One of the most common reasons people visit the doctor is to pinpoint the source of their back pain. From overuse to injured muscles, many factors contribute to acute and chronic back issues. With four out of five people in the United States experiencing lower back pain at least once in their lifetime, it’s no wonder home remedies for back pain are a popular method for alleviating symptoms.
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Causes and Symptoms
The back is comprised of an elaborate collection of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and disks. When any one of these components become disrupted, back pain is the result. The most common causes of back pain include strains from improper or heavy lifting, injury, muscle spasms, ruptured disks, obesity, arthritis, crooked spine (scoliosis), osteoporosis (brittle bones), and sciatica, which causes pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg .
Common symptoms of back pain include:
• Persistent aching or stiffness affecting any location along your spine – from the base of the neck to the hips.
• Pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks, and travels to the back of the thighs, the calf and toes.
• Chronic aching in the middle or lower back.
• Intensified pain after sitting or standing for extended periods of time.
• Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back
• Severe muscle spasms in the lower back that makes standing straight difficult.
• Pain in the back that comes after lifting heavy objects or strenuous activity.
Back Pain Home Remedies
While home remedies for back pain can ease discomfort and mild symptoms, it’s important to know when to seek medical assistance. If you face difficulty breathing, attacks that last more than three days, chronic pain lasting more than two weeks, and/or back pain that affects your knee and foot, consider making an appointment with your doctor. For all other symptoms, consider the following back pain home remedies:
a) Cayenne Pepper:
With the power of a natural pain reliever, add cayenne pepper or red pepper to food and drinks to take advantage of the chemical called capsaicin.
Reduce swelling and strained back muscles with an ice pack applied to affected areas. Massage for 10 minutes – every three hours. Repeat the treatment for two to three days to achieve the best results.
c) Vitamin C:
Increase your consumption of foods with vitamin C, like citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits.
d) Bend at the Knees:
No matter how many times you’re told, chances are you’ve forgotten (at least once) to bend your knees before lifting a heavy box or other object. Bending at the knees prevents tension in your lower back and lessens your chances of suffering damage to the spine and back muscles.
e) Garlic Cloves:
To treat backaches, eat two to three garlic cloves at the start of each day.
f) Skip the Couch:
When you’re suffering back pain, skip sitting on a couch and choose a firm chair that provides ample support. Use a pillow for extra cushioning, which helps keep your waist and lower back in a less-irritating position.
Stretching a sore back can actually jumpstart and encourage the healing process. For example, treat lower back pain by gently bringing your knees up from the bed and to your chest. Once in position, apply a bit of pressure on the knees. Stretch, and then relax. Repeat as needed.
h) Shed Extra Pounds:
Carrying around excess weight can increase the stress of soft tissues located in your back. Implement a healthy diet and increase daily exercise to lessen back pain associated with obesity.
“Mix table salt with fresh lemon juice for a healing drink that supposedly has a positive effect on achy backs..or so I’ve heard.”