Back pain is a universal issue. As modern medicine continues to expand our longevity by staving off illness and disease for longer than ever before, we are growing older. This means that our backs, the primary support systems in our body, are spending more years weight bearing, bending and working for us than our ancestors ever would have expected. No matter how healthy an individual may be, all of this wear and tear takes its toll. Statistics from the American Chiropractic Association (1) suggest that back pain is an issue that will affect a whopping 8 out of 10 Americans in their lifetime, and according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2), back problems affect up to 3.7 million Australians, making them the 3rd biggest cause of serious illness in the country after Cancer and heart problems.
Unsurprisingly, back pain is most prevalent in the 65-79 yr age range but more and more young people are reporting back issues to their doctors every year. We don’t know exactly what is causing this shift in demographic, it could be due to a number of factors affecting younger people today including obesity, anxiety and an increasing trend towards a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include family history, using tobacco, depression and too much physical work.
No matter your age, the statistics clearly show that the physical health of your back is something that you should be thinking about, and if you are one of the 80% of people already suffering with back pain issues, natural treatments can help. We’ve put together 7 natural remedies for back aches and pain including Pure Vitality Joint Vitality for mobile muscles and joints and Pure Vitality Joint Cream, a topical pain relief solution.
1 - Regular Exercise
Getting regular exercise can help prevent and manage back pain in a number of ways, it can help with weight management, build supportive muscles, increase flexibility and reduce painful inflammation. However, it’s important to be careful, especially when starting a new exercise regimen. Some of the more common causes of back pain are overtraining, not stretching or resting between exercises, and sporting injuries.
While general exercise is important for overall health and fitness, exercises that work the group of muscles in your abdomen and lower back generally referred to as your “core” are great for helping ease and avoid back pain all together. Your spine is essentially the framework for an intricate system of interconnected muscles and ligaments that stabilize your spine and work to support your entire back and also to move your arms and legs. With such a big job to do, it stands to reason that if your core muscles are weak or in bad condition, more and more stress is added to the spine, and that is one of the main factors that can cause pain and eventually, injury. Planks, rows and swimmers are just some of the exercises that can help build strength in this important group of muscles and there are many more. If you are already experiencing back pain, it’s important to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen, they can advise you as to which exercises they recommend to help you build that all important supportive core strength.
2 - Diet
A health diet not only relieves back pain by reducing the risk of obesity, but eating the right kinds of foods can minimise inflammation caused by muscle strain and serious conditions like arthritis, and it may promote muscle and bone health too.
Green Leafy Vegetables
High in potassium, green leafy vegetables like spinach and bok choy can reduce inflammation and help your muscles and nerves to function properly. You can also find potassium in bananas, avocados and fermented milk products like live yoghurt and kefir.
Fatty Fish Like Tuna, Mackerel and Salmon
Containing high doses of Omega-3 fatty acids, these fish are also great for reducing inflammation in muscles and cartilage and as an added bonus they are great for your heart too. You can also find these important fats in foods like flaxseed and eggs.
Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all high in fiber. Not only will this help you maintain a healthy weight and aid in the overall health of your gut, but it will keep you regular. Constipation can irritate back pain so do yourself a favor and look after your stomach too.
Skeletal muscle is made up of roughly 70 percent water so it stands to reason that to keep your muscles healthy, you need to stay hydrated. Be sure you’re getting your recommended 8 x 8 glasses of water a day to promote healthy muscles and a strong back.
3 - Supplements
It can be hard to make sure that you are consistently getting all the nutrients you need to support a healthy back from diet alone. Busy daily life can make it difficult to find the time to prepare the foods that your body craves and fresh vegetables and organic fish and meat can be expensive. That’s where supplements like Joint Vitality can help. Joint vitality contains multiple supplements with proven benefits such as the most powerful forms of turmeric/curcumin extract to relieve inflammation, manganese and vitamin D for relaxed muscles and healthy bones and grapeseed extract for effective pain relief. Support a healthy diet with a powerful and multi-pronged all-natural supplement like Joint Vitality for long-term relief from back pain.
4 - Topical Treatments
As well as putting the right kinds of nutrients into your body by eating a healthy diet and taking effective supplements, you can treat the site of the pain with beneficial topical treatments too. Most topical pain treatments for sore muscles and joints are called counterirritants and they don’t actually treat the root of the problem. They may contain ingredients like menthol which simply create strong tingling sensations on the surface of the skin to distract you from the more intense pain that your body is dealing with underneath. While this may feel good in the short term, it doesn’t necessarily provide any meaningful long-term benefits. Instead, try an expertly blended, all natural solution like Pure Vitality Muscle and Joint Cream which stands apart from other products because it is a part of a comprehensive joint health program. Pure Vitality Muscle and Joint Cream is a blend of many different natural ingredients that provide a powerful boost to your body’s natural repairing processes and go beneath the surface to deliver meaningful relief. A key ingredient in this powerful formula is MSM, an organic sulfur compound which lowers inflammation and helps to restore vital bodily tissue. It also contains calendula, one of the most healing, anti-inflammatory, antiviral herbs on the market, it has been used for centuries to promote healing and pain relief, as well as peppermint oil to cool inflamed joints and relieve discomfort.
5 - Heat/Cold Treatment
While slipped or herniated discs are a very serious problem, most common episodes of back pain are caused by simple muscle strain.
There are several large muscle groups in your back that help to support your spine. If they become damaged, they can swell and spasm quite suddenly, causing acute pain. While it may be a fairly simple problem, back spasms and strained back muscles are one of the most common reasons that patients visit emergency rooms each year and can be very painful and debilitating indeed. Common causes of muscle strain include sporting injuries, sudden movements, or falling down into an awkward position and twisting your spine. If you are managing the pain that comes with an already damaged back, hot and cold treatments may provide some much needed natural relief.
Ice therapy relieves the inflammation that occurs directly after an injury and the intense cold also behaves as a local anesthetic, numbing the immediate area and providing fast, natural and affordable pain relief. Combining ice treatment with gentle massage can also be helpful to avoid stiffness as your muscles heal. Ice treatment is most effective when applied as soon as possible after the initial incident. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin as this can cause a burning sensation and surface damage. Instead, use an ice pack, or if you don’t have one handy, place the ice in a dish towel or clean sock to create a barrier and protect your skin.
Heat therapy encourages blood flow to the affected area, increasing the flow of oxygen to the muscles and healing sore tissue faster. It also helps the soft tissue surrounding your spine relax, decreasing stiffness and improving flexibility. A hot water bottle or a hot bath can be very effective in treating inflamed muscles and you can experiment with alternating heat and ice application to the affected area for maximum benefits.
6 - Postural Treatments
Another leading cause of back problems are postural issues such as spinal abnormalities and herniated disks. Your vertebrae are the small bones in your spine that stack on top of one another, allowing you to bend and experience a full range of motion. Between each vertebrae, lie discs made of interconnective tissue that connect one bone to the next and also act as a cushion between those small bones.
These discs are made of a tough outer layer and a spongy inner layer that acts as a kind of shock absorber. As you age, that inner layer may lose some water content causing it to rupture. You can damage your disks in other ways such as straining your back, twisting into an unusual position or suffering an injury and obese individuals and those with physically demanding jobs are at a greater risk. Damaged disks may cause a host of issues like sciatica, pinched nerves and numbness and tingling of the spine.
Postural treatments such as chiropractic care can be very effective in easing and avoiding this painful postural condition among others. Your chiropractor may perform a series of adjustments to your back, aimed at promoting a healthy posture and easing the strain in your back and on your surrounding nerves.
7 - Sleep
While sleep is easy to take for granted when you’re getting it, any insomniac will tell you that the effects of too little sleep can be dramatic and far-reaching. Prolonged lack of sleep can cause weight gain, mood disorders, and research shows (3) that it can also exacerbate chronic back pain. Your body needs restorative sleep in order to heal and if you don’t get it, your immune response is inhibited and this can lead to a vicious cycle. If you’re in so much pain that it’s difficult to sleep, that lack of sleep will make the pain worse over time, then making it more difficult to sleep and causing other health problems like depression and anxiety.
Many people use distraction as a tool for pain relief during the day, staying busy and focusing on other activities can be a powerful way to minimize back pain, so when the lights are off and all of those daily distractions are gone, it can seem impossible to avoid the pain that keeps you awake.
It’s important to practice good sleep hygiene to set yourself up for sleep success. While television and social media can be distracting, the blue light from computers and smartphones has been shown to (4) interfere with sleep. Try reading a book instead, this performs the same function but can actually help you relax and fall asleep instead of keeping you up.
Other good sleep hygiene practices include going to bed at the same time every night and making your bedroom a gadget-free zone. You can also try enjoying a cup of soothing camomile tea as you wind down from the day and get ready for bed.
Whether you’re suffering from back pain, or simply taking control of your health and working to avoid back issues in the future, it’s important to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, maintain a good posture and get plenty of sleep. You can also try a supplement like Joint Vitality, which includes a curated blend of vitamins and natural ingredients that help your body prevent and treat back pain from the inside out. If you have tired muscles that need immediate relief, try Pure Vitality Joint Cream which actually treats the underlying causes of the pain as well as providing the fast and effective topical treatment you need.
Pure Vitality a natural supplement company based in an isolated village nestled against the snow-capped Southern Alps of New Zealand. We research health conditions thoroughly to discover the underlying root causes, find the most effective natural remedies, target the root causes rather than use a Band-Aid approach, use a multi-prong approach to fix the root causes from many directions and use high potency ingredients at scientifically supported amounts.