Q: I have chronic low back pain that has waxed and waned for over 30 years. I don’t want to take drugs. Any suggestions?
—Peter M., Tucson, Ariz.
A: Chronic low back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical advice. First and foremost, it’s essential to work with a provider who will take the time to understand the history of your pain.
Most pain is exacerbated, if not caused entirely, by inflammation, so engaging in natural anti-inflammatory practices is always worthwhile. The first recommendation is to be well-hydrated. The discs between the bony units of the spinal column are mostly made of water, and being well-hydrated will keep those discs turgid, thus providing internal traction.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Nutrients
Try to reduce your consumption of animal foods such as cheese, ice cream, and meat. Vegetables need to be at the center of your diet—eat several at every meal. Also, eating less helps reduce body wear and tear (which causes inflammation).
Give natural pain relievers such as turmeric and MSM.
Options for Treating Sciatica
A low backache with a buzzy, unpleasant sensation down one or both legs (sciatica) usually means an intervertebral disc is pressing on a spinal nerve. Treatment options include a well-placed steroid injection and our Back Lumber Compression Brace. As a last resort, surgery can relieve the pressure.
Sitting Too Long Can Cause Low Back Pain
Very frequently, low back pain is caused by chairs. If possible, sit on a large ball at work. Standing desks are okay. It’s not great to stand all day either—better if your desk is adjustable and you can alternate between sitting and standing every few hours.
Core Toning for Reducing Low Back Pain
Another essential element for preventing or reducing low back pain is core toning. There are many readily available programs for the abdominal muscles. Find one simple one you can quickly commit to memory, and engage with daily.
Start with 10 and build up to 100 reps.
We have the Back Brace for You
Our Soft Gel Back Hot and Cold Wrap has Lumbar Support. Our gel packs provide long-lasting reusable relief if you need to ice your sore back or soothe your tired muscles with heat with no drugs.