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The American Chiropractic Association or ACA recently reported that ...

The American Chiropractic Association or ACA recently reported that
as many as 31 million Americans are certain to suffer from lower back
aches at any point in time. In fact, a number of experts go as far as
saying that 80% of the population – at the most – may experience
from back pains some time or another.

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Back painalleviation Document Transcript

  • 1. BACK PAIN ALLEVIATIONBy: Tom Om
  • 2. Chapter:BackPainAlleviation22 Healing Back PainBack Pain AlleviationTable of ContentsIntroduction ..............................................................................................................7The Importance of the Human Back.................................................................... 8Take Action Now................................................................................................... 9Traditional versus Alternative Treatment .........................................................10The Pain is “Back”................................................................................................... 12What Causes Back Pain? ...................................................................................... 12Acute versus Chronic Back Pain.......................................................................... 12Top Causes of Back Pain...................................................................................... 13Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.................................................................... 13Injuries............................................................................................................... 13Strain..................................................................................................................13Acquired or Pre-existing Condition .................................................................13Skeletal Irregularities........................................................................................14Other Mechanical Causes.................................................................................14Pregnancy and Obesity..................................................................................... 15
  • 3. Chapter:BackPainAlleviation33 Healing Back PainInfections........................................................................................................... 15Emotional and Psychological Causes...............................................................16Sedentary or Desk Work ..................................................................................16Smoking.............................................................................................................16Should You Consult a Doctor Immediately?....................................................... 17Resting: Something or Nothing?............................................................................19Improving Sleep and Getting R&R to Reduce Back Pain ..................................19The Correct Position for Resting .....................................................................19Tips for Choosing the Right Bed..................................................................... 20How to Choose the Right Mattress................................................................. 21Choosing the Right Bed Base.......................................................................... 26Choosing the Right Pillows ............................................................................. 28Getting Your Old Weight Back............................................................................... 29Fight Obesity to Defeat Back Pains ................................................................... 29A Breakdown of the Ideal Diet........................................................................... 30Tips for Sticking to Your Diet ..............................................................................32Tips for Exercising Regularly...............................................................................35Do You Like It Hot or Cold?.................................................................................... 38The Heat and Ice Treatment .............................................................................. 38A Toast to a Healthy Back...................................................................................... 39Herbs, Food, and Drinks for Back Pain Relief.................................................... 39
  • 4. Chapter:BackPainAlleviation44 Healing Back PainHerbs and Greens for Back Pain Relief........................................................... 39Foods and Drinks for Back Relief.....................................................................42Are You Vitamin D Deficient? ............................................................................. 43The Effects of Nicotine and Alcohol on Back Pain............................................ 44The 3 P’s – Pins, Pricks, and Pain........................................................................... 45Acupuncture for Relieving Back Pain ................................................................ 45Diagnostic Methods in Acupuncture.................................................................46Types of Back Pain According to TCM................................................................47How to Prepare for an Acupuncture Treatment .............................................. 48Cheers to Chiropractors......................................................................................... 50Chiropractic Manipulation for Back Pain Relief................................................ 50Key Facts about Chiropractic Adjustment ..................................................... 50Possible Side Effects of Chiropractic Adjustment ..........................................51What to Expect from Chiropractic Treatment................................................51The Need to Knead .................................................................................................53Massaging Techniques for Back Pain Relief.......................................................53Aromatherapy Massage...................................................................................53Deep Tissue Massage .......................................................................................53Hot Stone Massage ......................................................................................... 54Pregnancy Massage......................................................................................... 54Shiatsu.............................................................................................................. 54
  • 5. Chapter:BackPainAlleviation55 Healing Back PainSports Massage................................................................................................ 54Swedish Massage Therapy...............................................................................55Thai Massage.....................................................................................................55Meditating the Pain Away ..................................................................................... 56Yoga for Dealing with Back Trouble.................................................................. 56Types of Yoga...................................................................................................... 56Ashtanga Yoga................................................................................................. 56Bikram Yoga......................................................................................................57Iyenar Yoga .......................................................................................................57Viniyoga.............................................................................................................57Pondering about Consulting ................................................................................. 58Obtaining a Second Opinion from Your Doctor................................................ 58Tips for Preparing for Your Medical Consultation............................................ 58More Questions to Think about.........................................................................60Diagnostic Tests and Procedures for Back Pain.................................................61Conventional Medications for Back Pain........................................................... 62Conventional Treatments for Back Pain Relief................................................. 63Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 65Mother Nature’s Got Your Back!........................................................................ 65
  • 6. Chapter:BackPainAlleviation66 Healing Back PainAbout The AuthorMy name is TOM and I am on a life-long search for true peace, happiness,health and contentment. These things, of course, we cannot purchase at astore but instead must find within and with a healthy lifestyle on the outside.On my journey through this life I have studied many different health andhealing arts including different forms of Reiki, Reflexology, CrystalHealing, Chakra Therapy, Yoga, Acupressure, Herbology, Aromatherapy, AuraClearing, Holistic Nutrition and more.I AM a Chiropractor and Reiki Master who have been practicing for more than20 years internationally in Germany, USA, Italy and in the Philippines.So my intent is to give you the best advice on holistic living and personal peace& harmony which is our highest purpose.To your health,TOM
  • 7. Chapter:Introduction77 Healing Back PainIntroductionWhen you are young, you tend to imagine that people dodderingpast retirement age are the only ones that get to experience backpain. You believe that brittle bones are the only cause for back pain.As you get a little older, you modify your thoughts a little. You nowbelieve that only people who perform a huge amount of manuallabor or physical activity regularly are also at risk of experiencingback pain.Yet as early as your twenties or thirties, you realize that the truth is alot more unpalatable.People of all ages can suffer from back pain and for a variety ofreasons.The American Chiropractic Association or ACA recently reported thatas many as 31 million Americans are certain to suffer from lower backaches at any point in time. In fact, a number of experts go as far assaying that 80% of the population – at the most – may experiencefrom back pains some time or another.BackPain.com also reports that of the 80% which suffers from backpains, a small number of them will develop serious spinal conditionsthat put them at risk of being disabled or physically handicapped.Consider the additional facts and figures provided by ACA and othersources as well.
  • 8. Chapter:Introduction88 Healing Back Pain Every year, 50% of working Americans say they are sufferingfrom symptoms of back pain. Both genders are equally affected by lower back problems. People generally suffer from back pain when they are 25 to 60years old. It was reported, however, that 12 to 26% of minorsand teenagers may suffer from back trouble as well. Back pain is cited as the 2ndmost common reason for consultinga doctor. Verified costs for treating or curing back pain amount to aminimum of $50B annually for Americans. Approximately 85% cases of back trouble have no specificpathological cause. (BackPain.com) Over 220 conditions diagnosed all over the world have beenproven to directly or indirectly affect a person’s spine(Dynawell.biz)The Importance of the Human BackIt is easy to list a number of reasons why a person’s five senses areimportant or why it is critical for the brain or heart to continuouslywork.You probably think that your back is not as important as your body’smajor organs and dismiss the aches and pains that commonly troubleyou. That, however, may be the biggest mistake you can commitagainst your health. Ultimately, you have to remember that anything
  • 9. Chapter:Introduction99 Healing Back Painwhich affects your back may eventually affect your spinal cord.Niggling back pain may be fine to ignore, but any problem with yourspinal cord is automatically considered a serious condition.The human spine is what connects your head to the rest of yourbody. Your spinal cord is also responsible for allowing you to performall types of movement. If the spine is badly damaged, it is possiblethat you will end up completely paralyzed.Severe or persisting back pain – even if it has not yet affected yourspine – also has its own set of consequences, some of which canhave a huge impact on your life. In most circumstances, back pain cancause you to suffer from the following: Be absent from work or miss other important occasions Be bedridden and completely dependent on another person’scare Be unable to participate in your favorite sport or anyrecreational activity that is largely physical in nature Spend much-needed money on medication and treatmentTake Action NowThe scenarios above are obviously far from ideal. Thankfully, youhave the power to prevent any of them from taking place. All youhave to do is to take action the moment you experience back pain.Although a lot of reports also say that back pain typically goes awayon its own, the same reports also say that it can easily take weeks for
  • 10. Chapter:Introduction1010 Healing Back Painthe pain to completely vanish. What if you can’t afford to wait thatlong?Traditional (Conventional) versus Alternative(Complementary, Holistic, Natural) TreatmentIt is a good thing that you are convinced of the need to urgentlyaddress your condition. You do, however, have one more importantdecision to make.Should you opt for traditional treatment right away - which istypically provided by a licensed physician or a back specialist - orperhaps it is better to start with a natural remedy, which is typicallyquicker to implement and more affordable as well?It is not a bad thing to have always trusted your doctor to do knowwhat is right for you. What may be a bit excessive is not to exploreother options you may have.Contrary to popular belief, natural, holistic or alternative treatmentsare not synonymous to fake medications, placebos, or strangeconcoctions and witch brews that have the oddest of ingredients init.Not all types of alternative medication are based on hearsay alone.Many of them are based on facts and scientific research. Moreimportantly, many of them have been used for thousands of yearsand proven effective for treating specific conditions.In fact, according to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research,one of the research organizations founded by the federal
  • 11. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1111 Healing Back Paingovernment, it is best that individuals with lower back troubles startwith conservative care first.This is defined as any non-surgical procedure designed to treat anyspecific condition. It includes but isn’t limited to exercise, massage,therapy, and many other types of complementary treatments.In any case, whatever you do, just remember that doing anything orsomething may be better than doing nothing at all to treat yourcondition.According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletaland Skin Diseases, staying in bed for more than a day or two mayactually cause your back pain to worsen.
  • 12. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1212 Healing Back PainThe Pain is “Back”What Causes Back Pain?Back pain varies in terms of frequency and severity. A list ofsymptoms has been provided below to help you determine whetheryou are suffering from back pain or not. Difficulty in standing straight Limited movement Muscle aches Pain that shoots right down to your leg Stabbing or shooting pain in the back area and especially whenyou move your back or perform a certain movementAcute versus Chronic Back PainThere may be times when you hear people describe their condition asacute or chronic back pain. The only difference between the two isthe length in which your condition lasts.Acute back pain may last anytime between several days to a numberof weeks. Chronic back pain, on the other hand, is a condition thatstays with you for at least three months.While symptoms may be the same for both types of back pain, thereare a few causes unique to each condition.
  • 13. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1313 Healing Back PainTop Causes of Back PainAlthough most back trouble has undefined causes, there are alsotimes when its cause is rather easy to identify.Intervertebral Disc DegenerationAs mentioned earlier on, aging is commonly linked to back pains, andit is largely due to this condition. With intervertebral discdegeneration, the discs in your vertebrae are worsening ordeteriorating as you age. This is considered as the top mechanicalcause for back pain.InjuriesAny spine injury, fracture, or sprain that you suffer from and which isclose enough to your back can lead to either acute or chronic backtrouble. Injuries are often incurred in accidents or when playingsports.StrainMuscles in your back may be unnecessarily strained when you dosudden or a lot of heavy lifting. Moving awkwardly and suddenly canalso lead to muscle strain and, eventually, back pain.Acquired or Pre-existing ConditionThe presence of another medical condition, disorder, or disease canlead to back pain as one of its complications or symptoms. Arthritis is characterized by pain or inflammation of your joints.Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are the most common types ofarthritis that are associated with back trouble.
  • 14. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1414 Healing Back Pain Ankylosing spondylitis is another inflammatory disease which maycause some of your spine’s vertebrae to fuse together. Cauda equine syndrome is a neurological disorder that not onlyleads to back pain but also causes you to lose control over yourbladder and/or bowel as well as experience numbness in yourgroin area. It may also cause your legs to feel unnaturally weak.Skeletal IrregularitiesIrregularities in the curvature or formation of your spine may alsolead to back pain. Scoliosis refers to conditions wherein a person’s spine curvesunnaturally toward one side. Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal causes spaces in a person’sspine to become compressed and narrow. It is most commonly acomplication of arthritis. Osteoporosis refers to a condition in which bones have becomeunnaturally brittle and porous, thus causing the spine’s vertebraeto suffer from compression fractures.Other Mechanical CausesAside from intervertebral disc degeneration, muscle spasm as well asthe other conditions listed below is a possible cause of back pain. Ruptured disks are also referred to as herniated or bulging disks.This condition occurs when disks in your vertebrae are out of lineand end up pressing on a nerve.
  • 15. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1515 Healing Back Pain Sciatica may occur as a complication of herniated disks. It cauess aperson to experience a stabbing and sharp pain that emanatesfrom the buttock and goes all the way down to the back of theperson’s leg.Pregnancy and ObesityThe unnatural weight caused by carrying an unborn child in thewomb may cause a woman to suffer from back pain. Likewise,people suffering from obesity may also suffer from back painbecause they are carrying an excess amount of weight in theirbodies.InfectionsInfection may occur when certain parts of your body – such as yourkidney stones - become infected. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue, which is supposedto grow only inside a woman’s womb or uterus, grows outside ofit. Fibromyalgia is a type of infection that causes a person to sufferfrom overall muscle pain and extreme fatigue. Discitis refers to infections affecting the vertebrae’s discs. Osteomyelitis refers to infections affecting the vertebrae itself. Tumors are also considered as a type of infection and may lead toback reason as well for that reason.
  • 16. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1616 Healing Back PainEmotional and Psychological CausesSometimes, there doesn’t have anything to be wrong with your bodyfor you to suffer from back pain. Emotional or psychological factorsmay be to blame instead. Insomnia Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders StressSedentary or Desk WorkIf you sit behind a table all day and do not maintain proper posture,there is a good chance you will be suffering from back pain in time.SmokingVarious studies have revealed a strong correlation between smokingand back pain. The University of Michigan Health System in particularhighlights the following discoveries about smoking and back pain. People who smoke are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from lowerback trouble. People who smoke also have a greater potential to suffer fromlower back trouble as they age. Female smokers also have a higher risk of suffering from lowerback trouble compared to male smokers. Smoking has been cited as one of the possible reasons for spinaldisk decay.
  • 17. Chapter:ThePainis“Back”1717 Healing Back PainShould You Consult a Doctor Immediately?As mentioned early on, there is nothing wrong in consulting yourdoctor immediately for advice about your condition.If you are the type, however, to prefer having a “valid” or criticalreason to visit your doctor, then keep in mind that experts generallyadvise people to visit their doctor when over 72 hours of alternativetreatment and self-care have passed and your condition shows nosigns of improving.More to the point, it is highly advisable that you consult your doctorif you are suffering from any of the situations below. You have lost a significant amount of weight for no known reason. You have suffered from a serious injury to your back. Your back pain is accompanied by fever or a throbbing type of painin your abdominal area. You suddenly have a hard time controlling your bowel movementand/or bladder. Your back pain becomes more intense when you lie on your back. You are suffering from sciatica as well. Your family has a history of osteoporosis or cancer. You have suffered from substance abuse in the past. You have previously used steroids.
  • 18. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?1818 Healing Back Pain You are over fifty years old and are experiencing back trouble forthe first time.Finding out the cause of your back pain can greatly help indetermining the ideal traditional and alternative treatment for yourcondition.If, however, you have a hard time pinpointing the cause of yourcondition on own, there is no need to worry as long as none of theaforementioned instances apply in your case.There should be no problem in trying any number of ways of healingyour back pain naturally.
  • 19. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?1919 Healing Back PainResting: Something or Nothing?Improving Sleep and Getting R&R to ReduceBack PainIf you recall, it has been mentioned earlier how doing nothing at allfor an extended period of time may only cause you to suffer fromgreater back trouble.Stress, depression, and anxiety and many other emotional factorsmay also contribute to your condition. All of these problems,however, may best be solved with much-needed R&R as well astaking the necessary steps to lengthen and improve your sleep.The Correct Position for Resting1. Lower yourself gently on the bed.2. Rest your head on a pillow.3. Bend your hips and knees a little. Have someone place a coupleof pillows under them. This position will relieve the usualpressure and weight on your back.You may also practice this position while lying on the floor and withyour feet resting on a chair.
  • 20. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2020 Healing Back PainTips for Choosing the Right BedBack pain may be directly caused by sleeping on the wrong type ofbed and mattress. Although beds are one of the most expensivefurniture there is, it is also one of the most important and practicalinvestments you will make. Beds can last a lifetime and typicallycome in timeless designs. The bigger, the better! Size may not always matter but it definitelydoes when it comes to beds. Smaller beds can make you feelrestrained in your movements even if you are sleeping alone. Morespace is even more important when you are sleeping next tosomeone.o Ideally speaking, you and your partner should be able tosleep on your sides, arms behind the head, and elbows outbut without coming into contact with each other.o In terms of length, the bed should be at least four to sixinches longer than the taller partner. Shop together. If more than one person will be using the bed, thenpreferences and needs of both users should be taken into account.o If the difference between your weight and your partner ismore than 18 kilograms, it would be better if you purchasetwo single mattresses of varying tension. The huge disparityin your weight means that there is also a considerabledifference when it comes to what kind of bed you will need. Do not be in a rush when going bed shopping. One study revealshow people spend approximately 2 minutes when shopping for
  • 21. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2121 Healing Back Painbeds. That’s quite fast for something you are going to use everynight of a good part of your life. Also, beds are quite expensive.You cannot really afford to make even one mistake when buyingyour bed. Consider your weight. A person’s weight should be considereddirectly proportionate to the bed’s tension.o Something that is too soft will cause your body to slouch andwhich may lead to problems with spinal alignment.o When the bed or mattress is too hard, too much pressuremay be placed on your back, which will not make a relaxingsleep. Consider the “feel” of the bed. This is entirely subjective butnonetheless requires your attention as well. If possible, test thebed for ten minutes – minimum. It is critical that you get a goodfeel of the bed and experience for yourself if it is comfortableenough for you.How to Choose the Right MattressIf there is such a thing as the right bed for sleeping, then naturallythere is also the right mattress for sleeping. You also have toconsider both objective and subjective factors in order to make thebest purchase.
  • 22. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2222 Healing Back PainTickingThis refers to the cover of your mattress. Do not mind too muchabout the looks unless you are not planning to use a bed cover foryour mattress.If the mattress’ ticking will indeed be exposed to public viewing, thenmake sure that the fabric used is of good quality, tear-resistant, andpreferably made of materials that have been sewn with cotton yarnsor are knitted or woven in the finest of viscose yarns.It will also be ideal if the ticking is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial,anti-dust mite, and breathable. Other features you may want to lookfor include the following: Fire retardant Absorbent Water and stain resistant Anti-staticSometimes, mattresses are not only designed with ticking but withquilting or tufting as well. These are typically for ornamentalpurposes only although those that possess hand side stitching areconsidered to be longer lasting.Mattresses With or Without Spring InteriorsSpring mattresses tend to be more expensive but they also offermore benefits for the user.
  • 23. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2323 Healing Back PainThe height and design of springs, the gauge or thickness of wires,and how many coils there are can all effect the mattress’ tensionlevel as well as its weight distribution and overall feel.Springs can also be installed right down the middle of the mattress toprovide greater support to heavier users. If installed around themattress’ edges, then the mattress will feel more rigid than usual.Different sets of springs may be used for each side to provide varyingtension levels. In any case, there are also beds that allow you toadjust the tension level of your mattress.A spring mattress generally consists of 600 to 800 springs. Manycommonly possess as many as 2,500 although a few may have asmany as 4,000 springs.There are basically three types of mattresses with spring interiors. Open sprung or open coil – Also referred to as Bonnell springs,these are typically installed in rows and available in a selectionof tension levels. Continuous spring - These use typically smaller coils and softerwires compared to those used in open sprung mattresses. Theyalso tend to be woven vertically. Pocket spring – This type uses the softest and smallest springsof all and provide separate support for those with more thanone user. It is the most expensive of all types of spring interiorsystems for mattresses.
  • 24. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2424 Healing Back PainSpring mattresses also differ according to filling, which is what amattress is basically made of. The right type of filling can makemattresses more compact, flexible, absorbent, durable andresilient. Certain types of fillings may also make a mattress morecompact or thinner. Cotton – This is typically chosen because of its breathable,moisture-absorbent and softer qualities. Fiber – Coir fiber pads are fiber taken from coconuts and usedfor insulation as well as for preventing a user from feeling thesprings on his back. Synthetic and compressed wool may alsobe used to serve the same purposes. Mohair, cashmere, silk,and other types of natural fiber may also be used for creatingmore luxurious mattresses. Foam – There are many types of foams that can be used forspring mattresses. They are however more frequently linkedwith non-spring mattresses. Hair – They are most prized for their resiliency and sold in eitherloose form or as pads. Polyester – These are recommended mainly for theirrecoverable features. Wool – It is well-favored because it contains breathable as wellas fire retardant properties, together with a luxurious feel.Non-spring mattresses may, on the other hand, be divided into threetypes.
  • 25. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2525 Healing Back PainFoamThis type of mattress is best used with adjustable beds or those withslatted bases. A single foam mattress can have different levels ofdepth and density. If using a foam mattress, make sure that youchoose one with the density and depth level that can offer your backsufficient support and comfort while sleeping. Latex – This type of foam offers natural elasticity, allowing themattress to recover its form upon the removal of any pressure orweighted object. This quality also ensures that there are nopressure points to worry about when you go to sleep. You can alsorely on latex mattresses for independent support, anti-microbialprotection, durability, and a uniquely resilient feel. Latex foams aremade using rubber tree sap. Polyurethane – This type of foam is one of the most widely usedtypes of mattresses today. It is petroleum-based and synthetic. Visco elastic – Some of you may probably have heard of this asmemory foam. It is one of the newest innovations for foammattresses and designed to respond to the user’s weight andbody temperature. One of its best features is its ability to relievepressure.Flotation bedsYou probably know this better as “water beds”. They are mostadmired for their ability to offer anti-bacterial and pressure-freesupport. Water inside the bed may be heated to keep you toastywarm at night.
  • 26. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2626 Healing Back PainFutonsThis type of mattress is best purchased if you are used to or likesleeping on the floor – the way many Japanese and Koreans areaccustomed to. In Japan, a mat is placed underneath the futonbefore use and both are rolled and stored away from view during theday. In the Western world, futons are designed as sofa beds or thosewith convertible frames and slatted bases.Choosing the Right Bed BaseIf you think your bed or mattress is the only thing you have toconsider to enjoy a good night’s sleep and be freed from back pains,think again. Your choice of base also affects your sleep so make sureto take as much time as needed when shopping for it.DivanThese are designed either with legs if you want some sort of spaceunderneath your bed or with castors if you think you will need to rollyour bed in and out of the room.These box-like bases also tend to have storage drawers underneaththem. Sprung edge divans are the most expensive and use eitherpocket or open coil springs. They relieve pressure from all partsof the bed and make it shock-absorbent as well as extradurable.
  • 27. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2727 Healing Back Pain Platform top or solid divans do not use springs and tend to bemore affordable but firmer as well compared to sprung edgedivans. Firmer edge divans use fewer but larger and more durablesprings. Flexible slatted divans rely on a moderate number of springs torelieve pressure.BedsteadsWhen choosing a bedstead, make sure that the slat spacing it usescan provide sufficient support for your mattresses. The bigger thegaps, the more vulnerable your mattress is to wear and tear.Adjustable BedsThis type of bed need not be confined to hospitals and they certainlydo not need to look as sterile.There is a wide selection of designs you can choose from today, withsome offering separate adjustment controls for each half of the bed.Other designs still come with side rails and side tables.Bunk BedsBunk beds come with fairly standard designs and frames. As always,you just have to be extra sure that the upper frame is sturdy enoughto hold the user’s weight.Anything less than durable could put the person sleeping below atrisk.
  • 28. Chapter:Resting:SomethingorNothing?2828 Healing Back PainChoosing the Right PillowsPillows are fairly affordable – even the ones that offer the finestquality and designs – so do try not to skimp too much when shoppingfor them. Pillows may be soft and cuddly, but that doesn’t meanthat’s all there is to them. Pillows provide much-needed support foryour head and neck. Take it away and the quality of your sleep couldget a lot worse.Here are a number of tips to keep in mind when shopping for pillows. Choose the type of filling that makes your pillows as soft or as firmas you prefer. There are many to choose from, including but notlimited to latex, fiber-filled, and goosedown. An orthopedic pillow is uniquely shaped to support your head andneck. The number of pillows you need as well as the required thicknesswill depend on your sleeping position. Never lie on your front andespecially with the neck twisted to the side. Replace pillows after two to three years of use. Anything older islikely to have lost its firmness, shape, and has probably become anesting ground of dust mites.Even if inadequate or uncomfortable sleep isn’t the culprit behindyour back aches, improving your sleep can still go a long way inalleviating your discomfort. It is recommended that you do what youcan to improve your sleep before moving on to the other methodslisted here.
  • 29. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack2929 Healing Back PainGetting Your Old Weight BackFight Obesity to Defeat Back PainsObesity is also commonly cited as a reason for back pains, and it isclear to see why. Your BMI or body mass index will let you know justhow much weight your body is ideally designed to carry.When you go beyond the standard range of your BMI, you are morelikely to experience back pains since the added weight places addedstrain or pressure on your back.No matter how you look at it, battling obesity can only be achievedwith a twofold strategy: proper nutrition and regular exercise.
  • 30. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3030 Healing Back PainA Breakdown of the Ideal DietThe breakdown below is based on a 1,300-calorie daily diet. Youshould adjust the figures according to the recommended daily calorieintake based on your BMI, body fat percentage, and weight lossgoals. Carbohydrates should make up approximately 45 to 65% of yourtotal calorie intake for the day. Do your best to obtain your dailydose of carbs from whole grains, legumes and beans, andvegetables and fruits. Protein helps build muscles and is thus essential to your diet aswell. It should be equivalent to 10 to 35% of your calorie intakefor the day. Contrary to popular belief, greens like lentils andbeans as well as soy products can be excellent sources ofprotein. If you are a meat lover, make sure that you opt for leanand white meat and stay away from eating too much fat. Nuts –unsalted – can also offer protein. If you love seafood, limit yourintake to twice a week. Fats should make up 20 to 35% of your daily calorie intake. Asmuch as possible, limit your intake to mono andpolyunsaturated fats. These are the good fats and can helpimprove your immune system as well as your cellularmembranes’ structure and functions. Sources of “good fat”include nut and vegetable-based oils, fish, and lean poultry.Conversely, try to avoid those with saturated and trans fats asmuch as possible. They increase your risk of incurring heartdiseases and can make you gain even more weight.
  • 31. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3131 Healing Back Pain Like fats, there are two types of cholesterols: good and bad orLDL and HDL respectively. Naturally, you should opt for foodwith higher LDL levels than HDL. For that matter, it is best tosignificantly limit your intake of cholesterol. Aim to keep yourdaily intake at less than 200mg. Fiber is considered good for dieting individuals because it keepsoff hunger pangs for a longer period of time naturally. Solublefiber can help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.They may be obtained from dried beans, oats, and a number offruits like oranges and apples. Insoluble fiber, on the otherhand, can help prevent constipation and may be obtained fromwhole grains and vegetables. Men are advised to consume 28 to34g per day while women should consume 22 to 28g daily. Sodium should be limited to 2,300mg per day or no more than1,500mg if you are hypertensive, diabetic or are suffering fromany chronic kidney disease. Being black and over 51 years of agealso requires you to limit your daily sodium intake to 1,500mg. Alot of today’s fast food and junk food are extremely rich in salt,making people more at risk to incurring heart disease.Eliminating sodium from your diet completely is not advised,though. When consumed moderately, sodium can help yourmuscles and nerves function more effectively. Sugar is one type of carbohydrate you should limit your intakeof as much as possible. A little bit of sugar now and then willnot be harmful since it can increase your energy levels. Eating itregularly or daily can, however, cause you to gain more weight
  • 32. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3232 Healing Back Painand make you prone to diabetes and many other seriousconditions.Tips for Sticking to Your DietKnowing what to eat is different from actually doing what you aresupposed to do. Here are a number of ways to help you stick to yourdiet till the end. Here are a number of suggestions, some of whichhave been provided by Ladies’ Home Journal and Psychology Today. Find a source of inspiration and motivation. Think of the mostimportant reason why you should diet – aside from getting fitand freeing yourself from back pain. Will a fitter body make youfeel better-looking and sexier? Will it make you perform betterin your favorite sports? It does not matter if your reasons are farfrom important in other people’s eyes. What matters is whatyou think. Keep a food diary. There is nothing as inspiring – and conversely,guilt-inducing – than having the entries of your food diary stareback at you in undeniable letters, reminding you of good andbad deeds in the past. Choose the type of diet that satisfies your taste buds and will notbe a hindrance to your lifestyle. Healthy meals do not have totaste bland if you are a creative and resourceful cook. Makesure that your meals also meet your lifestyle’s requirements,such as increasing protein intake if you tend to do a lot ofphysical work.
  • 33. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3333 Healing Back Pain Successful dieting starts with successful grocery shopping. Keeptemptation away by cutting back on purchases of food that youknow is neither healthy nor slimming. Avoid amnesia eating. Diet experts believe that people have atendency to gain more weight when they are multitasking whileeating. Watching TV or doing just about anything else that takesup your concentration will make you unmindful of how muchyou are eating. Keep to a schedule. Eventually, your system will be used to theroutine and is less likely to be troubled by unexpected hungerpangs. Savor every bite. Aside from allowing you to fully delight in yourmeal, this also gives your brain and stomach to catch up witheach other. If you eat too much too fast, your body getsdelayed in telling your brain that it is already full. Use a smaller plate. Think of it as deceiving your brain intothinking you are eating a lot already when you fill up a smallplate with food. Do not skip breakfast. The old adage about breakfast being themost important meal of the day isn’t a myth. It’s a fact. Skip thismeal, and you have a tendency to overeat for the rest of theday. Always have nutritional snacks in handy. When you have anunexpected urge to indulge, these should hold you off fromcommitting too great a sin against your diet.
  • 34. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3434 Healing Back Pain Reward yourself once a week. Your hard work deserves morethan a pat on the back. Freeing yourself from excess weight andback pain may be a form of reward already but in order to keepyourself motivated, it wouldn’t hurt to reward yourself withother things. Just make sure that your reward isn’t completelyedible. Try limiting yourself to one forbidden snack or dish perweek, such as a single scoop of your favorite ice cream, a smallchocolate bar, or whatever takes your fancy. Practice tough love. When the urge to indulge gets too hard toresist, remind yourself of the ultimatum. You can eat it and getfat or you can stick to your diet and slim down. It is all ornothing, so which is it going to be?
  • 35. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3535 Healing Back PainTips for Exercising RegularlyFor a lot of people, working out regularly is just as difficult as keepingto a daily diet. There are, however, a number of things you can do aswell in order to maintain a regular exercise routine. If you can afford it, go to a gym. Knowing that you are payingmonthly dues may be motivation enough to get you to workout regularly or at least frequently. Going to a gym also allowsyou to enjoy occasionally free advice and workouts fromprofessional trainers. Burn calories anyway you can. Walk instead of driving – and thatincludes walking your child to school, exercising your dog, andbuying newspaper down the corner instead of having itdelivered. Clean your house instead of hiring someone else todo it. As long as an opportunity to burn calories comes up, grabit like there is no day left for you to work out! Look for an activity that you enjoy. Some people are simply toosociable not to be bored with doing exercises on their own. Ifthat is the case, look for any other activity that you are sure tohave fun with and burn calories at the same time. Thinkdancing, rock climbing, and other types of sports. Start on a Monday. This will give you the necessary mindset ofhaving exercise as a part of your daily and weekly routine. Start in the morning. The longer you delay it, the more excusesyou are likely to come up with in order to delay it even further.
  • 36. Chapter:GettingYourOldWeightBack3636 Healing Back Pain If you have no choice to skip exercise for today, make sure you doit tomorrow. Allowing yourself two days of laziness will ruinyour momentum and upset your routine or mindset. Naturally,being extremely sick is that one exception to the rule. Start easy. If you have been leading a sedentary life for sometime, it is best to start with a simple and easy workout.Gradually increase the length, number of sets and repetitions,as well as the weights for your workout once you feel you areno longer expending any effort with your workout. If you have just recovered from back pain, try not to place toomuch pressure on your back. For the first week or so followingyour recovery from pack pain, try to limit yourself tocardiovascular workouts and avoid strength or core training inthe meantime. Lifting too much too soon can cause your backpain to return with a vengeance. It is okay to multitask if that is what makes working outenjoyable. Listen to music, watch TV, or read a book whileexercising on the treadmill or bike. Anything that makesexercise bearable or even fun is always a good thing. Suit up! The proper clothes and footwear for exercising willlower your risk of incurring injury while working out. It alsostrengthens your mindset about exercising being an essentialpart of your routine.
  • 37. Chapter:DoYouLikeItHotorCold?3737 Healing Back PainJust as it is with sleeping, the right diet and exercise are things thatshould be constantly present in your life even if you have alreadygotten rid of back trouble.
  • 38. Chapter:DoYouLikeItHotorCold?3838 Healing Back PainDo You Like It Hot or Cold?The Heat and Ice TreatmentHeat and ice treatments may be one of the simplest remedies forback pains, but they are also one of the most unquestionablyeffective among all natural treatments in relieving its symptoms.This treatment should be done immediately upon experiencing backpain. The sooner it is implemented, the more effective it will be forhealing your back pain.1. Buy compresses of good quality. The must be insulated enoughto keep affected areas sufficiently hot or cold instead ofburning or freezing your skin when they come into contact.2. Use a cold compress first. If a compress is not available, theusual pack of frozen peas or vegetables or ice bags may also do.3. Apply the cold compress to the affected area for several times aday and for a maximum of twenty minutes per session.4. Cold treatments should be applied for two to three days.5. Aside from hot compresses, hot pads or heating lamps may alsobe used. Heat treatments improve blood flow and help backmuscles relax. Do avoid sleeping with the hot pad resting onyour back, though. This may only cause your condition toworsen with more tissue damage and burns even.6. You can supplement the effects of a heat and cold treatmentwith a warm bath before you go to bed.
  • 39. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack3939 Healing Back PainA Toast to a Healthy BackHerbs, Food, and Drinks for Back Pain ReliefIn the previous chapter, you have learned about the essentials ofproper nutrition. In this chapter, you will learn more about thespecific food, drinks, and herbs that you should take in order torelieve the symptoms of back pain.Herbs and Greens for Back Pain ReliefStudies suggest that the list of herbs below may help assuage thediscomfort caused by back pain.AlfalfaThis is one of the most easily sourced herbs, which is certain to beavailable in your local grocery. You have the option of including itssprouts in your next meal or simply taking it in capsule form. Thereare also alfalfa juices available if that is how you prefer to take it.Alfalfa is considered to be effective for back pain because of its anti-inflammatory and, yes, anti-arthritic properties. The fact that it is richin protein, vitamins, and essential minerals is just a bonus.ChamomileThis herb is not just good at healing. It also helps that it smells great,too, and works effectively as a natural deodorant or air freshener. Ithas anti-spasmodic properties which will prove quite beneficial ifyour back pain is caused by muscle spasms. Chamomile can best beincluded in your diet as a flavor for your regular cup of tea.
  • 40. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack4040 Healing Back PainCapsicumBe sure to apply this the way you would with a topical plaster.Devil’s clawIt may sound iffy, but it is actually helpful for relieving back painwhen consumed orally.FenugreekAs it is frequently used as curry seasoning, your best chances ofshopping for fenugreek would be to look for it in Indian, Thai, orother ethnic markets. Use its seeds for seasoning your meals as wellwhile you can also toss in its sprouts and greens to your salad.Fenugreek has phyto-steroid properties that can help redressdamage caused to back tissues. It is also believed to be effective intreating cancer symptoms.FlaxIf you are diabetic, flax can help control your blood sugar levels whileeasing back trouble. Flax can be consumed as tea, used as cookingoil, or be one of the ingredients for making sauces and dressings.GingerIn the Eastern world, ginger is considered one of the most importantherbs. That should be no surprise, considering its many healingproperties. Having a distinctly lovely scent and flavor does not hurteither. You can use ginger to make sauces or season your food. Youcan also use it as a flavor for your tea.
  • 41. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack4141 Healing Back PainRosemaryThis deliciously scented herb is frequently used to add flavor as wellto meats, salads, soups and stews, and sauces. It is also usedoccasionally for flavoring tea. It is effective for relieving muscletension and aches. It is considered an effective remedy for feverbecause of its high levels of salacin, a type of glycoside that aspirinsare made of.SageIf you are experiencing back pains, then take out your Thanksgivingstock of sage and use it to flavor your meal. Sage is good for relievingmuscle pain and clearing your mind. It is distinct for its minty flavorand can be used with tea. White sage is considered to have one ofthe strongest anti-inflammatory properties.Willow barkThis is consumed orally and is one of the most effective types ofherbs. It has been proven helpful for other conditions beside backpain.
  • 42. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack4242 Healing Back PainFoods and Drinks for Back ReliefModify your diet to make sure that it is not only healthy but effectiveas well for treating back pain.CherriesA Michigan State University reveals that cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease back pain. Thisproperty is also responsible for giving cherries its lovely purplishcolor.MilkMilk is rich in calcium, and this will help keep your bones healthy.Contrary to popular opinion, kids and the elderly are not the onlyones to benefit from drinking milk. You can benefit from drinking aglass of milk each day no matter your age. Just make sure you aredrinking milk that is fat free or formulated especially to raised yourcalcium levels and improve bone density and structure.SalmonThis is one of the healthier types of fish to consume because it hashigh levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. For that matter, other foods thatare considered excellent sources for Omega-3 fatty acids includewalnuts and sardines.Shitake mushroomThis is considered effective for healing back pains due to its anti-arthritic properties and ability to heal other types of joint pain. It alsohas anti-viral properties, which may help if your back trouble iscaused by cancer or other types of infections.
  • 43. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack4343 Healing Back PainAre You Vitamin D Deficient?Even if you eat lots of calcium-rich food, you will not able tomaximize its benefits if you are Vitamin D deficient. This vitamin helpsyour body absorb calcium and without it, the calcium you consumejust goes to waste. The best sources of vitamin D include thefollowing: Fortified soy products Cod liver oil Orange juice and milk Oyster Mushroom EggsCaution!!!While it is a good thing to increase your intake of the food, drinks,and herbs listed above, do make sure that they will not cause you toconsume beyond your daily calorie intake. Do not neglect to countcalories as well for every item that you add to your meal plan for theday.
  • 44. Chapter:AToasttoaHealthyBack4444 Healing Back PainThe Effects of Nicotine and Alcohol on BackPainAlthough nicotine is neither a type of food nor drink, it is nonethelesssomething you do consume, hence its inclusion in this chapter. Youshould know by now that nicotine and alcohol have the ability tocontribute to back pains.If you are a chain smoker or drinker, you may want to seriouslyconsider cutting back on your intake not just to relieve yourself ofback trouble but also of possible health complications in the future.
  • 45. Chapter:The3P’s–Pins,Pricks,andPain4545 Healing Back PainThe 3 P’s – Pins, Pricks, and PainAcupuncture for Relieving Back PainAcupuncture is one of the forms of alternative treatment that theNational Institute of Health suggests patients try if none of themodern methods for back pain relief proves to be effective.Originating from China and in practice for thousands of years,acupuncture involves the use of hair-thin needles and inserting themin what practitioners believe are pressure or trigger points in yourbody.Inserting the needles into specific pressure points is supposed tohelp alleviate pain in affected areas. Once a needle is inserted, chi,also spelled as qi – which means life force or energy – will be releasedand allowed to travel freely in the meridians or pathways of yourbody.The World Health Organization considers acupuncture as beingpotentially effective for chronic and acute pain control. Moreover,the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture lists the followingconditions as those which the treatment may also be effective for.Arthritis*Muscle spasms*FibromyalgiaHeadaches*
  • 46. Chapter:The3P’s–Pins,Pricks,andPain4646 Healing Back PainInsomnia*Healing and pain relief for fracturesAll the conditions above are potential causes of back pain.*These conditions have also been acknowledged by WHO aspotentially treatable with acupuncture.Diagnostic Methods in AcupunctureBefore an acupuncturist proceeds with an actual treatment, he orshe will conduct an interview of the patient first as well as performdiagnostic methods that adhere to those set by traditional Chinesemedicine (TCM). Inspection is concentrated mainly on the facial area and thetongue and teeth. In auscultation & olfaction, the acupuncturist would look forcertain sounds (e.g. wheezing) and odors that may help himdiagnose your condition more accurately. The “Seven Inquiries” are designed to look for indicators of thefollowing conditions:o Fever and chillso Perspirationo Appetiteo Taste and thirst
  • 47. Chapter:The3P’s–Pins,Pricks,andPain4747 Healing Back Paino Urination and defecationo Pain and sleepo Menses as well as leucorrhea Signs of palpitation are also searched for.Types of Back Pain According to TCMThere are many types of pains that TCM has documented, but thefollowing types are considered to be most common when it comes toback pain.Blood StagnationThis is also known as qi pain and refers to the pain that accompaniesmuscles that have not been used strongly or frequently enough. Ill-used muscles are believed to cause qi or energy to becomecongested instead of flowing freely around your body.Cold & Damp Obstruction PainThis is the kind of pain that you typically experience in the early hoursof the morning and especially when the weather is unusually dampand cold. It is the kind of pain that is most frequently associated witharthritis as well as problems with the muscles in your back and otherjoints.
  • 48. Chapter:The3P’s–Pins,Pricks,andPain4848 Healing Back PainDeficiency-type PainThis refers to a dull sensation of pain that you are likely to feel whenyou reach middle age and get older. Thankfully, a good amount ofrest can go a long way in alleviating it.How to Prepare for an AcupunctureTreatment Limit yourself to a light meal two hours before your scheduledappointment. You cannot be treated with acupuncture if youare currently fasting as it will likely cause you to feel dizzy ornauseous during treatment. Do not consume any amount of alcohol on the day of yourappointment. Do not participate in any kind of strenuous activity the daybefore, after and the day of your treatment. Clear your day as much as possible so that you will not be in ahurry to get to your appointment. It is important that you arriveat the clinic relaxed. Ask someone to accompany you. Acupuncture has a stronglycalming effect on the body, and this may cause you to lack thenecessary alertness to drive home safely. Wear comfortable and loose tops and bottoms which can berolled up easily to expose your arms and knees when needed.
  • 49. Chapter:CheerstoChiropractors4949 Healing Back Pain Expect to experience a modicum of pain. It will be less painfulthan an injection since the needles used in acupuncture aretypically thinner. As the treatment progresses, you may feel an overall numbingsensation. This means the treatment is working. Your acupuncturist will let you know how many sessions youmay be required to complete in order for your condition to betreated effectively. Keep in mind that not all insurance policieswill reimburse you for your cost. Majority of healthcare plans,however, include acupuncture and other forms of alternativetreatment in their coverage.
  • 50. Chapter:CheerstoChiropractors5050 Healing Back PainCheers to ChiropractorsChiropractic Manipulation for Back PainReliefAlso known as spinal manipulation, chiropractic adjustment involvesthe manipulation, movement, or adjustment of joints beyond itsstandard range of motion but not to the point that it is beyond whatit is capable of doing. Think of it as being able to move joints the waygymnasts and dancers can without having to undergo years oftraining.Key Facts about Chiropractic Adjustment It is designed to improve physical functions of the body It is designed to alleviate physical pain It is most frequently used for relieving back and neck pains aswell as headaches The effectiveness of this treatment is based on the followingprinciples:o The natural, not to mention powerful, ability of the bodyto heal itselfo The strong correlation between the structure of your bodyand its capacity to perform certain healthy functions
  • 51. Chapter:CheerstoChiropractors5151 Healing Back PainPossible Side Effects of Chiropractic AdjustmentThe chances of suffering from side effects are quite seldom whenyou are under the care of an expert and licensed chiropractor.Nevertheless, a few patients have reported experiencing fatigue,headache, and continuing pain caused by a past injury.In very rare cases, a patient may suffer from severe complicationsbut again, this is most likely caused by the inexperience and lack ofexpertise of the practitioner.In any case, you are not a good candidate for chiropractic adjustmentif any of the following situations holds true for you. You are suffering from any kind of nerve damage orosteoporosis You had undergone spinal surgery in the past Your back pain is accompanied by chills, fever, or weight loss Your back pain is caused by a tumor or infectionWhat to Expect from Chiropractic TreatmentAs with all treatments, your chiropractor will begin with a diagnosticexam to better understand the nature and extent of your condition. Interview and review of your medical history Basic physical exam Diagnostic tests like X-raysOnce results from the previous steps have been taken into account,your chiropractor will then discuss the treatment plan he has in mindfor you.
  • 52. Chapter:TheNeedtoKnead5252 Healing Back PainIf you agree, your treatment may follow right after.1. You will be asked to lie face down on a custom designedchiropractic table that is made comfortable by padding and aspecially built hole that allows you to breathe easily andnaturally even in this position.2. You will also have to maintain different positions when thechiropractor has to treat other affected areas.3. Your chiropractor will use his own hands to exert sudden butcontrolled pressure toward a specific joint, thus forcing it tomove beyond its usual range.4. You will often hear a cracking or popping sound whenever yourchiropractor forces your joints to move.After the treatment, your chiropractor will let you know if and whenyou need to come back for reassessment. You may also beencouraged to try other alternative treatments for your condition.
  • 53. Chapter:TheNeedtoKnead5353 Healing Back PainThe Need to KneadMassaging Techniques for Back Pain ReliefThis is probably one of the most relaxing methods for back pain reliefand something you can enjoy even if you are not having back trouble.The good thing about massages is that they are the kind of servicewhich you can avail in the comfort of your home. You will, of course,have to pay extra for home service but that also means being able tolook forward to a relaxing massage after a hard day at work.There are many types of massage techniques today and one of themmay prove to be more effective than the others depending on thecause and type of back trouble you are having.Aromatherapy MassageAn aromatherapy massage may employ various techniques togetherwith the use of essential oils. Depending on which essential oil isused, an aromatherapy massage may help lower your stress levels,relief tension in your muscles, or make you more energized. If youbelieve that psychological and emotional factors play a prominentrole in your back trouble, this massage may help resolve them.Deep Tissue MassageIt is characterized by friction techniques and slower strokes. Deeptissue massage is also ideal for those suffering from posturalproblems, repetitive strain, and chronic muscle problems. If you arerecovering from a recent injury, this type of massage may also provehelpful. Expect to feel sore a day or two following treatment,though.
  • 54. Chapter:TheNeedtoKnead5454 Healing Back PainHot Stone MassageIf you are used to heat treatments and you would like an extendedversion of the hot compress treatment you use at home, then a hotstone massage is definitely in order. This is typically offered in resortspas, but there are a few city-based spas that may include this in theirservices. Hot stone massages are particularly effective for treatingback pain caused by muscle problems.Pregnancy MassageIf your back pain is caused by pregnancy, then a pre-natal orpregnancy massage is definitely called for. This type of massage mayeven help improve your mood and relieve yourself from depressionor anxiety. It is critical that you stick only with this type of massageduring your delicate condition. Anything else may be too strenuousand thus potentially damaging to your baby.ShiatsuThis is a type of Japanese massage that combines acupunctureprinciples with massage techniques. Fingers are used to exertpressure in trigger points, with the position held for several secondsto improve the flow of chi. This may come as a surprise, but you willnot feel sore following this treatment.Sports MassageIf your back pains are caused by overexertion in sports or a sport-related injury, then naturally a sports massage would be quiteeffective. A variety of techniques is used in this type of massage butall of them have been carefully chosen to meet your needs as anathlete.
  • 55. Chapter:TheNeedtoKnead5555 Healing Back PainSwedish Massage TherapyThis enjoys the most widespread use in the country and involves theuse of kneading muscles as well as long smooth strokes on the body.It is often accompanied with massage oil or lotion.If it is the first time for you to try a massage to ease your back pain, itis highly recommended that you start with a Swedish massage sinceit is very relaxing and does not involve strong or painful exertions.Thai MassageThai massages are similar to Shiatsu techniques in its adherence toacupuncture principles. Thai massages, however, also includesstretches and compressions.Moreover, your massage therapist will often ask you to maintainspecific body positions and perform a variety of stretches duringtreatment. This is effective for treating back pain caused by stress-related factors or ill-used muscles.Rather than being relaxing, Thai massages are actually designed tomake you feel more energized after treatment.
  • 56. Chapter:MeditatingthePainAway5656 Healing Back PainMeditating the Pain AwayYoga for Dealing with Back TroubleYoga is a Hindu discipline formulated to offer both ascetic andspiritual benefits. It involves mediation, breathing exercises, andpracticing a series of postures.A study published in a 2009 issue of health journal Spine revealssuggests that yoga therapy can be effective for alleviating paincaused by back trouble as well as improving function or mobility.It is even more effective when treating chronic back pain, whichshould be good news for a lot of people.Similar to massages, yoga can be practiced in a different number ofways. You must, however, obtain permission from your physicianfirst before attempting yoga.Certain positions may only cause your condition to worsen.Medications you are currently on may also interfere with your abilityto effectively practice yoga.Types of YogaAs always, learning about the various types of yoga will help youchoose the one that is most suitable for your condition.Ashtanga YogaAlso known as power yoga, this type of yoga requires you to exertgreater stamina and strength instead of flexibility. As such, it is moreeffective for treating back pains caused by a recently healed injury.
  • 57. Chapter:MeditatingthePainAway5757 Healing Back PainIt is also especially helpful to athletes as it can improve their balance,focus, and flexibility in and out of the game.Bikram YogaThis is more commonly referred to as ‘hot yoga’ simply because it hasto be performed in a room with a deliberately warm temperature.The increase in temperature is used to help your tissues stretch moreeffectively and thus make you more flexible in a shorter amount oftime. You should avoid practicing bikram yoga if you are already atrisk of incurring cardiovascular disease.Iyenar YogaIt is one of the most commonly practiced types of yoga in thecountry and primarily focuses on achieving precision in one’smovements as well as proper alignment of the body. You can usestraps and blocks if you are not yet flexible enough to perform someof its postures or movements. A number of its postures is believed tobe quite effective for relieving back pain.ViniyogaThis is also recommended especially for people with back and neckpains. It is considered effective for custom designing flowingexercises for each individual. Viniyoga typically involve a combinationof movement and breathing exercises.Caution!!!There are, of course, many other types of yoga and you are certainlyfree to explore any or all of them. Just make sure that you do not doanything which is potentially harmful to your condition. If in doubt,never hesitate to ask your doctor about it!
  • 58. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting5858 Healing Back PainPondering about ConsultingObtaining a Second Opinion from Your DoctorEven if one or several of the methods discussed here for healing backpain naturally have been effective, you may be the type of personwho prefers to play it safe by obtaining a second opinion. If you wantto know more about your condition from a physician’s standpoint,then there is no reason why you should not consult one and haveyour condition properly diagnosed.Tips for Preparing for Your MedicalConsultationHere are several things you can do to make the most out of yourconsultation. Have all your medical documents – including those for insurance –ready. Your doctor may ask to see them for a more accuratediagnosis or to schedule you for additional tests or treatments. Get someone to accompany you, preferably someone who is livingwith you and has witnessed you suffering from your condition.Your companion may remember something critical about yourcondition and which you have forgotten. Your companion willalso ensure that you remember everything which the doctoradvises you to do during consultation.
  • 59. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting5959 Healing Back Pain List down everything you can remember about your condition.What are the symptoms? When did it start? What did you dothat day and which could be the cause of your back trouble? List all the treatments, medications, and remedies you have usedor taken. Make a note as well of the dosage and the length oftime you have been taking a particular medication or adheringto a particular treatment. Indicate as well if they are for yourback trouble or for another condition. Include a list of vitaminsand minerals that you are taking as well. Make a list of possible questions you want to ask. Severalexamples have been listed below for your convenience.o Why am I suffering from back pain?o What tests should I take? How long would they take andhow much would they cost? How long would I have towait before I can complete the tests and obtain theresults?o Are the treatments or medications I have been using safe?Do you think it is effective?o What are the possible side effects of the medicationsand/or treatments that you are recommending? How longshould I take the medication or undergo treatment? (Ifapplicable)o What can I do to prevent recurrences when I amcompletely healed?
  • 60. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting6060 Healing Back PainThe important thing to remember here is not to hesitate in asking anyquestion that is in your mind. Everything you discuss will remainconfidential. Moreover, your doctor will not mind assuaging anyconcerns you may have since it is his job to provide medical care to allhis patients.More Questions to Think aboutIf you have questions to ask, rest assured that your doctor is likely toask any or most of the questions listed below as well. Knowing thembeforehand can ensure that you will be able to give your doctor asmuch information as possible regarding your condition. How often do you experience back trouble? When does ittypically occur? Have you suffered recently from fever or unexplained weightloss? Is there anything happening in your life that may be causing youstress, anxiety, or definition? What recreational activities and sports are you frequentlyinvolved in? What kind of job do you perform? What do you normally do? Do you get to sleep regularly or are you suffering from anysleep-related problem? Do you have any history of using recreational drugs? Do you have a problem with excessive smoking or drinking?
  • 61. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting6161 Healing Back PainDiagnostic Tests and Procedures for BackPainIn most cases, your doctor will start with a basic physical examinationand may perform the following actions: Perform a visual and possibly tactile inspection of your back tosee any signs of irregularities or deformities Ask you to perform certain movements to find out which onesmay be causing you back pain Use a reflex hammer, typically made of rubber, to assess yourreflexesMost of the time, the actions above, combined with an interview ofyour medical history, are enough for your doctor to effectivelydiagnose your condition. Your doctor will only ask you to takeadditional tests if he considers your back pain as a potential symptomor complication caused by an underlying condition. Blood tests show if you are suffering from infections that maycause back pain. Bone scans are performed by injecting a tracer or a radioactivesubstance into your bloodstream. They reveal signs ofosteoporosis or bone tumors once the tracer is retrieved andanalyzed. CT or computerized tomography scans may reveal problems withsurrounding blood vessels, ligaments, nerves, tendons, tissues,
  • 62. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting6262 Healing Back Painand muscles that could lead to back pain. The same goes forMRI or magnetic resonance imaging scans. EMG or electromyography is a test that utilizes electricalimpulses to detect signs indicating spinal stenosis or herniateddisks. It is also referred to as nerve studies in general. Thermography depends on infrared-sensing devices to detecttemperature changes that may be linked to nerve rootcompression. Ultrasound imaging or sonography depends on a specificfrequency of sound waves in order to produce scanned andreal-time images of internal body parts. These images may showproblems in your back’s tissues, tendons, muscles or ligaments. Urine tests may also reveal signs of infection. X-rays can reveal signs of arthritis or problems with bonealignment. It is not, however, effective for inspecting thecondition of your spine, the nerves and muscles in the backarea, or the disks and other parts of your vertebrae.Conventional Medications for Back PainFollowing a proper diagnosis of your condition, your doctor mayprescribe certain medications. The following are considered effectivefor both acute and chronic back pain.They may also be used together with alternative treatments incertain situations.
  • 63. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting6363 Healing Back Pain OTC analgesics are basically oral medication designed to relievepa8in, swelling, and stiffness. Counter-irritants may also beprescribed in conjunction and which are designed for topicaltreatment either as a spray or cream. Counter-irritants can dullthe pain by making the affected area feel extra warm or cold. Anticonvulsants are prescribed if your back pain is related tonerve problems. Antidepressants are prescribed when emotional andpsychological factors come into play. Opioids are rarely prescribed and only for the severest of backpain. They must only be taken under strict medical supervisionsince they tend to have strong side effects, which include thepossibility of addiction.Conventional Treatments for Back Pain ReliefYour doctor may also suggest the following treatments ifmedications prove to be ineffective in treating your condition. Biofeedback Interventional therapy TENS or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation Traction Ultrasound
  • 64. Chapter:PonderingaboutConsulting6464 Healing Back PainIn some cases, minimally invasive treatments like kyphoplasty andvertebroplasty may be called for. These treatments are designed toseal fractures that may be causing you back pains or causing yourosteoporosis to worsen.In worst case scenario, surgery may be called for and usually only forthose that are suffering from significant nerve damage. It may bemonths before a person can fully recover from any of the surgerieslisted below. Cordotomy Discectomy DREZ or Dorsal Root Entry Zone Operation Foraminotomy IDET or IntraDiscal Electrothermal Therapy Nucleoplasty Radiofrequency Lesioning Rhizotomy Spinal Decompression or Laminectomy Spinal Fusion
  • 65. Chapter:Conclusion6565 Healing Back PainConclusionMother Nature’s Got Your Back!Do not wait for the worst to happen before doing something toeliminate back aches. The surgeries mentioned in the previouschapter are not just expensive but they also come with aconsiderable amount of risk. The smallest mistake can be life-threatening or may at least cause you to suffer from completeparalysis.Start by using as many natural treatments and lifestyle changes thatare applicable to your condition. The gifts of Mother Nature areabundant and powerful. There is no reason why you should not takeadvantage of it to heal your back pain. Even massages and yoga canbe considered an extension of Mother Nature’s powers since theyare both based on manipulating natural energies.
  • 66. Chapter:Conclusion6666 Healing Back PainIn any case, do your best to live by the following mottos: Live a healthy and vice-free life Stick to a nutritious diet Exercise frequently Get lots of sleepAnd above all things else, do not delay in administering self-caretreatment to back pains!Click Here And Receive Your Complete, All -Natural Back Pain Healing Solution Now!But wait - there is more….
  • 67. Chapter:Conclusion6767 Healing Back PainFor Your Personal Service & Health Evolution Ioffer the following FREE Courses:The FREE Healing Course:http://reiki-energy-healing.com/indexThe FREE Mind Course:http://spiritualhealingbooks.orgThe FREE Spiritual Evolution Course:http://spiritualhealingpower.com