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Back Pain: The Seven Most Common Sources of It and Natural Steps to Remedy It

Back pain is extremely common, with four out of five adults facing it at least once during their lives, according to the Mayo Clinic.

back pain

Most back pain is caused by overusing, straining or injuring the muscles and ligaments in your back -- while doing routine, everyday things!

And a nationwide phone survey of over 1,200 Americans, sponsored by Stanford University Medical Center, ABC News and USA Today, found that back pain was the most common type of pain reported (followed by knee and shoulder pain, joint pain and headaches).

Because your back is part of your body's core muscles, and is necessary for nearly every movement you make, it's also very vulnerable to injury. In fact, most back pain is caused by overusing, straining or injuring the muscles, ligaments and disks that support your spine.

Back pain, therefore, commonly results from:

  1. Poor posture

  2. Sitting at a desk all day

  3. Lifting something heavy improperly

  4. A sudden, awkward movement (such as from sneezing)

  5. Sleeping on an uncomfortable, or unsupportive, mattress, or in an awkward position

  6. Carrying around a heavy handbag or backpack

  7. Being overweight

Relieving Back Pain Naturally

Surveys have found that more than half of Americans are suffering from physical pain that leads to stress and irritability, and has a negative impact on their personal relationships, work productivity and daily routine.

Fortunately, there are many natural tools within your reach that can help you relieve back pain and support a healthy spine.

  1. Use proper posture. This includes while standing or sitting. How do you know if your posture is proper? Stand with your back to a wall. If your shoulders, bottom and back of head are all touching the wall, then your posture is correct.

back stretching exercise

Exercise not only strengthens your back, making it less prone to injury, it also prompts your body to release endorphins, which block pain signals from reaching your brain.

  1. Get a new, medium-firm mattress. An old, lumpy or overly soft mattress could be causing you unnecessary pain. Studies show that a medium-firm mattress is best if you have back pain.

  2. Lose weight. If you're overweight, you're straining your back muscles with every move you make.

  3. Exercise regularly. Low-impact exercises such as aerobics, yoga, swimming and walking will increase the strength in your back and help your muscles to function better.

    Further, according to the Mayo Clinic, exercise also helps relieve pain by prompting your body to release chemicals called endorphins that actually block pain signals from reaching your brain.

Stretch Your Back Pain Away with "Stretching Toward a Healthier Life"

Stretching Toward a Healthier LifeIf you have back pain you are doing yourself an extreme disservice by not stretching.

As with exercise, proper form in stretching has everything to do with achieving the maximum health benefits (and avoiding personal injury.) Most effective is to see--step-by-step--the proper form of each and every stretch in action by an expert versus seeing a single snapshot of the stretch in a book (or just reading about each stretch.)

Stretching Toward a Healthier Life on DVD gets our top recommendation for five key reasons:

  • It presents 15 stretches that stretch all the key muscles groups throughout your entire body (something we did not see with several other guides we reviewed).

  • It only takes about 15-20 minutes per day total to do the complete stretching.

  • Stretching expert and host Jacques Gauthier and his wife Dorothee Lavoie demonstrate each stretch in their entirety, including insights on what NOT to do.

  • In addition to stretching nearly 100% of the muscles in your body, Gauthier chose 15 stretches that you'll find actually feel good and are easy to do (many stretches in other programs are not).

  • The production quality of the video and sound is excellent. (Many other DVD productions on stretching are not.)

Find out more about Stretching Toward a Healthier Life with FREE SHIPPING for a Limited Time!

"Endorphins are the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals that in many cases are more powerful than morphine," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

  1. Be careful when lifting. If you're lifting something heavy, let your legs, not your back, do most of the work.

  2. Stretch regularly. Stretching helps to reduce tension in your muscles, improve flexibility and range of motion, and may slow the degeneration of your joints. The act of stretching alone will also improve your blood circulation and help you to relax -- a key to pain relief.

    To learn how to do the right type of stretching -- the kind that actually feel good while you do them (and after!) -- we highly recommend the Stretching Toward a Healthier Life DVD.

  3. Get a massage. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) says massage therapy helps patients become more aware of their bodies and the sources of pain. It also better familiarizes patients with the pain they experience, and improves confidence by encouraging patients to effectively cope with their pain.

  4. Try BlueStopMax Pain Gel. This is a natural, proven topical gel that will relieve your pain in minutes, and is an excellent addition to the natural tools discussed.

  5. Reduce inflammation in your body. When your body is in a chronic state of inflammation, the inflammation can lodge in your muscles, joints and tissues. Over time, this can lead to physical pain, as well as a number of diseases including heart disease. Emotions (too much stress), diet and lifestyle all contribute to inflammation.

One of the safest, low-risk things you can do to lower your risk of inflammation is to modify your lifestyle and dietary choices. This means eating a variety of anti-inflammatory foods (fruits and vegetables), limiting or avoiding all together the pro-inflammatory foods (highly processed foods, high-sugar foods, trans fats, etc.), exercising and quitting smoking (if you do).

Recommended Reading

Pain in the Wrist? FREE Trigger Point Self-Test and Self-Treatment Solutions

6 Reasons (Besides Great Looks) to Strengthen Your Abdominals, and 5 Exercises to do it Properly


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