Back pain is an often dismissed discomfort as most people would never raise the red flag on it. However, statistics compiled by the The Good Body website revealed that the incidence of back pain showed an alarming increase over the years. According to the latest figures, back pain incidence in adults 65 years and older grew from 29.5 percent in 1997 to 33.7 percent in 2013. Likewise, the statistics found that about eight in 10 Americans will experience back pain at some point during their lifetimes.
Back pain was also more prevalent in adult women at 30.2 percent, compared with only 26.4 percent in adult men. In addition, the latest figures revealed that 40 percent of back pain patients seek help from their primary care physicians, while 40 percent visit a chiropractor and another 20 percent go to a subspecialist. Furthermore, back pain was associated with an annual health cost of up to $50 billion and total annual indirect cost of up to $100 billion.
Ease back pain with these 10 natural remedies
Back pain does not need to be a major driver of medical costs. Follow these 10 smart tips to relieve back pain naturally.
Alternate hot/cold compress -- Alternating cold and hot compress is a basic back pain treatment. An article posted on the Nature Creation website recommends using a cold compress first to temporarily block pain signals and reduce swelling. The entry advises applying cold compress for at least 48 hours before switching to a hot compress, which stimulates blood flow and reduces painful spasms.
Take long hot showers -- Hot baths and hot showers help ease pain and relax the muscles, which in turn may facilitate stretching.
Do an early morning stretch -- Stretching early in the morning is also a surefire way to alleviate unwanted back pain.
Move around -- Exercise facilitates the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. Physical activities that target the core muscles will also give the lower spine a much needed stretch. Performing exercises to loosen tight hamstring muscles, which are located in the back of the thighs, may ease back pain too.
Enjoy a massage -- A good massage helps promote blood circulation, alleviate stress, relax muscles and bolster endorphin secretion.
Change your sleeping position - A Spine Health article recommends changing the sleeping position, preferably into a reclining position, to reduce the stress on the lower back.