Ouch! My back hurts!

 

 

We all at some time or another have experience acute back pain.  But what are some of the ways that you can relieve this troubling pain?  

 

Pain is a sensation that provides us with information about tissue -damaging stimuli and thus often enables us to protect ourselves from greater damage (Seeley, R., Stephens, T., & Tate, P., 1999).  Pain at low levels can motivate you to rest the injured area so that the tissues can be repaired and prevent any additional damage (Balch, 2006).  If the pain is severe, it can motivate you to seek treatment.  Acute pain in the lower back can alert you that there is a problem that needs immediate attention and this pain may last long after an injured area has healed.  

 

There are two types of pain sensations: One is the sharp, well-localized, pricking or cutting pain which results from rapidly transmitting action power (Seeley et al., 1999).  Another is diffuse, burning, or aching pain resulting from action potential that spread more slowly (Seeley et al., 1999).    Some lower back acute pain may have any types of this pain sensations and it is important to seek immediate treatment for this so it will not turn into long-term chronic pain.  It is important differentiate the type of pain sensations locations.  Superficial (somatic) pain sensations which arise from stimulation of receptors in the skin that are highly localized as a result from the pain stimuli (Tortora & Anagnostakos, 1987).  Deep or visceral pain sensations are not because of the absence of stimulated receptors in the deep structures (Seeley et al., 1999).  


 There are a variety of treatment options that can alleviate pain but it all depends on your pain level and treatment preferences.  Acupressure is contact healing (use of finger and hand pressure) that seeks to restore health by restoring the normal flow of chi (life energy) the flows through the body along pathways called meridians (Balch, 2006).

 

 Acupuncture uses the insertion of needles to promote energy flow in the pain areas.  Biofeedback combines a variety of relaxation methods such as guided imagery and meditation with the uses of instruments that monitor the individual's response (Balch, 2006). Chiropractic is the manipulation of the spinal column to make it properly aligned and it has been a proven treatment for lower back pain. Massage involves the manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues particularly back pain.  There are different kinds of massage therapies: deep tissue massage, neuromuscular massage, reiki, rolfing, shiatsu, sport massage and swedish massage (Balch, 2006).


The best herbs to use for pain-relief are angelica, black haw, cramp bark, kava kava, rosemary, and valerian root which are also good for pain related to cramps and muscle spam (Balch, 2006).  There is a tea that is effective in relieving tension and nerve pain that is consist of blue violet, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, licorice, rosemary, white willow, or wood betony (Balch, 2006).  Essential oils of jasmine, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary, and thyme have been effective in the treatment of a variety of types of pain (Balch, 2006).  Fresh papaya juice and/or fresh pineapple is highly recommended for the treatment of inflammation of back pain (Balch, 2006).  Capasicin the ingredient is cayenne can provide pain relief when regularly applied to the affected area  (Balch, 2006).  


Another  lifestyle modification that can be added to the relief of back pain are relaxation techniques such as Tai Chi (meditation in motion), Qi Gong (slow motion exercise of movement and breath meditation), TENS (Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation) Unit Therapy (electrodes therapy for localized pain) and Transcendental Meditation (a state of deep relaxation) (Balch, 2006).  Even though there are alots of treatments options it is important to find out what treatments will work for your back pain.

 

 


References


Seeley, R., Stephens, T., & Tate, P. (1999). Senses. In Essentials of anatomy and physiology (3rd     ed., pp. 234-235). Boston, MA: The McGraw-Hill Companies. 


Tortora, G., & Anagnostakos, N. (1987). Sensory. In Principles of anatomy and physiology (5th     ed., pp. 342-344). New York, NY: Harper & Row. 


Balch, P. (2006). Pain. In Prescription for nutritional healing (4th ed., pp. 799-807). New York,     NY: Penguin Group 

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I am Denine Rogers, MS, RDN, LD, FAND a integrative dietitian nutritionist and wellness coach. So excited that you are viewing my blog!

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