Is Your Back Lowering Your Income? Here Are a Few Ways to Keep Back Pain Away
That aching lower back is affecting your life more than you think. Think about how many times you've had to not go to work because of your back. There's good news – there are natural, holistically healthy remedies that help alleviate and prevent lower back pain.
Did you know that of all the missed workdays in the U.S., lower back pain is the culprit 40 percent of the time? That means almost half the times Americans miss work it's because of an aching back! Not only that, when you and everyone else go to see the doctor and get treated for lower back pain, the healthcare costs and missed income totals to about 100 billion dollars annually. That's a lot of money spent and lost because of your aching back!
But did you know there are cost-free ways that can keep your back pain at bay? These are things you should already be doing everyday to keep yourself in good health:
1. Eat Antioxidant-rich Foods
Researchers found that oxidative stress, like that caused by free radicals and UV radiation, can cause nerve damage that results in chronic lower back pain. And if you've been reading our articles, you know by now that antioxidants fight free radicals and other oxidative stress-causing chemicals. These researchers wanted to see if antioxidants would have an effect on lower back pain. They gave adults with chronic lower back pain 600 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and 140 enzyme units of superoxide dismutase (SOD) for two months. After 40 days, participants experienced so much pain relief that over 65 percent of them stopped taking analgesics. They even experienced improved functionality because their back pain had been greatly alleviated.
You can experience the same awesome back pain relief! According to WebMD, ALA and SOD (the same two miracle antioxidants the researchers gave to the participants) are found in healthy foods like spinach, yams, broccoli, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. But if you want to get the full pain-relieving benefits, it's best to buy ALA supplements – remember to stick to 600 to 1000 milligrams per day to prevent overdosing.
2. Do Daily 15-minute Back Exercises
The Mayo Clinic recommends doing 15 minutes daily back exercises to strengthen your back and its supporting muscles. They say it can help prevent back pain. Before trying these, it's best to get approval from your doctor:
Stretch from your knees to your chest. Lie on your back with your feet touching the ground and your knees bent up. Bring one knee to your chest with your hands then hold the position. Contract your abs and press your back against the floor for five seconds in this position. Repeat this with your other knee.
Rotate your knees. Lie on your back with your feet touching the floor. Without moving your upper body, swivel your knees to one side and hold for a few seconds. Repeat with the other side.
Exercise your abs. Lie on your back with your feet touching the floor. Push out your stomach using your abs and hold for a few seconds. Then push in your stomach with your abs and hold for a few seconds.
You can find more exercises here.
3. See a Chiropractor
If you feel iffy about chiropractors, know that the National Institutes of Health have recognized chiropractors as being able to relieve back pain safely.
But chiropractors can be expensive (perhaps even as much as a visit to your doctor). It's best to try the above, cost-free methods first before resorting to a chiropractor. On a good note, it's healthier and safer to get your back pain relieved by a chiropractor instead of taking liver-stressing pharmaceuticals.