Is back pain ruining your sleep? While back pain at night is one of the leading causes of insomnia, there are things you can do during the day that will help you at bedtime. By treating your chronic back pain naturally with the following home remedies, you may be able to fall into a deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
Your body is equipped with natural pain relievers called “endorphins.” When you meditate, your mind and body become relaxed. This triggers the release of endorphins, which help relieve pain. In one study, pain sufferers who engaged in meditation for 20 minutes three times a week began to notice a reduction in their pain symptoms.
2. Exercise Your Abs and Back
Exercise is a natural remedy for many ailments, including chronic back pain. However, before you start any type of exercise regimen, it’s important that you consult your doctor first. Focusing on your back muscles may be an easy way to strengthen your back, but don’t neglect the abdominals—your abs. Your abs and back muscles work together to support your lower back, so your exercise regimen should target both.
To make exercise easier, you can use an exercise ball that was designed to strengthen the muscles on your front and back. If you need help, consider a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. He or she can help you put an exercise plan together that is designed to strengthen your back and help relieve your pain.
3. Apply Heat—and Cold
Cold and heat are easy remedies to apply at home.
- Cold will benefit you if your back tends to become inflamed. It can also reduce muscle spasms that can cause pain.
- Heat helps alleviate back pain by increasing the blood flow, thereby stimulating your sensory receptors and taking the tension off your muscles.
For cold, all you need is an ice pack. For heat, you can soak in a hot bath, or you may place a heating pad on the painful area.
4. Stretch Your Hamstrings
Tight hamstrings can cause discomfort because the tightness places stress on your lower back and prevents your pelvis from moving freely. A very simple remedy is to stretch your hamstrings twice a day. One of the easiest — and most effective — exercises is the standing hamstring stretch. Simply bend over and try to touch your toes. Make sure that you are not forcing the stretch, which can worsen your injury.
These suggestions are home remedies that you can take advantage of even if you are being treated by a physician. With these tips in mind, a better night’s sleep may be a blink away.
Doug Johnson, PA
North American Spine
Doug Johnson helped create North American Spine in 2009, and is certified with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. In addition to managing all medical staff, Doug also facilitates all new location launches by training physicians in proper AccuraScope procedure techniques and instructing office staff in North American Spine expectations of quality patient service.