Lord Byron, the late eighteenth century British poet, once wrote, “Prolonged endurance tames the bold.” But attempts to endure lower back pain after a car accident in my mid-20s only served to worsen the pain. It hurt all the time!
My back hurt the entire time I was on my feet at my job in a department store. It hurt on the drive home. It hurt if I was sitting on the couch trying to watch television. And it even hurt as I lay in bed at night.
Doctors saw nothing wrong in x-rays and offered up one prescription after another. While I tried the painkillers at first, the nausea, increased appetite, and insomnia seemed an unfair trade for temporary pain relief.
Wellness Centers versus Medical Practices
Finally at the urging of my roommates I visited a local wellness center. When they confirmed what my doctor had already diagnosed, pulled muscles, I was crestfallen. I was trying to get away from taking medication.
Expecting yet another prescription for narcotic pain medication, you can imagine my surprise when this doctor offered a different plan for managing my lower back pain. And best of all, it was completely natural!
Natural Healing for Back Pain
In the time during that fateful car accident so many years ago, I have hiked a good portion of the Appalachian Trail, climbed more than 1100 feet below the surface of the earth to see a subterranean waterfall and given birth to two children.
My back has had more than its fair share of stress. However by using natural healing methods, most of the time I can manage the pain to a tolerable level. Here are some of the more successful methods I have tried in the past.
- Massage Therapy – There are so many benefits to massage, especially when it is one that targets deep tissue. It relieves tension, fatigue, and more importantly pain. But massage also helps relieve insomnia, stress, and can improve your overall move.
- Avoid Sitting Too Long – One of the biggest mistakes people make when their back hurts is to sit in bed or on the couch. Lying on your back on a firm surface, like the floor, with a pillow under your knees will provide more relief.
- Heat versus Ice – If your pain is more like a dull ache then use heat for pain relief. But if your pain is an intense, searing sensation then you want to use ice. Place crushed ice in a plastic bag that zips closed and then wrap a towel around it to avoid placing ice on your bare skin.
- Chiropractic Care – If you have never been to a chiropractor then you might wonder how they can help relieve your back pain. A chiropractor can help you return to your normal state of health without the stiffness and aches associated with back pain.
- Acupuncture – Chinese medicine is becoming more and more popular in Western society. Acupuncture involves placing thin, sharp needles under the skin to apply pressure at various points upon the body, which can relieve aches such as lower back pain.
- Physical Therapy – This can help with the later stages of the healing process. When introduced too soon, the deep stretching involved with physical therapy can actually worsen the injury, especially with lower back pain.
Visiting Your Doctor
Even if you plan to go the route of natural healing methods for low back pain, a visit to your general physician is a must. Your doctor can make a proper diagnosis and perhaps find something that could be missed using natural medicine alone.
Many doctors can recommend professionals who use natural healing methods. This can save you the trouble of picking someone who is just out to take your money.
If you have not yet visited your doctor and experience numbness in either leg, a tingling sensation in your legs, difficulty controlling your bladder, or extreme pain down your legs due to lower back pain, then you should also visit your doctor to rule out a more serious injury.
Some more serious injuries could include a slipped disc, nerve damage, abdominal conditions, or a disorder such as fibromyalgia. Visiting your doctor can rule out these serious conditions and help you map out your way to better physical well-being.