One of the most common physical ailments that bring people into our office is BACK PAIN. Yes, we could all probably admit that at some point we have dealt with or are currently dealing with some form of back pain. Causes can range from old injury, lifting, trauma, or perhaps a chronic condition.

It is important to have the tools and resources to care for yourself at home (if able or needed). Below you will find 8 TIPS to improve and alleviate your back pain. Keep in mind, this may not be a “pick one and it’s solved” type of situation. In fact, Wilson Ray, MD, chief of spine surgery for the Department of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says home remedies ” tend to be better when they’re combined than [when done] alone.”

1. LISTEN UP!
In order to truly heal and get better you must learn to listen to your body. Our bodies continue to give us signs daily. The question is, are we listening? Some of the signs during an activity may include discomfort (a tightness, ache, sharp pain, etc), the task may not be as easy to perform, or you have to change the movement or compensate to complete the task. Learn how to listen and respond here.

2. ICE vs. HEAT?
Heat and ice can both be beneficial treatment options to help minimize pain and your discomforts, but do you know which one to use? Refer to our resource ICE or HEAT here.

3. MOVE EASY.
When you have back pain have you struggled to get out of a chair? Or, do you have pain every time you get up from lying down? Well, you aren’t alone.
Click here to learn a safe and effective way to transfer from sit to standing.
Click here to learn the proper way to get up from lying down so you don’t have excruciating pain.

4. GET BALANCED.
Did you know that neck pain, headaches, back pain, and hip pain could all be linked to your pelvis and whether it is in balance? 95% of clients coming to NBT have an imbalance in their pelvis. Creating balance is very important to your overall health. Click here to learn an effective technique to create balance in your pelvis.

5.THAT PESKY PSOAS.
It seems like we are always talking about that pesky psoas. The psoas is a very important muscle and can be a main contributor for many issues in the body including: low back pain, disc problems, scoliosis, headaches/migraines, abdominal pain, distended abdomen, menstrual cramps, digestive/elimination problems, hip/upper thigh pain, knee/ankle pain, neck pain…
Learning how to correctly self-treat your psoas is beneficial for most individuals. Check out the different ways you can release that pesky psoas:
Click here for a less direct technique, but still very effective and one of our favorites.
Click here for a step by step guide on using the 4 inch ball to directly release the psoas.

6. 4” BALL SACRUM (This one’s still on of our favorites!)
A four inch ball is used to facilitate releasing the low back/back of the pelvic region. This technique is beneficial for individuals with low back pain, hip/pelvic pain, digestive discomforts, menstrual cramps, and headaches. (Do you see why it’s our favorite?)
Click here for our FB LIVE video demonstrating this technique.

7. LENGTHEN THOSE HAMMIES.
Do you always feel tight in the back of your legs. Those hamstrings, the large muscle behind the upper part of your leg, can directly affect lower back discomfort. Check out our resource HAMSTRING STRETCH here for three ideas on improving hammy flexibility.

8. CORE WORK. Is it HARMFUL?
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of people cause more harm than good when doing core work. When lifting the legs straight up, the weight of the legs causes strain through the psoas (there is that word again!). This is why you will notice your back popping off of the floor, or feel a “popping” during many core exercises. This is instability, and a sign to STOP and get guidance from a trained health care professional. There are better ways to strengthen the core without risking back pain and dysfunction. Click here for more information about core work.

Back pain can be debilitating. Treating the underlying causes will grant you the lasting relief that we all are hoping for. I hope you found these 8 TIPS helpful! As you incorporate some of these new concepts you may notice struggles or have questions come up. All of the therapists at Natural Balance Therapy are here to help in whatever way they can.