7 Great Natural Pain Relievers

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If you've ever been debilitated by a sore back, you aren't alone: back pain is a very common problem. In fact, it is among the most common health complaints by Americans. 

7 Great Natural Pain Relievers

The reason for this is simple: back pain can affect anyone.

The Causes of Back Pain

Though back pain can happen regardless of a person's age, gender, or physical health, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, there are certain things that increase the risk. These include getting older, being out of shape or overweight, genetics, underlying medical conditions (such as arthritis or tumors), jobs that involve physical exercise, poor posture, and smoking (smokers tend to heal from injuries slower than nonsmokers).

Ways to Relieve Back Pain Naturally

No matter how back pain affects you - whether it is acute or chronic, minor or extreme - it's likely that you want it gone. While help may be found through trips to a chiropractor, surgical intervention, and ingestion of anti-inflammatory medications, there are also natural ways to find relief.

Releasing Endorphins

Endorphins are natural pain relievers: they are chemicals the body releases to help block pain signals (in addition to pain, they can also ease anxiety, stress, and depression). One of the most effective ways for the body to produce endorphins is through aerobic exercise. Thus, regularly working out can help ease back pain. If the back pain prohibits you from certain types of exercising, consider something low impact, such as walking or water therapy.

Exercising Abs

The abdominal muscles play a major part in supporting your lower back, but they aren't generally exercised through normal, everyday activities. Thus, you must go out of your way to exercise them. You don't need to be so intense that you develop abs of steel, but exercising your core moderately can reduce discomfort significantly. After you're injured? Take it easy for a few days, then engage in gentle exercise until you feel better. 

Applying Ice and Heat

Ice and heat may be two of the oldest tricks in the injury book. This is because they serve different purposes that work together to eliminate soreness. Applying ice reduces inflammation and acts as a local anesthetic while heat helps blood circulate (which helps in the healing process) and inhibits the brain from receiving message of pain. Alternating these two treatments can be very helpful in easing all kinds of discomfort, including back pain.

Distract Yourself

Many of us, as children, probably scraped our knees and didn't realize we were in pain until we looked down to see gushing blood. This concept can apply to all kinds of pain, not just those that are the staple of childhood. Because pain isn't just a sensation, but also an interpretation by your brain, it does allow for some manipulation. You may find that distracting yourself from your pain can help ease it. Try doing this by working on a crossword, watching a comedy, or cooking a complicated meal.

Natural Herbs

In addition to the above, natural herbs may also serve as strong pain relievers.

Per NBC News, some of these herbs include:

Capsaicin

Found in chili peppers, capsaicin may be effective in reducing back pain, particularly if it is caused by arthritis. Topical capsaicin applied to the skin can temporarily reduce sensitivity in nerve receptors of the skin.

Fish Oil

Often taken for the heart, fish oil also contains chemicals that are successful in reducing inflammation. In a University of Pittsburgh study, two thirds of people suffering from neck and back pain were able to stop taking NSAIDS after ten weeks of ingesting cod-liver oil.

Arnica

Like fish oil, arnica also has anti-inflammatory properties. Those who orally take arnica often find decreased pain after suffering acute injuries and less swelling after surgery.

We hope to provide helpful advice to those with health related questions. If you need further medical help or information, we suggest visiting a professional or feel free to contact us for some guidance. 

*by andreascy*