Chronic pain in you back may result from many causes, such as getting into a car accident or suffering an injury at work that you never fully recovered from. Dealing with chronic pain, especially in this area of the body can be debilitating and severely affect quality of life and day-to-day living. It can feel hopeless at times and be very discouraging, but with a little commitment to taking a more active role in your health, you may find that many natural strategies offer relief where traditional treatments could not.
While meditation is obviously closely linked to spiritual pursuits, it is a tool to build a stronger mind and shift perspective. Much of our suffering with pain comes from not the pain itself but how we are perceiving and reacting to it. Meditating may help deal with back pain by helping you shift your focus to something else, such as your breathing or a phrase you repeat to yourself to stay focused. It also reduces stress, which helps the muscles and the rest of the body relax—when you are feeling good mentally, you always feel better physically, even if it is not 100 percent.
Chiropractic care is all about the spine and proper alignment. Chiropractors believe that when we are out of alignment, it disrupts the nervous system, resulting in a host of physical problems. If you suffer from chronic back pain, a treatment such as this may help. According to WebMD, research has shown chiropractic treatment to be effective for both chronic and acute back pain. Chiropractors typically have a strong interest in natural healing and they can be a great resource for alternative medicine advice.
Acupuncture is based on the idea that disruptions of energy in certain areas of the body manifest as diseases and conditions, such as back pain. There really is no equivalent mode of thought in Western medicine. Through the years, research is showing acupuncture to be an effective treatment for a range of health complaints and according to a 2010 meta-analysis of available research, which was published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, acupuncture may be an effective treatment, though the authors note there is a need for larger, high-quality studies. You will typically need at least four to five treatments to determine if this healing method is working for you.
When you think of pain, you may not think of diet, but making certain changes may help. Inflammation is a big part of pain and eating a diet that quells it rather than promotes it may help. Choose whole grains over refined grains; cut back on saturated fats and trans fats. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats found in foods such as cold-water fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. A review of research published in a 2012 issue of the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that eating an alkaline diet may offer specific health benefits, with reduced back pain among them. This requires more research but it certainly cannot hurt to experiment. Generally, proponents of this diet recommend that at least 70 percent of your diet consist of alkaline foods, such as cucumber, kale, kelp, spinach, broccoli, soy, sprouted foods, avocado, cabbage, celery, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, grapefruit, coconut, tofu, lentils, quinoa and buckwheat.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who writes on a range of content with a focus on health and wellness. If your back pain is a result of an accident or negligence on some part, you may be entitled to damages. If you are in Illinois, a Chicago personal injury lawyer may be able to help.