Back pain is a very common condition that you are likely to experience at some point in your adult life. The pain may or may not be related to structures in the back like muscles, bones, joints, nerves and the spine.
It is classified according to the duration of the pain as; Acute back pain which occurs up to 12 weeks, sub acute lasting between 6-12 weeks and chronic back lasting over 12 weeks. It may also be classified according to the location on the back as; neck pain, middle back pain, and lower back pain being the most common among them.
Nonspecific back pain is that one that is has no precise cause but originates from muscles, ligaments, and fascia of the back. Those originating from the nerves are referred to as radicular back pain.
Causes of back pain are very many and difficult to diagnose the specific cause. This is because the presentation is often vague and difficult to differentiate among causes arising from the back structures. Straining of the back structures is the most common cause of back pain.
- Pulling, carrying or lifting objects improperly and suddenly
- Standing and bending for a long time
- Sleeping on the wrong mattress
- Sitting in a bad posture for a long time
- Sneezing and coughing
Causes related to the structures of the back are; Ruptured or bulging vertebral discs, sciatica, arthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis, sleeps disorders and cauda equine syndrome.
Secondary back pain refers to back pain resulting from other previously diagnosed medical conditions. They include; cancers of the spine, kidney infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and shingles.
If preventative measures fail to relieve back pain the following are natural remedies for severe back pain:
Several types of yoga involve meditation, breathing exercises, stretching and practicing different postures and poses. This helps the back to loosen tight muscles, increase your range of motion, improve posture and build endurance and strength.
However, it is important to be mindful of some of these abnormal postures as they may worsen the back pain. When you are stretching, do not overdo it to the point that you start feeling pain. Yoga is meant to be a relaxing exercise. Flexibility does not come instantly; it takes time.
This is a type of alternative medicine which involves inserting sterile needles into the body. The patient lies still for about twenty minutes, and needles are injected into the areas of the body with a lot of tension or pain. Studies reveal that acupuncture works as well as conventional methods in relieving severe back pain.
It is safe when done by a professional acupuncturist however if it is done under unsterile conditions it may lead to infections. Make sure that you go to a reputable acupuncturist.
Massages increase blood flow to the areas that are tense and as a result deliver nutrients required for muscle recovery. It also causes the tense muscles to release endorphins, natural painkillers, which eases stress and relaxes the muscles. Stimulating the stretch receptors in the muscles may improve flexibility and ultimately relieve back pain.
This is yet another one of the natural remedies for severe back pain. Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) refers to passing an electric current through the skin for nerve excitation.
There are many controversies over the medical conditions this method treats. The theory behind it is that the electric currents stimulate the secretion of endorphins and blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS devices are now available in the market and are safe for treating both chronic and acute back pain.
5. Aqua therapy
This is a water-based form of treatment involving exercising while floating or submerged in water. Its primary goal is to improve physical function in disability.
The buoyancy of the water decreases the load bearing on the spine and increases mobility allowing you to do a variety of different postures. There are many techniques in aqua therapy, and a qualified therapist must guide patients receiving this treatment.
6. Osteopathic and chiropractic therapy
Osteopathy focuses on physical manipulation of the muscles and bone by a qualified practitioner. It relies on a theory that the body has regulatory mechanisms that enable it to heal and repair itself.
It aims to eliminate the limitations of structure and function to restore health. Another concept is that the structure of the body influences its function because the body is a unit of mind body and spirit.
Chiropractic therapy, on the other hand, bases its principles on spinal manipulation involving high velocity and short lever arm dynamic thrusts on the spine. This decreases nerve irritation.
It also involves low-velocity manipulation to increase the range of motion. Both high velocity and low velocity thrust influence nerve signals from the spinal muscles.
Evidence suggests that both awareness and exercise are important to prevent back pains. You are advised to avoid straining your back by standing, sitting and lifting smart.
Maintain appropriate posture and form when going about your daily activities. Not all conventional treatment options work for everyone. The above natural remedies for severe back pain can be better alternative to some.