of yin and yang) and Ayurvedic medicine (which focuses on
combining the body, mind, and spirit to prevent and treat disease). Mind-body techniques include:
benefits of mediation are many—focused attention, increased calmness, coping
with illness, and an overall improvement of well-being.
- Yoga: Focusing
on body awareness and conscious breath work can relieve tension and is
beneficial in providing back pain relief.
technique involves penetrating the
skin with needles, hand manipulation, and/or electrical stimulation. Acupuncture
is among the oldest healing practices in the world.
- Tai Chi: This
gentle exercise is effective in reducing back pain; the slow movements provide
exercise while minimizing strain on the back.