Back pain is one of the most common reasons that keep us off our feet and stop us from enjoying our daily lives and activities. Just imagine, a simple activity like playing with your children can send you rolling back to bed due to extreme pain.
Ranging from an aching muscle to burning and stabbing sensation, back pain can worsen with bending, walking and even standing.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can often develop without any cause. Sometimes, being unable to sleep properly can make you wake up feeling a little sore and groggy. Some other conditions that might cause back pain are:
- The strain on the muscle or ligament: If you have been doing a lot of physical labour involving bending and stretching or carrying weight on your back, it can put a strain on your back muscles and ligaments. A sudden and awkward movement can also stretch the ligaments unexpectedly causing back pain.
- Ruptured or bulging disks: Disks are the soft cushions between the bones (vertebrae) of your spine. Due to excessive strain, these disks can rupture or bulge causing pressure on a nerve leading to shooting and stabbing back pain.
- Arthritis: Another reason for that back pain could be osteoarthritis in the spine.
- Osteoporosis: Extreme deficiency of calcium an make your spinal bones porous and brittle causing painful fractures.
These days, from adults to children, everyone is at risk of developing back pain. Some of the factors that increase the risk of back pain are:
- Age: Of course, as you get older, you are prone to having back pain.
- Lack of Exercise: The unused muscles in your back and abdomen can really get numb and cause back pain.
- Obesity: Extra weight puts extra pressure on your back.
- Improper Lifting: While lifting a heavy block of stuff, if you lift it up while bearing its weight completely on your back and not your legs, be ready to feel the pain.
- Psychological Conditions: Studies have seen that people with depression or anxiety are more likely to develop back pain
- Smoking: Well, smokers are more prone to back pain. Smoking causing back pain, doesn’t seem logical right? But, smoking cause more coughing leading to herniated disks. Smoking also causes the lesser blood circulation in the spine increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Diseases: Arthritis and cancer increase back pain.
How to Relieve Back Pain Naturally
While dealing with pain can send us grabbing the pain killers which might provide us relief, but in long-term, taking pain killers can also have side effects on the body including addiction to the same.
Ayurveda recommends a mix of herbs, dietary changes; yoga and meditation to help you get rid of back pain naturally.
- Include an anti-inflammatory beverage in your diet
Drinking a beverage with highly potent anti-inflammatory properties causes anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents to build up in your body. Over a period of time, these heighten your body’s anti-inflammatory response against any inflammation that strikes any part of your body, including your back. Turmeric, tart cherry, willow bark and ginger are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Read our recipes on how to make an anti-inflammatory beverage here.
- A Good Night’s Sleep
A night of restful and restorative sleep can do wonders for your back pain. When you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for a longer period of time, it can relieve the back pain to a greater extent. To fall asleep faster and quicker, you can include the following supplements in your diet.
- Vitamin B6 and C: These vitamins are the natural steroids for your body’s metabolism and they actually promote good sleep. Tofu, milk and carrots are great sources for Vitamin B6. For Vitamin C, you may include citrus foods like lemons, oranges, strawberries and tomatoes.
- Melatonin is your natural sleep hormone. Almonds, walnuts and kiwi can help you get that extra dose of melatonin to help you sleep better.
- L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in the tea leaves. Drinking a hot cuppa of eucalyptus and chamomile tea before going to bed can relax your body and mind and ease you into a good night sleep.
- Avoid prolonged postures
Staying in one position for a long period of time can expose some of your muscles to excessive stress and pressure than the rest. The same goes for your back muscles as well.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for a very long period of time. If you have a sitting job, try to get up every hour to relax your back muscles.
- While working in a sitting position, make sure that you have a right posture that aligns your neck, shoulders and back. Slouching while working without any support can increase pressure on your spine increasing your chances of back pain.
- Try and rotate your activities at the end of every hour. Avoid excess pressure on any joint for any reason. If you have been standing, sit down for a while and relax your muscles before going back to work.
- Do Yoga to Stretch Your Muscles
Like we mentioned earlier, unused muscles can also cause back pain. Yes, extreme of any situation – excess physical labour and excessive rest – both can cause you back pain. Like we say, ‘ati har cheez ki buri’ or excess of everything is bad. Get into yoga to do some stretches every day. It will not only work your muscles but also increase blood circulation in your spine. You can try sphinx pose, cat/cow pose or a modified version of downward dog pose. Make sure you start the stretching gently, moving towards advanced stretching only if it isn’t painful. Seek your doctor’s approval before including stressful physical activity in your routine.
- Engage in Mindful Meditation
Mediation could be helpful in decreasing my back pain, you ask? Well, it is! One of the risk factors for back pain is psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. Mindful meditation helps you relax your mind and releases endorphins production in the body, also known as the happy hormone. Meditation has in fact one of the ways that could help you change your perception of pain altogether. You can do simple breathing exercises daily for 5-10 minutes like taking 10 slow breaths in a row every morning at home or while you take a break at work.
A Word of Caution
Be mindful that the above-mentioned recommendation can be effective for managing certain types of pain. Remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Thus, if pain persists, please seek medical help immediately.