As a natural health education provider, American School of Natural Health (ASNH) is a strong advocate for drugless and non-surgical procedures in dealing with chronic back pain. Alternative medicine can offer relief to those who do not wish to rely on pain medication and the list of side effects that can come with their daily use. Read on to discover some of the ways nutrition and lifestyle medicine can help support your natural health.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet can really help alleviate pain:
- Focus on getting more omega 3 fatty acids into your diet by eating lots of oily fish such as sardines and mackerel.
- Take a tablespoon or two of freshly ground flaxseeds (linseeds) daily and reduce intake of the opposing fatty acid omega 6, by limiting vegetable oils such as corn, soya and canola. If eating red meat, keep intake low and opt for grass-fed not grain-fed meats.
- Substitute with coconut oil or olive oil for cooking and drizzling.
- A whole food, organic, plant-based diet should be your mainstay. Eliminate white flour junk foods and processed foods.
- Use spices liberally, include turmeric, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, oregano and ginger daily.
More useful ideas:
- Drink plenty of water, back pain is worsened by dehydration.
- Magnesium supplementation (300mg plus) or magnesium rich foods such as cashews or cooked spinach may benefit you to help relax tense muscles.
- Stretching, particularly the hamstrings, and across the shoulder blades is useful.
- Massage, heat or cool packs can also soothe.
- Stress can tighten muscles and aggravate pain conditions – soothe yourself with gentle exercise, walking and enjoyable hobbies. Lavender and chamomile essential oils can be great to inhale or drop on the pillow at night for restful restorative sleep.
- In addition to diet, acupuncture and herbal medicine can be wonderful for natural pain management.