65 million people living in the United States of America have reported having a recent episode of back pain. On top of this, 16 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic back pain.
Due to evolutionary complications and mechanical hazards, back pain is all too common for people all around the world. Because of their pain, these patients are susceptible to pain medication addictions. They rely on these pain pills to get them through the day, and these medications may be the only thing that works.
At least, that’s what some patients believe.
When it comes to back issues, patients have plenty of choices. Patients can opt for naturopathic medicine to relieve their back pain.
To learn more about natural medicine and how it can promote pain relief, keep reading.
What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a combination of alternative medicine and mainstream medicine. You may also hear some people refer to this practice as integrative medicine.
No matter how you refer to it, naturopathic medicine emphasizes disease prevention and health optimization. To do this, experts who practice naturopathic methods focus on therapeutic methods. These treatments stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself.
If you’re interested in naturopathic medicine, you have the option of seeing a naturopathic physician, because naturopathic medicine is a primary health care option in the United States.
While meeting with a naturopathic expert, you’ll find that they integrate traditional, modern, and scientific methods. This kind of medicine proceeds with the goal of learning as much about the patient as possible. With this information and knowledge of medical practices, naturopathic physicians can make the best choices for their patients.
Naturopathic providers begin by taking thorough health histories and performing in-depth physical exams. From there, they may choose to order laboratory testing or imaging.
With each step of the diagnosis and treatment process, naturopathic practitioners use the latest medical evidence together with traditional methods. You’ll find that naturopathic medicine allows for the use of prescription drugs but does focus on natural remedies as the first line of defense against disease and illness.
Finding the Cause of the Back Pain
One of the most important characteristics of naturopathic medicine is the need to get to the bottom of the problem. In other words, naturopathic practitioners focus on treating the cause of your symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves.
By getting to the root of the back pain, your naturopathic provider can help you get permanent pain relief. If they were to just treat the symptoms, you’d never be able to completely get rid of your back pain.
Your provider may ask questions about your daily activities and care routines to find the cause of your back pain. You could be sleeping in an awkward position or performing too many mechanical activities.
Whatever the root of the cause, there are many treatments that your naturopathic physician may recommend.
Pain Relief With Natural Medicine
As you may recall, naturopathic providers can prescribe prescription drugs. However, they are wary of doing so, especially in the face of the opioid epidemic in the United States. Even over-the-counter pain-relieving drugs come with their own list of side effects.
Because of this, your naturopathic practitioner is more likely to teach you about lifestyle factors, physical alterations, and other non-medicinal ways to find pain relief.
1. Increase Your Physical Activity
It may sound counterintuitive, but physical activity can relieve back pain. Unfortunately, prolonged inactivity (especially prolonged sitting) can reinforce back issues.
So, to combat this, you should make sure that you’re getting an adequate amount of physical activity every single day.
You could take a walk during your lunch break. You could walk around your home while you’re talking on the phone. You may even consider standing up and stretching every hour or two.
Getting this consistent movement every day will help take some of the pressure off of your spinal discs, allowing the blood in your back to flow freely. In turn, you’ll be able to find some pain relief from your back issues.
2. Get Some Rest
This recommendation may be the opposite of the previous one, but it’s still helpful. For some people, getting too much physical exercise is the problem. This is why people who work physically demanding jobs may have back issues more commonly than people who work in other occupations.
The best time to rest your back is in the middle of a pain exacerbation. If you feel like your back pain is becoming particularly hard to handle, you should rest your back.
To properly do this, you should lie down on the floor and prop your legs up on a chair at a 90-degree angle. You should remain in this position for 5 to 25 minutes.
If you’re having muscle spasms in your back, you should apply heat to the area.
You shouldn’t remain in this position for more than 25 minutes at a time. This can weaken your back muscles and make the pain worse as your muscles become weaker. If you need to, set a timer to ensure that you aren’t going over the 25-minute limit.
If you find yourself having back pain in a situation where you can’t prop your legs on a chair, you should alternate heat and ice. You can use a topical ointment or a pad depending on the usability of each method in your particular situation.
3. Practice Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the practice of putting as little strain on the body as possible. It is extremely important for all occupations. Whether you sit at a desk for eight hours or work on a construction site, you should make sure that you’re practicing ergonomics.
While you’re working, you should find ways that you can better support your body.
You may want to get a new office chair that supports your lower back. You may want to use a longer shovel that allows you to stand upright while working. You may even ask your superiors to provide standing desks for the office.
All in all, your work environment should allow you to be comfortable at all times. You shouldn’t have to strain yourself, especially when you’re working 8-hour to 12-hour shifts. This is extremely harmful to your back and other areas of your body.
4. Try Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine techniques like acupuncture and massage therapy could help your find relief from your back pain.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest methods for pain relief. Because of acupuncture’s long-standing history, many physicians recommend it as a pain relief technique for all sorts of chronic pain.
Massage therapy helps patients find pain relief from back issues and other chronic pain problems. Patients may even find that other conditions like anxiety and digestive disorders are getting better with regular massage appointments.
By manipulating specific parts of the body, a massage therapist can give you immediate pain relief. However, if you’re looking to get long-term results, you should get massage therapy regularly.
5. Invest in Herbs and Supplements
There are several substances that scientists have connected with pain relief. These herbs and supplements may be great additions to your treatment plan.
First is omega-3s, also known as fish oil. Fish oil is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. Because many back issues can develop or worsen with inflammation, taking omega-3s can help alleviate or eliminate it. In fact, when it came to arthritic pain, omega-3s were just as effective as NSAIDs.
Curcumin is another wonder of natural medicine. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. Scientists have tied it to treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Unfortunately, the body is unable to absorb curcumin well. So, if you’re looking to invest in it, you should find the BCM-95 form of it. You should be able to locate this kind of curcumin wherever you get your vitamins and supplements.
Another supplement, capsaicin, comes from hot chili peppers. Scientists have found that it decreases substance P, which is a compound that helps our body transmit pain signals to the brain.
Because of this unique relationship, capsaicin can treat chronic pain as well as conditions related to the nervous system.
Other than these examples, there are a few other spices, botanicals, and herbs that may be able to help relieve your pain:
- Kava Kava
- St. John’s Wort
- Valerian root
If you’re unsure about any of these substances, you should speak with your physician about how to properly ingest them. They may also discuss other herbs and supplements that could help you find pain relief.
See a Naturopathic Medicine Expert to Treat Your Back Issues
If you’re suffering from back issues, it’s time to take control. Your back pain is affecting your quality of life, and it’s time to start finding some pain relief.
The combination of natural medicine and modern medicine is the perfect way to approach such a common condition.
To get to the root of your back issues, make an appointment with a naturopathic medicine practitioner today. They can help you develop a treatment plan for your back pain.