Week 1 – Introduction to Naturally Beating Back Pain
I cannot get out of bed in the morning because of back pain.
I have been to every practitioner including chiropractic, massage and physical therapy. I’ve had cortisone shots and I don’t want to have surgery.
I am on so many medications for my back I cannot stand it.
I want to be fixed but don’t want to have surgery as the rate of success is less than 50%. I just want to get back to the activities I used to do.
Do you relate to any of the statements above? Unfortunately, many people do. Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States and a common reason for missing work. “People with chronic low back pain also use an enormous amount of health care,” said the study’s lead author, Janet K. Freburger, Ph.D., a research associate at the Sheps Center and a research scientist at the UNC Institute on Aging.
Carey and Freburger noted that more than 80 percent of Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some time in their lives and that total costs of the condition are estimated at greater than $100 billion annually, with two-thirds of that due to decreased wages and productivity.
“Since the costs of back pain are rising, along with the number of cases, current treatments overall do not seem to be very effective,” Carey said.
Timothy S. Carey, M.D., director of the Sheps Center and Sarah Graham Kenan Professor in the departments of medicine and social medicine in the UNC School of Medicine.
Traditional medicine usually suggests drugs with some pretty intense side effect profiles. Back surgery can also come with side effects. Drugs and surgery may be appropriate depending on the kind of injury involved. We recognize that band-aids for acute care are essential when needed. With all of that being said there are natural solutions to help with back problems that can be used— and many people see results quickly. At Equilibrium Natural Health we have helped many people decrease or get rid of back pain over the years.
Last year, a 45 year old active father of three children came in with a chronic history of constipation, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and back pain of a few years. He had tried several medications and had just given up; nothing really seemed to help. As we started meeting with him he worked on changing a few aspects of his diet with cleaner eating habits like avoiding sugar and processed foods to decrease inflammation and pain. We started him on magnesium to take at night before bed to help as a natural muscle relaxant. We used a professional grade curcumin for inflammation reduction as well as high grade collagen sources to provide the needed building blocks to repair tissues that had been damaged. He came back only two weeks later and had significant changes, not only in sleep and bowel habits, but he also had some reduction in back pain. He was really happy with the results but wished there was something else that could be done with his back.
We had discussed Platelet Rich Plasma Prolotherapy injections (PRP) as a way to repair his back a little faster and reset his nervous system, but he was unsure about getting injections. He felt like he was making some good progress but he was hesitant and wanted to wait for two more weeks. He ended up choosing to get two injections and roughly two months later he was doing phenomenal. He was sleeping better because his pain was no longer keeping him up. Today he no longer has back pain during activities and is able to be do more physical activities once again. He’s active both with his family and in extracurricular sports that he used to play.
So are you ready to make some changes in your own lifestyle to eliminate your own back pain? Are you willing to put in some work to get back to the things you love? While changes in lifestyle for healing back pain aren’t always a breeze, making one or two adjustments each week in your daily health practices can make a bigger difference than you may realize. With a few simple habit changes, after you go through this four week guide, you could wake up without being sore in your back. You could have less trouble standing for longer periods. It is important to remember for some that with any change in health habits it may take a little longer for the body to adopt those changes. In other words, if the results aren’t immediate, give it some time and remember that your health is worth investing in.
A Few Things to Remember
The human body is truly amazing in its ability to heal. The body is constantly healing and repairing but sometimes that process can be hindered or blocked. Our task is to remove those blocks and vitalize that healing ability. Looking at the different aspects of your health can give insight as to what may contribute to your back pain. We look at your physical structure, your emotional/stress status as well as your own biochemical makeup (like your diet). In the interest of supporting yourself in each of these areas ask yourself: are you moving in a functional way everyday? Do you drink enough clean water? Are you applying stress management skills each day such as breathing deeply? As you try some of these you will be supporting your basic health needs. When you do that you build a foundation on which you can heal better.
Natural Solutions For Healing Back Pain
Magnesium and Calcium Supplements
Take between 250-1000mg of magnesium, based on individual tolerance, within an hour before bedtime. It can also be taken with calcium citrate for additional effect. The best forms of magnesium are glycinate, citrate, malate and orotate. Topical magnesium spray is a nice alternative to tablet form. Follow the directions on the spray bottle to figure equivalent amounts.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, supports the cardiovascular system and the metabolism among many other positive aspects. Because magnesium is not as common in our modern food due to mineral depletion in our soil, most of us are deficient. Calcium citrate is also a natural muscle relaxant. Because magnesium has a stool softening effect, it should be avoided if you have diarrhea.
Epsom Salt Bath
2-4 cups of epsom salt in a hot bath before bed can help loosen tight muscles and prepare your body for a more relaxed sleep. You can add 2-3 drops of lavender to the bath for more relaxation.
Epsom salt is another form of magnesium. This is topical magnesium that the body can absorb which helps the nervous system relax which cuts down on pain.
Take 400-1000 mg of high-grade curcumin once each day. If you want a whole food version you can use the following recipe. Take 1 tbsp of curcumin powder and mix it with 1-2 organic egg yolks with 1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil in a high speed blender. The high speed blender will cook the egg. Eat after mixing. Caution, it will stain the counters if it mixes with moisture of any kind.
Pain come from inflammation. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory substance. Because Curcumin is fat soluble, it is best absorbed when mixed with other ingredients.
One step at a time...
We hope you have enjoyed learning a few simple tricks that you can try at home to start reducing your back pain. Don’t feel like you need to implement these all at once. Instead, try one or two at the start of the week and maybe add or change tips through the week. You can try writing down a plan to implement which ones you select. Just remember, your health is something worth your investment.
If you would like additional solutions to reduce your back pain, covered in lessons two through four, you can access them for free when you sign with your email. We’ll also explore the most effective natural therapies in reducing back pain which we use in our clinic. If you need any help finding some of the items mentioned in this lesson, you can ask for our help by emailing us on our contact page or call our office at 360-698-4141 during business hours for a live person to help you.
Please note, this guide is in no way a diagnosis of your individual symptoms. If implementing these tips into your daily life does not provide a resolution of your symptoms, it is important to visit with a health care provider for further help and evaluation. There may be important pathological issues that need to be diagnosed and treated with a trained healthcare provider. Please refer to your physician before starting any supplements or lifestyle changes. Here at Equilibrium Natural Health we are committed to helping patients find the root cause of problems. We are available to help you get well. Visit our website at www.equilibriumwa.net to learn more or call the office today to book an appointment at 360-698-4141. We have Naturopathic Primary Care available to help patients reach optimal health.