A Natural Approach to Health
Living With a Backache
I had a question the other day about a backache.
Nearly 80% of adults in the US are affected by back pain at some point in their lives, usually in the lower back.
It can be either acute or chronic.
Acute pain starts suddenly and is usually the result of misusing your body in some way.
Chronic backache keeps recurring and can be brought on by almost any movement, for no particular reason.
It’s one of the most common reasons for hospitalization.
A variety of problems in your muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, or an underlying organ, like your kidneys, may also cause backaches.
Trying to move or lift heavy objects is said to be the main cause of back problems in the US, sometimes because of damage done to a spinal disk.
To deal with a backache it’s beneficial to:
*Stay well hydrated, drink 10 cups of purified water daily.
*Recommended herbs include alfalfa, burdock, oat straw, slippery elm, and white willow bark. They can be taken in capsule, extract, or tea form. White willow bark is particularly helpful. Also, arnica, a homeopathic remedy, may be useful as well.
*Avoid all meats and animal protein products until you’re healed. Animal protein contains uric acid, which puts undue strain on your kidneys which can contribute to back pain. Don’t eat gravies, oils, fats, sugar, or rich or highly processed foods.
*Follow a fasting program.
*When pain hits, immediately drink 2 large glasses of water. This often gives relief within minutes. Muscle ache and back pain is frequently connected to dehydration. Your body needs at least 10 glasses of water daily to keep acidic wastes from building up in muscles and other tissues.
*If pain follows an injury or sudden movement, apply ice for the first 48 hours, and then apply heat. Rest on a firm bed. When getting up, roll to your side, draw your knees up, push up to a sitting position, and stand by pushing up with your legs.
*To relieve back muscle pain, soak in a very warm bath or apply a heating pad directly to your back. Be careful not to set the heat too high.
*Rhus toxicodendron, a homeopathic remedy, is helpful in relieving stiffness. Take as directed.
*Once the acute pain has subsided, doing exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles may help prevent recurrences; these muscles help support your back.
*When sitting, try to keep your knees a little higher than your hips and keep your feet flat on the floor. Placing your feet on a pillow or other support to hold this position might be helpful.
*When carrying things on your shoulder, switch the weight to the other side from time to time. Carrying heavy shoulder bags may produce neck, back, and shoulder pain.
*Learn to recognize and reduce stress. Relaxation techniques can be very helpful.
*Always push large objects; never pull them.
*Wear comfortable, well-made shoes. The higher the heels of your shoes, the greater the risk of backache.
*Move around. Don’t sit in the same position for long periods of time.
*Never lean forward without bending your knees. Lift with your legs, arms, and abdomen – not with the muscles of the small of your back. Avoid lifting anything heavier than 20 pounds. If you must work close to the ground, squat down so you avoid bending at the waist.
*Don’t sleep on your stomach with your head raised on a pillow. Instead, rest your back by lying on your side with your legs bent, so your knees are about an inch higher than your hips. Sleep on a firm mattress with your head supported on a pillow. If your mattress isn’t firm enough, place a board between the box spring and the mattress.
*Maintain a healthy weight and get regular moderate exercise. A lack of exercise can cause back pain. Activities good for your back include swimming, cycling, walking, and rowing. Find one you like and do it regularly.
*If pain lasts longer than 72 hours, if pain radiates into your legs, or if other symptoms like unexplained weight loss occur, consult your health care provider. If your backaches are chronic, look for a physician who specializes in backs – and who doesn’t rush to recommend surgery. Get a second opinion if surgery is recommended.
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