NATURAL PAIN RELIEVERS

by Sarah
(Houston)

Aren't there any natural pain relievers that I can use for my back-pain? I am tired of going to doctors. They just want to refer me to a specialist or write a prescription. I don't want surgery and I don't want drugs.

I exercise and try to eat healthy and I'm not overweight. I am only 30 years old and I should not have this miserable back pain.
What can I do?

Sarah



Hi Sarah, I am sorry you are so uncomfortable but you don't give us much information about your back pain. There are a lot of possibilities.

We often don't think about it but your spine is a very complicated piece of equipment. There are many many bones and muscles, and tendons and ligaments that work together to hold you up, and there are many places for problems to occur. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to relieve your pain.

The first thing you should do is make sure that there is not something serious wrong with your back. Because you are correct, you should not have severe back pain at 30 years old.

Has your doctor ordered any x-rays or other studies of your back. Those may be helpful for ruling out serious causes of back pain such as a fracture or infection.

Your doctor refers you to a surgeon for his opinion of what is causing your pain. Just because you see a surgeon does not mean that you have to have surgery.

But a surgeon or other specialist may provide valuable information about what is causing your pain. This is especially important if you are having any other symptoms such as pain or weakness in your legs, or pain at night that is not relieved by lying down.

The most common cause of back pain is muscle pain caused by poor posture or some type of repetitive use injury.

These can occur at work or during many different kinds of recreational activities. Have you been able to identify any specific activities that make your pain better or worse?

If your back pain is muscular you may benefit from a few visits with a physical therapist. They can evaluate your posture, check for muscle imbalances, or disc injuries, or other specific problems that may be causing your pain.

They will develop an exercise program specifically for your particular situation. No two people have exactly the same pain or condition to deal with, so every person requires a different treatment.

Other things that you can try that might help you get rid of the pain, or at least make it more tolerable, would include over the counter medications, yoga, and meditation.

Topical and oral anti-inflammatory treatments can help reduce inflammation and swelling and make you more comfortable.

These preparations are generally safe when taken as directed and if they help you be more comfortable there is no reason not to use them. If you have questions about their safety for you, you should always check with your doctor.

Yoga exercises performed under the guidance of a trained instructor can be helpful for stretching and strengthening various muscle groups and improving spinal alignment.

Meditation can help you deal with pain that cannot be relieved. It can help you change the way you think about pain and what it means to you. Sometimes just changing the words we use will make the pain more tolerable.

Don't say pain, say discomfort. Don't say miserable, say annoyed. Changing the way we frame it in our mind can make all the difference. Life happens, life can make you have pain, but you must choose to suffer.

Well Sarah, these are a few things you can try. If you can let me know more details about your pain I might be able to make more specific recommendations.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
Dave

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