Tags: back pain | remedies | health | medicine

Got Back Pain? Here Are the Best and Worst Remedies

Got Back Pain? Here Are the Best and Worst Remedies
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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 10:11 AM

An astonishing 80 percent of American adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, often from slipped discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, and lumbar spinal stenosis.

While billions of dollars are spent each year on pain medication to treat back pain, a number of natural remedies are as effective, or more so, experts say. Chief among them: Exercise.

“Most chronic musculoskeletal problems like back pain can be very positively addressed by exercise,”said Dr. Anthony Delitto, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy and dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. “It’s going to give you much greater relief than any pill.”

But not all forms of exercise are equally beneficial, Delitto said. He advises starting with some simple stretches and not sitting for hours on end.

His favorite stretch involves stand up from your chair every hour, placing your hands on your hips, and bending backward for three seconds. Repeating this stretch five times every hour will naturally relieve low-back pain.

“Your spine does not like being in a static position for a long period of time,” he explains. “This is a strategy to get you out of that static position.”

His second-favorite stretch involves placing your hands above your head, clasping one hand to the opposite wrist, and reaching.

Delitto warns that some common stretches may at best provide only temporary relief and may actually increase back pain. Among them: Bending over and touching your toes, lying on your back and pulling your knees to your check, and twisting your back until it cracks. All three can stress your muscles and overflex your back.

Better options Delitto advises:

  • Aim to walk up to 10,000 steps per day.
  • Engage in aerobic activities such as bicycling, stationary cycling, and swimming.
  • Try yoga or Pilates, which strengthen the core muscles that support the spine.

He also notes one of the worst strategies for back pain is bed rest because it prolongs recovery. Braces and back supports are also a bad idea, as are balms and topical creams, such as Bengay and Icy Hot, none of which have been shown to work.

Painkillers are necessary for some people, but carry significant risks, DeLitto notes.

“There’s a place for pills,” he says. But he adds that, in the vast majority of cases, non-drug remedies are most effective for relieving chronic low-back pain.

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An astonishing 80 percent of American adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, often from slipped discs, arthritis, osteoporosis, and lumbar spinal stenosis.While billions of dollars are spent each year on pain medication to treat back pain, a number of...
back pain, remedies, health, medicine
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2018-11-17
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 10:11 AM
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