Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back Pain - How to Help Naturally

I, like many others who lugged around textbooks, survived a car wreck (or two), had a baby, etc. have chronic back pain (the kind that makes you lash out at loved ones).

A friend of mine is suffering from it now and asked in her blog how to do something without icyhot or pain meds.

After finally finding a doctor that listened to my request for back pain solutions sans muscle relaxers or other medication, turned to stretching and yoga to strengthen my back and loosen the muscles to alleviate pain!  Let me be clear that no pain management system should be started without consulting your doctor.

Here is a set of stretches that I particularly like.  I think of it as the cat-cow set, but it's known as cat pose.  You first drop your midsection down arching your back (think like a cow has a bowed back), and then rock your pelvis and your back so that you raise up like a screeching cat.  Then back to cow.  You should rock slowly and controlled, feeling your pelvis rock.  This is what my doctor refered to as a "pelvic rock" for obvious reasons.

These came from a yoga for back pain website in case you want to see some more stretches that can help.

Also, I am a big advocate of hot or cold therapy.  However, I do not like heating pads that you plug into the wall.  They can get too hot and if you fall asleep without turning them off you can burn yourself, give yourself cancer, melt, etc.  I do however LOVE clay packs that you can microwave or freeze.  They stay warm/cold long enough to do the job.  The ThermiPaq is my favorite, and you can get it at Walgreens.

I benefit from having Doc around to do OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) and many turn to chiropractors or massage therapists.  I believe that these help loosen muscles and relieve temperary pain, but long term solutions I believe come from strengthening your core back muscles. 

Also, if you carry tension in your back, meditation is an amazing tool to help you relax and enhance your calm.

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