One of the most common health issues that we humans suffer from is back pain. This chronic problem will affect 85% of human beings in their lifetime and has been around since the beginning of our existence. The physical symptoms we’re experiencing are often linked to patterns of stress and corresponding behaviors that are not serving us. The way we think about ourselves and the reality around us can actually affect our posture and other points of our physiology.
The good news is that in most cases, this pain is not being caused by a serious issue – and can be resolved using natural methods that are safe and easy to use.
Here are THREE remedies for back pain, each from different schools of natural medicine, that you can put into practice right now.
Quick tip: When checking out the remedies below, it’s important to be willing to move out of your comfort zone. Some of these exercises and herb preparations may seem unusual or “not you”, but when we’re trying to make a shift in our reality, we sometimes need to venture into uncharted territory.
1) Hip Circles
How good of a dancer are you? The greats all know that the secret to moving fluidly with grace, flexibility, and style is all in your hips. Yet most of us are blocked there, not using our hips and pelvis the way they were meant to be.
If you spend a few minutes making a full circle with your hips, pushing your butt out farther than it feels appropriate to, and rolling around to push your front out, in a hula-hoop motion, there can often be a huge release of lower back pain.
This may feel a little quirky or uncomfortable for the lumberjacks out there, but I promise there is magic in this motion.
Hip circles show up in a variety of different cultures stemming back thousands of years, whether it’s in traditional dance, stretching, or meditation practices.
2) Comfrey Root
This herb has been used since Roman times and beyond for its anti-inflammatory effects. It was and still is turned to in folk medicine across Europe to treat back pain, muscle sprains, strains, and pulls.
The most popular comfrey preparation for back pain is in the form of an ointment. Scientific research shows that moderate doses of comfrey applied directly to the affected muscles can lower pain significantly.
This remedy comes with a little warning – make sure you get your comfrey ointment or cream from a reputable source, because some poorly-grown product lines may not contain the primo organic stuff… Make sure to read your labels carefully!
3) Hot / Cold Therapy
Used in the right proportion, controlled hot and cold therapy is proven to be very effective in treating a variety of muscle pain, including back pain.
For most people with back pain, doctors recommend using cold for the first 48 hours — and then switching to heat.
You can go as basic or sophisticated as you’d like. I’ve used a bag of cold peas before, in place of the pricey synthetic Velcro ice wraps. You can do the same with heat – sometimes a simple hot bath with Epsom salts can work wonders.
Please note that ice therapy shouldn’t be used by folks with rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome, cold allergic conditions, paralysis, or areas of impaired sensation.