For those of us who’ve experienced back pain, we know that there’s very little else that is as uncomfortable, inconvenient, and straight up painful. It is estimated that around 25% of all Americans experience some type of back pain every year. (1)
Next to high blood pressure and diabetes, back pain is the number one reason for doctor’s appointments. Unfortunately, home remedies for back pain are often overlooked in favor of pharmaceutical intervention (pain pills) and invasive procedures. According to Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona state University Obesity Solutions Initiative, “Sitting is the new smoking”. (2)
Researchers have proven that the computer-centered sedentary lifestyle most Americans lead is beyond unhealthy – it’s deadly. “Sitting more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting” Levine continues “We are sitting ourselves to death.” (3)
Back problems are arguably the most common side effect of a sedentary lifestyle – but it is important to remember that correlation is not necessarily causation. There is a relationship between sitting and mild back pain in the short term, but other factors contribute to chronic back pain. Individuals who spend most of their time sitting tend to be less active, weigh more, and have more general health problems. (4)
How to Get Rid of Back Pain
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for back pain. Depending on the location, severity, and cause of the pain, it will likely be a process of trial and error to find relief. The best results usually come from a combination of approaches.
If and when you find a home remedy for back pain that works for you, continue to utilize that method even after your pain subsides. Consider incorporating other home remedies for back pain and/or preventative measures to further decrease the risk of your pain coming back.
Here’s a list of 17 home remedies for back pain for you to choose from:
Stretching is one of the first instinctual responses to back pain (provided it doesn’t cause more pain). Stretching can help loosen tight muscles when done slowly and without forcing it. Regular back stretches will not only help resolve your current issues, but help prevent future back problems.
2. Stand/Sit up Straight
As mentioned above, staying in the same position for extended periods of time is detrimental to your physical health – but it really does a number on your spine. Whether you’re sitting at a desk for most of the day or long hours commuting: do your best to sit up straight! If you have a desk job, there are several small but effective changes you can make at your workstation. Also: don’t forget to get up and move around at regular intervals.
3. Change your Sleeping Position
This remedy might be the most difficult for some, but your sleeping positing has a huge impact on your back. For starters: do not sleep on your stomach! Sleeping on your back is best, but if you are more comfortable on your side you can further reduce lower back pain by placing a pillow between your knees.
Clinical studies show that back pain sufferers who receive regular massages report less back pain than those who don’t. Around half of these individuals report substantial back pain relief. You don’t necessarily need a full body massage either – targeted massage is reported to work just as well. Don’t have the time or resources for a professional massage? Grab a tennis ball and be your own massage therapist.