Got back pain? Me, too.
Four out of five people get back pain.
In a study involving 220 subjects, experts found that 80% of people will experience back pain in their lifetime, and one half of working adults suffer from back pain each year.1 Acute or chronic back pain may come from an accident such as a sports injury, excessive lifting or just plain overworking. You should always see a doctor or chiropractor for your back pain before using home remedies to rule out any serious issues like a fracture or nerve impairment.
My journey with back pain began when my family moved from the beach to the mountains. The snow fell deep and often that winter as I learned how not to walk on snow and ice. A chiropractor got me though that first episode, but the pain has returned many times through the years, particularly while I was either pregnant or toting a toddler. Rather than live with the side effects of pain medications and muscle relaxers I searched for ways to relieve my chronic back pain and muscle cramps naturally. Here are some things I found helpful.
Mineral deficiencies contribute to muscle cramps and back pain. Calcium, magnesium and potassium work together to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Dr. Oz recommends taking a combination of 600 mg calcium, 400 mg magnesium and 200 mg potassium daily to ensure adequate mineral intake.3
Magnesium has long been known as a muscle relaxer that helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Some people take magnesium before bed to ease insomnia.
Potassium conducts electrical impulses through the body. Low potassium levels may cause nerve impulses to fail resulting in weakness and muscle cramps. Potassium levels outside the normal range of 3.5 – 5 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) may be fatal.4
Essential Oil to the Rescue for Back Troubles
Several essential oils have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties, as well as generally boosting one’s mood. Essential oils are used by many to reduce the tension and inflammation associated with muscle cramps and back pain. Remember, essential oils are for external use and must be diluted before use with a few exceptions. Five to fifteen drops of an essential oil or blend can be added to a bath or ½ ounce of carrier oil. Massage the area with the oil mixture two or three times each day.
Better yet, see a massage therapist at Everlasting Health Center. In a 2011 study, researchers found that 10 weeks of either relaxation or structural massage was more effective than painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or physical therapy. The study noted that the effects of massage therapy lasted for more than 6 months.2 Many massage therapists use essential oils to enhance the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain, muscle cramps, and other issues.
Essential oils, massage, and mineral supplements are only a few of the many natural solutions used for back pain and muscle cramps. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s healing responses to relieve hip, neck and back pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Chiropractic care may be right for some, and many would benefit from stretching or yoga, with a doctor’s approval. Whether from overexertion, minor injuries, or muscle cramps, we have many natural, side effect free solutions for dealing with both acute and chronic back pain.