It’s estimated that eight out of ten people will suffer from back or neck pain throughout their lives, with many of these suffering chronic discomfort. While medication and painkillers can help to alleviate the symptoms of such maladies for some people, they’re by no means a cure-all solution.
If you’re one of the unfortunate souls for whom taking painkillers just doesn’t seem to help, or for whom constant medication is an unattractive option, here are four alternative ways in which you might be able to address the root cause of the problem.
1. Stretch it out
Much back and neck pain arises from stiffness and tightness in muscles and ligaments. Conducting a series of stretches and movements on a regular basis (every morning before showering and every evening before bed, for example) can increase the flexibility of your joints, thus providing pain relief and reducing the chances of suffering a recurrence of the complaint in the future. If you have a willing partner to hand, gentle massaging is another great way to self-treat back and neck pain.
2. Change your diet
Did you know 70% to 80% of the discs in our spinal column consist of water? For that reason, it’s imperative you stay hydrated throughout the diet to replace these vital fluids and minimise tension on your vertebrae. Meanwhile, magnesium is well-known for its abilities to help relax strained or sprained muscles, so increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods (such as fruit and vegetables, soy products and whole grains) can help to alleviate back and neck pain, too.
3. Take to the pool
The therapeutic effects of exercise in general should not be underestimated, and swimming in particular poses an attractive method of easing stiffness and reducing inflammation of sore muscles and joints. Be careful to choose a stroke that doesn’t cause severe discomfort and avoid over-exertion – breast stroke or backstroke can be very effective, since they avoid minimal movement of the neck. For best results, find a heated pool.
4. Adjust your posture
We often think of pain arising from an injury or accident, but much of the time chronic aches and pains are simply the result of poor habits. More than half of back pain sufferers report that they sit down for the majority of their working day – if that sounds familiar, consider purchasing or requesting a lumbar support chair for the office (and perhaps for the car, as well). Meanwhile, choosing a mattress that’s right for you will minimise any exacerbation of the issue overnight.
See a specialist
While these home remedies may help to take the edge off your back and neck pain and even reduce its long-term impact, there’s simply no substitute for the advice and treatment of a trained professional. At CW Chiropractic, we have years of experience in identifying and treating a multitude of back and neck pain complaints. To see how we can help you, get in touch today.