80% of us will have back pain at some point in our lives. It can be the result of heavy lifting, injuries, arthritis and even pregnancy. Coping with the pain can call for a mixture of both traditional and home remedies.
The first thing that you need to find out is what is causing the pain. Arthritis treatment may not help a pregnant woman and could endanger the baby. An injury will require a doctor and in some cases, home remedies. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Arthritis: There are several types, but all of them hurt. Topical treatments, such as hot packs, capsaicin cream, willow bark and gotu kola can be useful. Over the counter pain medication can benefit if the pain isn’t severe, but serious pain will require a doctor’s prescription.
Heavy Lifting: Unless there is damage to the muscles, ice, heat and an over the counter pain reliever may be enough. It is important to lift properly to avoid injuries. If you are unsure or if standard lifting practices aren’t possible, talk to your doctor about what to do.
Injuries: Spinal injuries can have serious repercussions. Tears to muscles and tendons aren’t much better in that department. Always get a doctor’s diagnosis before treatment, and if you are planning on using home remedies, make sure the doctor is aware and approves.
Use ice or cold packs for the first 48 hours after an injury. The doctor can tell you if you should continue with the ice, switch to heat or use both. Capsaicin, willow bark and gotu kola may be beneficial for topical relief.
Pregnancy: It is important to avoid herbal remedies during pregnancy. Towards the end of the pregnancy, back pain is possible. There are two reasons. One is balance issues from the weight of the baby and the other is a hormone released towards the end of pregnancy to prepare the woman’s body for childbirth. If the pain is severe, talk to your OB about what to do.
Exercises: Many back pain issues can be resolved with exercises that build up muscle strength or rehabilitate muscles after an injury. Physical therapy, especially aquatic therapy, can help reduce the pain and continue the healing process. These should be shown by your doctor or a qualified therapist.
Herbs: There are three herbs mentioned in this article. Two of them have qualifiers. Capsaicin can cause burns in sensitive skin. Test on a small area before applying over a large one. Willow bark contains the same chemical as aspirin. If you are under 18 or allergic to aspirin, don’t use willow bark.
Your Doctor: Any back pain should be seen and diagnosed by a doctor before a treatment plan is chosen. This can help you get rid of the pain safely and quickly. Be sure to mention all medications and supplements you are already using to avoid interactions and serious side effects.