In It for the Long Haul
If it’s looking like your Back Pain is Chronic, don’t despair. It is entirely possible to live a full, happy life with chronic pain. If the most mainstream treatments (heat and ice therapy, a brace, pain medication, etc) are not helping to alleviate your pain, or not doing enough to provide relief, there are some other methodologies you can experiment with. For many people, making efforts in these areas makes all the difference.
Certain foods feed inflammation. This can exacerbate or worsen the pain in your back. Try avoiding processed foods, as well as: eggplant, tomato, dairy, eggs, wheat, chocolate, wine, caffeine, and high-fat red meat. As a note, we don’t necessarily recommend cutting all of these out of your diet at once; however, you might experiment with eliminating one or two of them for a period of time, and observe whether it does anything for your pain.
There are also some foods which can relieve inflammation. Try regularly incorporating these into your diet: asparagus, leafy greens, soy products, pineapple, cherries, cranberries, walnuts, chia seeds, and fatty fish.
If you are a smoker, you might consider trying to quit (for many reasons!); smoking has been linked to vertebral disc and joint damage. Quitting can only help.
In addition to diet, there are a number of supplements that can have a therapeutic effect on back pain specifically.
Tumeric, a natural spice, draws its anti-inflammatory properties from the substance curcumin. More information about side-effects and recommended dosage is available here, from Livestrong, and you should discuss any supplements you are taking with your doctor. Tumeric, though, is generally quite safe. You can add it to your smoothie, season your dinner with it, or take it as a tincture.
Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil both contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids; for many people, they can significantly relieve inflammation. As with any supplement, speak to your doctor if you’d like to try Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil as a remedy; they can be very powerful in reducing pain, but can also interfere with blood thinner medication.
If the typical methods for eliminating your back pain aren’t working, it’s worth exploring some alternative, safe treatment options.
Back Pain is the most often reported reason for seeking acupuncture treatment; the American Pain Society recommends it as a treatment for Back Pain in patients who are not responding to conventional treatment. It is a technique of Chinese medicine that seeks to address pain by correcting the flow of energy through the body. This is achieved by the insertion of specialized metallic needles in certain points of the body. The process is approved by the FDA and is rarely, if at all, described as painful; however, many people do find it to be effective.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) treats back pain with low-voltage electric current. This is performed using a battery-operated TENS device. Electrodes are placed on the back, over the area with pain; this allows an electrical impulse to travel along the nerves. Patients have described the feeling as a tingling sensation. If you decide to try this method of pain relief, be aware that most people experience best results using the unit every day over a period of several days. Be sure to follow the instructions for the device.
The world is wide and miraculous; we are committed to giving you as many options as possible to address your Back Pain. If you’ve given the treatment plan that you and your doctor came up with a real shot, and it’s not helping, we encourage you to safely experiment with some of the above options.