(Natural News) 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.
- Go for alternative treatments — Many alternative treatments have already been tested and proven to ease back pain. For instance, a treatment called laughing yoga helps boost oxygen intake, curb stress and facilitate endorphin production, all while simultaneously stretching the back muscles. (Related: Doctors are now prescribing non-medical pain management techniques for low back pain, such as yoga and meditation.)
- Take a dip — Swimming is an excellent form of physical activity as the buoyancy of water lets you reap the benefits of exercise minus the strain.
- Sleep – Another Spine Health entry stressed that inadequate sleep worsens back pain. Thus, getting enough restorative sleep may prove beneficial in easing the unwanted discomfort.
- Use liniment and capsaicin products – Various topical treatments such as capsaicin products are known to produce heat and inhibit the activity of a pain-transmitting neurochemical called substance P.
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