Back pain is so common that the National Institutes of Health recognizes it as the second most common neurological disorder in the United States. Back pain may stem from a host of causes, from muscle strains or sprains to much more serious conditions like a tumor, osteoporosis, sciatica or a herniated disc. Dr. Beebe recommends, “If your back pain is lasting more than 2-3 days without a reduction of pain intensity or it is actually intensifying, you should have a professional assess your condition.” Once a medical professional pinpoints the cause of your pain, they can recommend a comprehensive treatment plan, often including these natural remedies:
“In general, a chiropractor will take your spine from a dysfunctional state and attempt to move it to a [more] functional state,” explains Dr. Beebe. By aligning the spine, chiropractic patients begin to feel relief. The Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics writes that combining chiropractic care with exercise is “likely to speed and improve outcomes” and protect against future episodes of back pain. Often alignments are combined by additional modalities at a chiropractic clinic such as electric stimulation or ultrasound. These modalities help to relax and strengthen surrounding muscles, reduce swelling and inflammation at the pain site, and increase blood flow to the pain site to assist in the healing process. Dr. Beebe urges patients to understand that “everyone is different and some patient’s experience immediate relief and others take more time. It depends greatly on the severity and type of spinal condition a patient has.”
One of the most ancient treatments to pain known to mankind, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that teaches pain is the result of blocked energy. In order to release the body from pain, acupuncture needles are inserted along the body’s invisible energy pathways. Through this method acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving opiods, send signals to the sympathetic nervous system, and restores energetic balance to the body.
Often chronic pain is associated with anxiety and depression – massage therapy helps treat and reduce both of these symptoms. A study on massage and back pain conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in 2001 found that, “Massage lessened lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and improved sleep. The massage therapy group also showed improved range of motion and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.” Often massage will produce the best results when combined with medical treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic care or physician consults.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers. When it is applied to the skin, capsaicin has been found to deplete substance P – a neurochemical that transmits pain – causing an analgesic effect. Capsaicin cream reduces low back pain without causing any notable side effects. *Note: wear disposable gloves before applying the cream and be careful not to touch the eye area or open skin.
Chronic muscle pain can be a symptom of a vitamin D deficiency. According to a 2005 report by the British Medical Journal, Vitamin D supplements may lead to clinical improvement in back pain symptoms among people with low initial concentration of vitamin D. Dr. Beebe recommends increasing vitamin D supplements to 5,000 IU a day (especially during Portland’s rainy season) to prevent pain, keep bones strong and improve overall health and mood.
Beebe Chiropractic & Wellness Center is located in Tigard, OR within the Portland Metro area. Dr. Daniel Beebe cares for patients with sports, work & auto injuries, neck pain & lower back pain, headaches & migraines, chronic pain, scoliosis and more. For more information visit BeebeChiro.com or follow via Facebook or Twitter.