It is estimated that 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. If you have already experienced it, you know how debilitating it can be. There can be many reasons why you have this issue and we will be talking about that and will be looking at basic back pain and treatment.
Mayo Clinic says that even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is most common among adults between 35 and 55. It can be caused by a number of things including structural damage or ruptured, herniated or bulging disc, strained muscles or ligaments, muscle spasm or weak abdominal muscles. It can also be caused by simple, everyday motions like sneezing or coughing or twisting.
- Stressful job
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Strenuous work
- Exercising improperly
- Inflammatory foods
- Repressed emotions
I personally suffered for many years with extreme back pain. I’m happy to report that I rarely have pain any longer. I tried chiropractic and physical therapy which helped when I was in a very bad way but it never lasted.
Acupuncture was a common treatment for me and it worked fairly well. I had massages often. They felt good but the relief was short-lived. The day the doctor said he would start giving me epidurals, I knew I needed to heal myself naturally.
I did a 6-week anti-inflammatory cleanse through my Naturopath which worked very well for me. At the same time, I prayed a lot and really just surrendered the pain. During that time, I thought about my life and how I was carrying around a lot of baggage from my past.
I made a conscious decision to let go of the unforgiveness I felt towards my parents and my childhood. It felt great to just accept that they did the best they could with what they had at the time. I just let it go…It is a miracle that I no longer have daily pain.
Back Pain and Treatment
During my journey, I read just about everything I could to try and figure out why I felt 90 and I was only in my early 30’s. I collected and read all kind of books on the subject. The absolute best was written by Dr. John Sarno and it’s simply called Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection.
The author says that we feel pain when we repress emotion. You can click on the link to read the reviews on Amazon. I have seen more people healed from chronic pain by practicing what Dr. Sarno teaches than by any other method. I believe he will go down in history as one of the most influential doctors in history.
In The Meantime
One of the things that did help me tremendously was my TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) – a popular therapy for patients with chronic (long-term) back pain. The TENS machine delivers small electric pulses into the body through electrodes that are placed on the skin.
Experts believe TENS encourages the body to produce endorphins, and may possibly block pain signals returning to the brain. Studies on TENS have provided mixed results; some revealed no benefits, while others indicated that it could be helpful for some patients.
A TENS machine should be used under the direction of a doctor or healthcare professional.
Pregnant women, people with epilepsy, people with a pacemaker, and patients with a history of heart disease should not use a TENS machine.
If you are one of the lucky ones that have never experienced back pain, you have the opportunity to hopefully prevent it. Here are some ideas:
- Strengthen your core muscles. Make sure your muscles are warmed up with a bit of cardio first. Always stretch before and after exercise!
- Stretches for low back pain relief are essential. Go slow and never push if you feel pain.
- Your mom was right when she told you to sit up straight. Posture plays a big part on the strain you put on your back.
- If you are bending to lift, always bend at the knee and use your legs to lift, not your back.
- Sleep with a pillow under or between your knees to keep your spine aligned.
- If you carry weight around your middle, cut out carbs and see your tummy disappear! Weight carried in the abdominal area puts an incredible amount of stress on your back. Here is a good article I wrote about weight loss.
- Don’t smoke and if you do, read this to help you stop. I used this book 17 years ago when I gave up cigarettes forever. Freshstart 21 Days To Stop Smoking Another bestseller that has gotten 5-star reviews is Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking.
If you are interested, the cleanse my doctor put me on was through Metagenics. I used their Ultraclear product twice a day. I am a Practitioner with them now.
I also eliminated inflammatory foods meaning all processed foods and any vegetable oils such as corn, soy, sunflower or palm to name a few, fried foods, refined flour, dairy, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and too much alcohol (more than one in a day).
Here is a list of some anti-inflammatory foods: blueberries, raw oats (makes amazing overnight oatmeal!), dark chocolate (over 70% cacao), green tea, ginger, red peppers, wild salmon, broccoli, beets, black beans, tomatoes, pineapple, spinach, eggs, and garlic, yogurt (the only dairy that doesn’t cause inflammation), nuts and extra virgin olive oil. There are many more we could add to this list. Here is a link to a more comprehensive list.
Thank you for reading about back pain and treatment. As always, please leave me a comment or ask a question in the box below.