(NaturalNews) Back pain is twenty times more painful than other body pains, says Dr. Art Brownstein, physician and author of Healing Back Pain Naturally, because these complex muscles are located so close to the spinal cord. Commonly-prescribed drugs for back pain can have serious side effects; even over-the-counter drugs can cause stomach problems and liver damage. Fortunately there are very effective 100% natural ways to treat and prevent back pain.
STRETCHING FOR BACK PAIN RELIEF Even bed-bound back pain sufferers can get instant relief with gentle stretching. Here`s how: 1. Lie on your back. Very, very slowly bring your right knee in toward your chest, only as far as it feels comfortable. 2. With your hands on your shins, hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds. 3. Slowly release and gently let your leg down to a slow count of 5. 4. Repeat with the other leg. Do this exercise 5-6 times in the morning before getting out of bed and again at bedtime.
ACUPRESSURE FOR LOWER BACK PAIN It sounds too easy to be true, but this amazingly simple technique is powerfully effective. Just apply pressure on certain points on the body to make back pain subside and even disappear. How? Acupressure may work by increasing the production of endorphins, the body`s natural pain relievers. How to do it: 1. Center the tip of a pencil or your fingertip between your nose and upper lip. 2. Apply deep pressure and hold this pressure for several seconds, then release. Repeat 5-10 times. 3. Next, place the pencil or finger tip between your inner anklebone and Achilles tendon. 4. Apply deep pressure, hold for several seconds, then release. Repeat this 5-10 times. 5. Finally, make a fist. On the outside of your hand near the pinkie finger locate the spot where the skin folds and bulges, and press there (same as above).
HERBAL TREATMENT FOR BACK PAIN Cramp Bark makes an effective muscle relaxation tea for back pain brought on by overuse of muscles: Add 1 teaspoon of cramp bark (Viburnum Opulus) to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and drink. For best results, drink 3x/day. Back pain caused by tension and stress can be eased with Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis). Valerian blocks transmission of stress signals between the brain and body, and comes in capsules or tablets.
In independent studies an African herb called Devil's Claw eased back pain as well as prescription drugs without side effects. This is due to harpagoside, the active ingredient in Devil's Claw which relieves pain and inflammation according to herbal researcher Luke Mortensen, PhD. Take 204 grams of Devil's Claw daily to effectively relieve back pain caused by inflammation.
PREVENT BACK PAIN WITH WATER According to Dr. F Batmanghelidj, author of Water for Health, for Healing, for Life, the simplest cure for chronic back pain is as close as your kitchen sink. Dehydrated muscles can spasm causing pain, says Dr. Batman, and adequate hydration prevents painful muscle cramps. Dehydrated spinal discs cannot vacuum enough water back in to their cores, so they can no longer function as good shock absorbers; but keep them hydrated and they will keep you pain-free. Fatigue caused by chronic dehydration creates poor posture, causing you to shift back and press on nearby nerves causing back pain. Drink enough water and fatigue and pain can be a thing of the past.
The best way to prevent debilitating back pain is to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat right, drink plenty of water, and reduce stress. But when back pain occasionally strikes, treat it naturally for safe (and fast) relief.
Sources: Batmangheldi, F: Water for Health, for Healing, for Life (New York:Warner Books, 2003)
Brownstein, Art: Healing Back Pain Naturally (New York: Pocket Books, 2001)
"Acupressure Relieves Low Back Pain," Science Daily Feb. 17, 2006