Back and neck pain are the most common forms of chronic pain experienced by an estimated 100 million Americans. While anti-inflammatory drugs can help ease the initial swelling and discomfort associated with such pain, stronger painkillers are only meant to be used short-term. Fortunately, there are many natural pain relief options that may help restore your quality of life and prevent the need to seek out motion-preserving spine treatments.
Any type of sustained activity has the potential to release endorphins, the body’s “feel good” hormones. If you’re dealing with persistent pain, safer forms of endorphin-releasing exercise include:
- Water therapy
- Yoga or Pilates
- Physical therapy
2. Essential Oils
Peppermint oil, rosemary, and lavender are just some of the essential oils thought to have healing properties. Such oils can be inhaled through aromatherapy or gently rubbed in during a therapeutic massage.
3. Warm Baths
Warm soaks in a bathtub, whirlpool, or Jacuzzi can sooth your aching muscles. Epsom salts and essential oils added to the water can further enhance your relaxation.
4. Heat Therapy
Targeted heat can soothe specific areas of pain. Heat is usually delivered in the form of a heating pad, gel-filled pad, or a hot bath.
5. Gentle Stretching
Tight muscles often increase or prolong bouts of pain. Using a heating pad before you stretch can further relax your muscles. Gentle stretching can include:
- Hamstring stretches
- Leg or knee bends
- Shoulder rolls
6. Sun Exposure
There’s research suggesting that low levels of vitamin D may worsen chronic pain symptoms. Just 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure can help your body naturally produce more of this important vitamin.
Support groups are another form of natural pain relief on an emotional level. Realizing you’re not alone may help you reach a point where you can take control of your pain and not vice-versa. Your doctor should be able to direct you to an appropriate group.
If conservative methods of treatment aren’t providing adequate relief, it may be time to consider other alternatives. Call The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation with an experienced Beverly Hills spine surgeon who can review your case and suggest viable options for pain relief. Reach out today.