At any given time, about 31 million Americans experience lower back pain.
Anyone who has suffered from chronic back pain knows how challenging it can be to find relief. Medication can sometimes help, but it only masks the problem. To reduce back pain, you need easy, holistic solutions you can practice in the long term.
Thankfully, there are plenty of quick ways to get relief without using medication. Here are 5 methods you should try:
Simple stretching can go a long way to relieve back pain. Sometimes, forward and backward stretching is all you need. But there are other types of stretches that can target your specific pain areas.
Hamstring stretches, a common stretch for runners, are effective at targeting your lower back. You can also relieve pain with cat/camel back stretches by getting on all fours an arching your back, then taking the opposite position by curving your back. Move slowly between each position and hold them for 2-3 seconds.
Many yoga positions, like child's pose, are also helpful for relieving back pain.
Leading a sedentary life can contribute to muscle stiffness and poor circulation. By incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you'll increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension.
Many people aren't comfortable with rigorous exercise. But walking is an easy activity that can help you relieve back pain. Go for a one-mile walk around your neighborhood, on a walking trail, or on a local track.
Regular walking has numerous other benefits. For example, it can reduce the risk of stroke and lower your risk of death by up to 39%.
Back pain and stiffness are common symptoms of stress. That's because stress hormones are tasked with contracting muscles in the body to make it more resilient to attack.
You can practice common stress-relief techniques to relieve back pain as needed and ease pain in the long term. Here are a few techniques you should try:
Stress may be unavoidable. But remember, there are always things you can do to prevent it. Sometimes just writing down what is making you stressed can help you manage it.
Some people enjoy the feeling of cold on a painful area, but cold is primarily used to reduce swelling around injuries.
Applying heat to your back pain can increase blood flow and circulation. It will loosen your muscles and decrease the stiffness that so often causes back pain.
If you have very severe back pain, yoga may not be helpful. But for people with chronic backaches, doing yoga regularly does wonders for your pain levels.
Lengthening your spine and stretching your muscles can help to increase circulation and break up tension. Over time, the practice can even strengthen your muscles, so you don't experience pain as often.
If you're interested in learning more about how to reduce back pain with yoga, find out more here.