If you’re a teacher and you sit a lot, then you’re probably familiar with these two words. Back and pain. Two simple words that when put together many of us will no doubt relate to.
It can be bothersome to experience back pain, especially when you’re amped up to chase the day and you want to be at your most productive but it seems like your back pain isn’t letting you.
Luckily, not all hope is lost even when you feel like it’s the end of the road when back pain hits you. It’s good to know that there are a variety of natural ways to relieve back pain before opting for medications or at the last resort, surgery.
And for that, I’ll be sharing some quick and effective ways on how you can relieve that dreadful back pain once and for all!
Risk Factors For Back Pain
- Muscular tension
- Straining of joints and ligaments
- Poor sitting or sleeping posture
- Improper nutrition intake
- Excess weight
- Lack of exercise
- Medical condition (e.g arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.)
9 Natural Ways To Relieve Back Pain: Easy And Free!
1.) Stretch it out!
Do you sometimes feel like your back just needs to be decompressed or cracked just to relieve the pain and stiffness? Don’t worry I hear you.
I normally experience bad back pain when I’ve been sitting in a bad posture for longer than 4 hours or so, and it’s no fun at all.
The first and natural method that you can try to improve your back pain situation is by stretching.
Yes, it may seem simple and not that impactful but when done regularly and correctly, you’ll notice a huge difference when it comes to your back pain problems.
In today’s time, our bodies are forced into unnatural positions for long periods of time—whether we’re on our phones or computers working or attending zoom meetings that may take a few hours or so those long hours of sitting is not healthy for your back at all.
After those unseemingly innocent hours of sitting down, the muscles and joints in our bodies will start to stiffen and stretch as they have been in odd positions for too long resulting to awful back pains and other aches and pains.
Stretching, when done correctly and regularly can help alleviate any pain or stiffness that you might be experiencing at any part of your back.
It’s best if you can try to search specific stretches that can help target your problem areas on your back, in this way you’ll be able to address those areas easily.
Here’s a quick video to guide you on some quick stretches that you can do to help relieve back pain:
2.) Take breaks and change your position
Did you know that sitting down is actually one of the most dangerous things that you can do?
Not to scare you or something but sitting down is indeed very dangerous that some even consider it being at the same level of risk as smoking, especially if you do it continuously for more than 4 hours or so.
Sitting down for long periods of time can put you at risk of serious back problems, especially if you are consistently sitting down with a poor posture and if you’re not using an ergonomic chair to help support your whole body alignment while you sit.
If you do have to sit, make sure that you will only do it for about 10-20 mins at a time and take breaks within those intervals. It’s best if you can maintain a good posture while you do so and that you are not slouching or bending forwards.
During your breaks, try to stand up and change positions or even take a mini-walk to help your blood flow reset. You can also try standing up every time you need to take a call.
A standing desk is also something you can consider if you really want to shift your work momentum for a healthy back!
3.) Rest and lie down if you have to
Back pain is one of the most common health concerns that 1 out of 10 people worldwide suffers from it. And this does not only affect a specific group of age or gender, it is actually endured by people of all games and all genders as well.
But can we do anything at home that can help rid us of back pain? The answer is, yes!
Surprisingly, sleeping or lying down is an amazing medicine for back pain. As we all know, sleeping is like a healing method of our body, which means getting enough sleep is another important factor to help keep your back in good shape.
However, make sure that you are getting quality sleep because if you’re not sleeping in a comfortable position you can be at risk for being sleep deprived which can lead to aches and pains.
It’s best if you can sleep on your back as this promotes a neutral pose for your spine. If you prefer sleeping sideways, make sure that you alternate positions from time to time and you can also try positioning pillows strategically while you sleep for a better sleeping posture.
4.) Move it!
Aside from stretching, exercising is also another great way that you can try to help eliminate any pain and stiffness that you are experiencing on your back as it can help loosen up your muscles and release happy hormones which are endorphins known to be our body’s natural painkiller.
Although it may seem impossible to do the feat while you’re already suffering from the back pain itself the right kind of exercise can actually help you be back pain-free!
It can be a short walk, a water exercise, or other low-impact activity that can help you alleviate your overall back pain situation. It’s best to avoid strenuous exercises that may cause your back to strain more such as toe-touch exercises and sit-ups.
If done regularly and properly, the right exercise regimen can also help you prevent any back pain episodes from happening in the future.
5.) Cold and heat packs are your best friends!
Another natural and easy-to-implement remedy that’s also fairly inexpensive that you can try out at home is hot and cold therapy packs.
Particular varieties of back pain can be greatly alleviated with the application of heat or cold packs.
And to know whether you should apply heat or cold packs to your problem area all you have to do is to determine if it’s acute pain, sub-acute pain, or chronic pain.
If your back pain is acute you should be applying a cold pack followed by a heat pack after 10 to 20 minutes for each should suffice to reduce pain and overall swelling.
Also, make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel before applying to protect your skin. A hot bath after is also an option to help relax that tensed muscles and to reduce inflammation.
For sub-acute and chronic back pain, a mild heat pack is best to apply and this should be done consistently to help relieve stiff and achy back muscles. But be sure to read the instructions before using any heating pack for pad and test temperatures before applying to your skin to avoid any injuries.
6.) Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can be a big factor as to why some people are experiencing episodes of back pain. If you are overweight your body is then forced to carry extra weight which can then lead to strain your back muscle and spine as well.
We all know that losing weight is indeed a challenge but simply tweaking your diet into a more healthy one can do your back a good deed.
By losing some extra weight you’ll be able to significantly avoid any need for any medication or even back surgery and most importantly any episodes of aches and pain that just seem to affect your overall quality of life.
7.) Change your shoes
Little did we know that something unexpected as our shoes can be contributing to our back pain. Yes, you read that right.
Wearing the wrong shoes that do not fit or do not offer any support to your posture can actually cause muscle strain to your back, legs, and even up to your neck.
That’s why it’s important for you to know whether your shoes are affecting your overall posture and if it is actually giving you the proper support that it should be giving.
If you’re someone who loves wearing high-heels or stilettos, it’s best to skip them and just use them for special occasions because wearing them for long hours can throw off your body’s balance and alignment leading to none other than back pain again.
If you’re someone who needs to be on your feet at all times while wearing shoes, try to find shoes that offer great support and fit your feet perfectly as well. If you’re having trouble finding the best shoes, a podiatrist or a foot specialist can greatly help you with that.
Curious to know which shoes are best for you if you’re on your feet all day? Check these out!
8.) Reduce Stress
Yet again stress has been a contributing factor to cause an ailment to our frail bodies.
If you are someone who is chronically stressed, know that stress can trigger muscle tension and even painful spasms on your back, especially in the upper and lower back region which seems to be the areas to be most affected when our bodies are in distress.
Try to maintain healthy stress levels to help alleviate back pain caused by it. You can try mindful breathing techniques, meditation, aromatherapy, and even yoga to help relieve stress levels and significantly reduce back pain as well.
9.) Try hands-on therapy A.K.A massage!
A good hands-on massage can greatly improve symptoms of back pain and the best part is it also helps alleviate stress and induce endorphins which I have previously mentioned to be the natural painkillers of our brain.
When to see a doctor
If your back pain is present along with other symptoms that manifest such as weakness of the extremities or anything else that doesn’t sit quite right, it’s best for you to seek medical care.
And if you have already tried a number of methods to alleviate it but your back pain symptoms still persist even after 2-3 weeks, again seek out medical care and a professional opinion to rule out any serious medical condition or injury.