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As a Doctor of Chiropractic, I treated hundreds of patients yet there is one patient that stands out in my mind.
At the time that he came to me, I was still an intern in chiropractic school and was a little unsure of myself. But when I saw him, I knew that I had to help.
When he came through the doors of the clinic, he could barely walk. In fact, he was practically crawling, dragging his right leg behind him.
His low back pain was so bad, he cried when he told me that he was already scheduled for surgery. He said that his doctor had sent him home with pain medication but it wasn’t helping him and he was afraid of becoming addicted as well.
He was also scared to death of the surgery and the possibility of ending up in worse shape, because he had seen what it had done to another family member who had gone through back surgery.
Fortunately, after reviewing his x-rays and MRIs, I knew I could help him. I started him on a course of chiropractic adjustments and within a week he had canceled his surgery and never looked back. Yet, to this day it still scares me to think where he could have ended up if his only options for relief from his low back pain had been the drugs and surgery his doctor and recommended.
Thankfully that’s not the case and with that in mind, I want to give you five options today to help in case you’re living with the same type of pain… Options that are completely natural and give you relief without relying on any medications or surgeries.
Here they are…
#1 – Chiropractic
When you see a chiropractor, you can expect your first visit to include an exam, possibly x-rays and an adjustment and modalities like heat, ice or ultrasound and massage to relax your muscles.
#2 – Yoga
I’m a big fan of yoga when it comes to exercise but it’s especially effective for relieving low back pain. You can join a class at a gym, pop in a DVD at home or join in with a YouTube video. The key is to start slow and listen to your body.
My colleague Dr. Mark Wiley might recommend cobra pose for back pain relief.
#3 – Rocker Shoes
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But, the truth is that a scientific study has proven that if you wear those shoes that are shaped like rockers on the bottom for a few hours each day, your low back pain will steadily improve over time.
#4 – Massage
Okay, you gotta’ love a good massage and your low back will too. In fact, studies show that 50 percent of people experience significant relief from their low back pain thanks to massage.
#5 – Core Strengthening
A flabby core leads to a painful low back so when you strengthen that core you can do wonders for your low back pain.
Exercises to improve your core strength include:
- Modified Planks – Get on all fours (your knees and forearms), tightening your abdominal muscles. Keep your back straight and hold for three deep breaths.
- Abdominal Crunch – Lie on your back with your knees at a 90° angle, feet against a wall. Tighten your abdominal muscles, raising your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for three breaths and lower. Repeat.
- Superman – Lie on your stomach with a small rolled towel under your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your left arm off the floor then lower. Repeat on your right and lower. Then raise your left leg off of the floor and lower and repeat on your right leg. Work your way up to raising both arms and legs off of the floor at the same time.
My colleague Debra Atkinson knows a few exercise that can help you strengthen your core for less back pain.
Low back pain can bring you to your knees but you don’t have to crawl in for surgery or give up and pop that pain pill. Natural pain relief can be found using the five options above.
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- Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation and mobilization — The Spine Journal
- Low Back Pain — JAMA
- Yoga eases back pain in largest U.S. yoga study to date — Group Health Research Institute
- Rocker bottom shoes help reduce chronic low back pain — Asociación RUVID
- Real-world massage is effective treatment for low back pain, study shows — Indiana University