|Posted on April 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM|
#TotalSpineTuesdays @DrBouharevich Millions of people suffer from Low Back Pain. The Medical approach focuses on addressing the anatomical problems of the low back. For best results, try a well rounded approach. Check out my website blog at www.JointCare.ca for some overlooked remedies for lower back pain relief.
Release your endorphins
Endorphins, hormones made naturally in the body. When endorphins are released in the body, they help block pain signals from registering with the brain. They also help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all conditions that are often associated with chronic back pain.
Try the following activities to release these feel-good messengers:
◦ Aerobic exercise
◦ Chiropractic adjustments
◦ Massage therapy
◦ Deep breathing
◦ Laughing and smiling
◦ Eating dark chocolate
◦ Listening to music you love
◦ Being social
Get restorative sleep
Approximately 2/3 of patients with chronic back pain suffer from sleep disorders. Paradoxically, inadequate sleep can make back pain worse. This vicious cycle makes it ineffective to treat just one of the problems. Both the sleep problems and the chronic pain need to be treated.
There are many options for treating sleep problems that accompany chronic lower back pain:
◦ The California Poppy Seed (Consult your doctor before taking)
◦ Melatonin (Consult your doctor before taking)
◦ Relaxation techniques
◦ Psychological techniques
◦ Cutting back on caffeine
◦ Eating the correct foods
◦ Getting the right amount of exercise
◦ Writing your worries down
Often, a combination of approaches will work best.
Exercise your core
The muscles in your abs and back play a critical role in supporting the lower lumbar spine. These muscles don't get a good workout in most people's normal day. When exercising, many people ignore their back and focus on the front of their bodies. This leads to overdoing their abdominal exercises which can lead to back pain and strain. Download an application or two for some simple and short abdominal and back exercises.
Soothe the pain with temperature
Don't underestimate the impact of regularly applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce lower back pain and help the healing process.
Cold application has two primary benefits:
- It reduces inflammation, which usually occurs with back pain.
- It acts as a local anesthetic by slowing down nerve impulses, which keeps the nerves from spasming and causing pain.
Heat application has two primary benefits:
- It stimulates blood flow, which brings healing nutrients to the affected area of the low back.
- It inhibits the pain messages being sent to the brain.
Heat can come in many forms, and it's best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a hot bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or wrap that provides continuous, low level heat are all ways to bring healing warmth to your lower back.
Ask your doctor for what method might be best for your particular issue.
Stretch your hamstrings twice daily
One of the easiest things you can do to help alleviate lower back pain is to gently stretch your hamstrings. Tight hamstrings place additional stress across the lower back and sacroiliac joint, leading to more pain. Hamstring stretching should be done at least twice per day. There are many gentle stretching exercises that should not hurt (ask your Doctor or download an application).
Engage your brain
Pain specialists have long understood that pain is more complicated than just a sensation. The way the brain interprets and processes the pain signals plays an important role in how people perceive their pain.
The good news is that you can develop skills for your brain to reduce or ignore the pain signals. Developing expertise in these skills can go a long way to help you have more influence over the pain.
Chronic pain can be devastating to your life, affecting your relationships, finances, and/or productivity at work and at home. It can also interrupt your sleep and destabilize your mood. Because many other problems commonly occur along with chronic lower back pain, anything you can do for yourself that is a natural anti-depressant will help.