Muscle strain is one of the most common causes of back pain. However, improper lifting techniques, poor posture, excess weight, lack of regular exercise, and sleeping in positions that throw off spinal alignment can also be contributing factors to spine-related pain. The good news is that most occurrences of mild-to-moderate back pain can be successfully treated with home remedies rather than having to undergo minimally invasive back surgery. Los Angeles back surgeons want to share a list of home remedies that may alleviate back pain.
Used by the Chinese as a source of pain relief for thousands of years, ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe an aching back. It can be applied as a paste to the affected area, brewed as an herbal tea, or prepared as a strained mixture with:
- 4 to 6 thin slices of ginger root
- 1/2 cup water
- Honey for flavor after you simmer and boil the tea for about 10 to 15 minutes
2. Poppy Seeds
Gamma-linolenic acid is one of the anti-inflammatory compounds in poppy seeds that can make them a reliable home remedy for back pain. Stir a cup of poppy seeds and rock candy into a glass of milk and drink twice daily.
3. Basil Leaves
Volatile oils in the eugenol in basil mimic some common anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Mix about 8 to 10 basil leaves in a pan of boiling water and let it evaporate to the halfway point, then add a pinch of salt and let it cool down. Drink it a few times a day until your back pain is gone.
Garlic has a long history of being used for a variety of therapeutic reasons over the years. Enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of this vegetable bulb by having a few cloves in the morning, or by preparing it as an oil you can apply directly to your back. The oil is prepared by:
- Heating mustard, sesame, and coconut oils on low heat
- Adding 8 to 10 cloves of garlic
- Frying it and straining the oil
5. Herbal Oils
The oil forms of ginger, eucalyptus, almond, frankincense, myrrh, and coconut can relax muscles that support the spine. Heat your preferred oil and apply it to the affected area. Turmeric may also be effective in oil form because of the well-known anti-inflammatory properties of its main ingredient, curcumin.
The bioaccessible compounds in wheat are believed to be responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. Like other whole grains, wheat also contains many essential vitamins and nutrients, including niacin, folic acid, manganese, and riboflavin, that are also good for tissues around the spine. Prepare wheat as a drink you can have twice daily by:
- Soaking it in water overnight
- Adding a cup of milk along with some coriander and cuscus grass powder
- Boiling the mixture until it thickens (for a few minutes)
Nutritional and herbal supplements that contain some of these ingredients may also ease backaches. Another common home remedy is the application of heat or ice, which can be done in the form of hot or cold packs, or with a warm bath. If you experience back pain that’s not responding to any of these home remedies, or if your discomfort is getting worse and lasting for more than a few weeks, see your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon.
Home remedies aren’t a cure-all solution. Sometimes chronic back pain is serious enough to warrant a procedure like artificial disc replacement or laminectomy back surgery. Los Angeles is home to The Spine Institute, where Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons can diagnose the source of your pain and help you find relief. Call our office today at 310-828-7757.