Are you struggling with lower back pain?
If so, you’re not alone.
According to a study from Statistics Canada, 80% of adults will deal with some form of chronic back pain at some point in their lives.
But while it may be a little comforting to know you’re in good company, it doesn’t make the pain subside.
Even so, the prospect of living on pain medication might not be appealing either.
However, there are natural solutions for lower back pain which may help you find relief.
Before we talk about solutions, though, let’s take a look at what causes it in the first place.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain has a wide range of different issues associated with it.
These issues can range from lifestyle factors and injuries to congenital concerns you have no control over.
Regardless of the source, though, it still hurts.
But by getting a better understanding of how your back pain manifests itself, and where it comes from, you can better understand how to address it.
1. Congenital Issues
Congenital issues are health problems you were born with.
Lordosis, scoliosis, and kyphosis are three types of congenital issues that cause the spine to curve abnormally.
Usually these are diagnosed in childhood or adolescence.
They can all cause poor posture and pain due to pressure placed on the vertebrae, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
Sciatica is a condition most commonly involving a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back all the way down to your calves, and pressure on it can cause pain in all of these locations.
Often, sciatica will improve on its own, but treatments can help facilitate your body’s innate ability to repair this issue.
3. Poor Posture
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of lower back pain.
Due to increased screen time and sedentary lifestyles, poor posture is on the rise.
Poor posture can put strain on joints, discs, and muscles which leads to back pain.
This is especially true for those who use smart phones – the act of hanging your head downward to look at your screen can put unnecessary pressure on your neck and spine.
4. An Injury
In between each of your vertebrae is a disc – a rubbery cushion that’s there to allow your spine to move freely without pain.
These discs are prone to injury, especially as you age.
Injury to your discs, either from sports or excessive lifting, is a common path to back pain.
Make sure you’re always wearing proper equipment and are properly trained in the physical activities you need to perform to minimize risk of injury.
This is especially true if you work in a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting.
5. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is when pressure is applied to your spinal cord and nerves due to a narrowing of the spinal column.
The main cause of this is degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae.
Symptoms include weakness, cramping, and numbness, and you may feel these anywhere in your body.
What To Do If You Have Lower Back Pain
We’ve looked at the most common causes of lower back pain, but what are some steps you can take to combat it?
Below you’ll find some simple lifestyle changes you can make, as well as potential treatment options.
1.Improve Your Posture
As we spend more and more time in front of screens, the potential for bad posture has never been higher.
Sitting with correct posture, not slouching, and not crouching over your phone all the time are quick ways to address one of the most common forms of back pain.
When considering your posture, imagine you have a piece of thread attached to the crown of your head, and you’re dangling from it.
Keeping that in mind can help you maintain a better posture.
2. Quit Smoking
We all know that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it can also affect back pain?
Some studies have shown that smoking can be a contributing factor in back pain.
Quitting smoking is a good measure to take in the battle against back pain.
So in case you weren’t convinced yet that you should quit smoking, there’s yet another reason to add to the list.
3. Get More Exercise
Getting out and exercising, especially with activities designed with your back in mind, are great for keeping a healthy and lower-back-pain life.
Exercise also focuses on posture and being mindful of our bodies.
If you’ve injured yourself though, you might be reluctant to exercise.
Paradoxically, this can make things worse.
The good news is that exercise doesn’t need to be particularly strenuous for you to get the benefits from it.
Going for a walk, doing some gentle yoga or stretching, or taking a leisurely bike ride on a Sunday afternoon can all be great exercise solutions that can ease your back pain.
4. See A Massage Therapist
Massage therapy is useful in loosening tight muscles which in turn makes getting into and maintaining a healthy posture much easier.
As discussed, having poor posture is a huge contributor to back pain and getting a massage may be just the relief you need to work on getting your back in order.
Booking a massage therapist is an excellent way to relieve back pain and start working on your posture.
5. See An Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
Osteopathic manual treatment is a no-drug, non-invasive form of manual medicine that focuses on full-body health instead of just the affected area.
A 2005 study showed osteopathic manual treatment to be helpful in reducing lower back pain.
Depending on the cause of your back pain, classical osteopathy treatment may help you find relief.
Book An Appointment At Mahaya Health
Have you been struggling with chronic back pain?
Are you worried about the side effects of the pain medication your doctor prescribed for you?
If so, Mahaya Health can help.
We’ll help you understand the source of your chronic pain, and talk to you about solutions to help get you feeling better once more.
Yours in Health,
Mahaya Health Services
2 College St., Suite #105,
Toronto, ON M5G 1K3
Mahaya Health Services is an integrative naturopathic clinic in Toronto. With a variety of practitioners each drawing on their own modalities, you’ll find a well-rounded team that can help you with your health concerns.