Cures for back pain

​Think you've tried everything to get rid of your back pain? At the end of your tether? On the verge of giving up? Read this first. 

When you have chronic back pain it can be so frustrating. 

And not just because of the pain but because most times you have no idea where this pain is coming from or why it is happening. 

​Which makes it so hard to treat. 

Because you have to go through each and every back pain treatment you can find to try and find the ones that work for you. 

And there are so many! 

For example...​

​You can seek professional help in the form chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths that all offer different methods of treatment.

Then there are the more alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture and dry needling that work to ease your sore and aching back muscles.

You can try stretching regularly and strengthening your core muscles to take the strain off your back and give it more support.

And you can work on improving your posture when sitting, standing and working ​to ease the pressure.

You can be more mindful not to hurt yourself at work by using safe lifting techniques and not sitting or standing still for long periods.

And you can also try applying ice or heat to your painful back muscles to help them relax and heal.​

You could even go the medical route and try things like facet injections or even spinal fusion surgery.

It's an exhausting list of options to try.

And the problem comes when people have tried all or most of these things and still can't get relief from their pain.

It's at this point that it can be tempting to give up and consider yourself a lost cause.

But hold on one second.

Because there are still a few things to try that you may not have considered before.

And I'm going to take you through some of these now starting with becoming more active.​

1. Become More Active

Get off your backside!

This one can seem a bit counter-intuitive at first because when your body is in pain exercising is probably the last thing you think of doing.

I mean if you're already in pain surely trying to exercise would only lead to more pain right?​

And for cases of acute back pain you'd probably be right.

But this is where most people go wrong when it comes to chronic back pain.​

Because when your pain is chronic ​staying active is crucial in minimising it's intensity and keeping your back strong and healthy.

​In fact increasing your physical activity is part of the international guidelines for managing chronic lower back pain.

This is because it brings you the following benefits:​

  • It strengthens your muscles throughout your body helping to give your back more support.
  • You'll become more flexible which will take the pressure off your lower back, lessen your muscle pain and give you a greater range of movement in your joints.
  • It'll improve your blood circulation which will help deliver oxygen and nutrients to your damaged muscles to help them to heal and repair.
  • You'll keep your weight under control which means your back will carry a lighter load.
  • Exercising releases endorphins which work as the body's natural painkiller.
  • These endorphins will also improve your mood giving you the positive outlook you need to cope with chronic pain.
  • Being active will lower your stress levels meaning you will hold less tension in your muscles.
  • It'll also help you to sleep better which is where your body regenerates itself to stay fit and healthy.

​And contrary to what you may think, in most cases it won't cause you any further pain or damage either.

Remaining inactive on the other hand can have the opposite effect:

  • Your muscles shrink and weaken which means your back has less support.
  • You lose flexibility which leads to soreness and tightness in your muscles and puts more pressure and strain on your lower back.
  • Your range of movement decreases while your bones lose density which makes things harder for your joints.
  • You feel tired and lethargic and less able to deal with your pain.
  • You can gain weight which puts your back under even more strain.

​And these are just the negative effects for your back, not to mention the multitude of serious health problems that long-term inactivity can bring.

So if you feel like you should be doing more then this list should give you the perfect reason to start exercising!

Which Exercises Should you be Doing?​

When it comes to being more active you need to box clever in two ways.

Firstly you need to do a mixture of different activities to get the best results.

And secondly you need to do them in the right amounts and to a moderate intensity.

So I'll start with the different types of exercise you should be doing.

You should aim to develop a regular exercise routine that gives you a mix of the following:

By incorporating a mix of these into your routine you are giving yourself a great chance of keeping your back pain at bay and living a fuller and more comfortable life.

However make sure you don't overdo things.

Because studies have shown that exercising for 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week and to a moderate intensity is optimal for someone with chronic lower back pain. ​

So stick to this and becoming more active could be the back pain cure you've been searching for.​

To find out about 9 safe forms of exercise you can do with chronic lower back pain click here.​

2. Make Changes To Your Diet

Which tray would you go for?

As the old saying goes 'You are what you eat' and eating a balanced diet full of the right nutritional values is vital for staying fit, strong and healthy.

But did you also know that what you eat isn't just important from a health and weight standpoint.

It could also be causing your back pain.

There are two reasons for this:

  • A deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet which can lead to a loss of bone density and degeneration of your spinal discs.
  • Eating a diet rich in foods that cause inflammation in your body which is a major cause of back pain.

So your back will really benefit if you take a closer look at what you eat and make a few sensible changes.

Because your bones, spinal discs and muscles need the right nutrition to stay strong and be able to support you.​

So try to:​

  • 1. Eat foods that give you the right amounts of the vitamins and minerals to keep your bones healthy.
  • 2. Replace foods that cause inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods instead. 

1. Getting the Right Amount of Vitamins and Minerals

A lack of vitamins and minerals is a common problem in the modern world as people are so busy that they are forced to grab food on the go.

Which is never good for our health.​

As this type of food is usually​ heavily processed and doesn't really do us many favours other than fill us up!

And it can also leave us lacking in important areas.​

Such as in certain vitamins that are vital if you want to keep your back strong and healthy

So make an effort to include foods that contain the following vitamins in your daily diet to keep your back happy:

​Calcium

Keeping your calcium intake at the right level is so important if you want to stay free of back pain.

This is because you need it to keep your bones strong and healthy.

However a lack of calcium in your diet can lead to a loss of bone mass, osteoporosis, brittle bones and a weakening of your vertebrae and the discs that support it.

Which all means a very high likelihood of developing back pain!​

​So add a few of the following sources of calcium to your diet:

  • Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese).
  • Leafy green vegetables (such as kale and brocolli).
  • Oily fish (such as sardines and salmon).
  • Almonds.

However steer clear of taking calcium supplements as too much calcium can also be damaging.

And you should be able to get enough from your diet in any case.​

Magnesium

Magnesium is also good for maintaining bone mass and density.

And it also helps your muscles to contract and relax keeping them healthy, strong and able to support your spine.

So eat some foods that are good sources of magnesium such as:

  • Fatty fish (such as salmon, halibut and mackerel).
  • Chickpeas, beans and lentils.
  • Nuts (such as almonds, cashews and brazil nuts).
  • Whole grains.
  • Pumpkin and flax seeds.
  • Bananas.
  • Dark chocolate.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiencies are fairly common especially in areas where people don't get as much natural sunlight.

Which is a problem as it's important to keep you vitamin D levels up for a number of health reasons.

But the most important one for your back ​is that it helps your body to absorb the calcium that will keep your bones strong and healthy.

So if you are not blessed with a lot of sunlight try to get some vitamin D from your diet.​

Now this isn't easy as vitamin D is not found in many foods but you can get it by eating the following: ​

  • Salmon.
  • Liver.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Cod liver oil.

You can also take vitamin D supplements however you should consult your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements to make sure they are safe for you.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps to keep your bone marrow healthy and as such is also important for bone health and growth.

And you can find it in the following: 

  • Fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Poultry.
  • Dairy products (such as milk, yoghurt and cheese).

Vitamin C

Getting enough vitamin C is great for your immune system and for fighting off things like colds and flu.

And it also helps to heal damaged muscles, tissues and spinal discs which keeps your back strong, healthy and in less pain.

So add the following fruits to your diet to get your fix:​

  • Oranges.
  • Kiwi.
  • Strawberries.
  • Grapefruit.

Fresh fruit is the best way to get vitamin C but you can also get it from fruit juices (just make sure they are 100% natural and not full of sugar).

2. Eating More Anti-inflammatory Foods

When it comes to curing back pain through nutrition getting your vitamins is only one half of the battle.

​Because even if we get our vitamin intake right there are still certain foods in our diets that can cause inflammation in the body.

And this inflammation leads to muscle tension, stiffness and back pain.

However by cutting out a few of these foods and replacing them with anti-inflammatory ones you can avoid this pain and tension and help your back stay stronger and healthier.​

And the good news is that a lot of the foods that provide you with the vitamins I listed above are also anti-inflammatory.​

Foods That Can Cause Inflammation

So what kinds of foods do you need to watch out for when it comes to inflammation?

Unfortunately it's most of the good stuff!​

​The following list will give you a good reference point:

  • ​Processed foods as they contain artificial preservatives, additives and flavourings that all trigger inflammation.
  • Sugary snacks and drinks such as soda, candy bars and donuts.
  • Fried foods such as fried chicken, fries and onion rings.
  • Foods containing high levels of saturated fat such as burgers, pizza and fries.
  • Refined flour carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta and tortillas.
  • Foods containing vegetable oil such as mayonnaise and table sauces, salad dressings, crisps and crackers.
  • Processed meats such as bacon, sausages and sandwich meats.
  • Dairy products if you have an intolerance to lactose.
  • Food and drinks containing artificial sweeteners such as sugar-free yoghurts or sodas.

​Now I've probably just taken out everything you like to eat in one fell swoop there but it's not a case of having to abstain completely.

Just be sensible and see certain foods as an occasional treat rather than a daily staple.​

Also limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you have every day.

This is because these are both stimulants that release higher levels of cortisol in your system.

And this extra cortisol can increase your blood sugar levels and cause inflammation.

Foods to Add to Your Diet That are Anti-inflammatory

Ok so now you know which foods to limit what do you replace them with?

The following list are all great foods that are anti-inflammatory:​

  • Fresh vegetables especially kale, spinach, brocolli, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions and beans.
  • Also fresh fruit such as cherries, berries, grapes, avocado, pomegranates and watermelon.
  • Oily fish high in Omega 3 such as salmon, mackerels, sardines and tuna.
  • Lean proteins such as chicken and turkey.
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans and brazil nuts.
  • Herbs especially basil, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, garlic, oregano and turmeric (add a dash of black pepper to help your body absorb it).
  • Green teas.

​By adding some of these foods to your diet you could cut down on your inflammation levels and really start to feel the difference.

But none of us can live like robots.

At the end of the day it's about being sensible with your diet and making sure it is well-balanced and providing you with all the nutrition you need to stay healthy.

And doing this will have the added benefit of keeping your weight under control which will lessen the pressure and strain on your lower back.

So start by cutting back on a few of the foods that may be causing you inflammation and see how you feel.

If you can feel the difference after a couple of weeks then you are definitely on the right track to a life with less back pain.

3. Upgrade Your Old Mattress

Is your old mattress causing your back pain?

Now your mattress may not be something you give a lot of thought to when it comes to back pain.

Maybe you've gotten so used to it over the years that it is like an old friend to you with all it's bumps and indents that allow you to sink right into it.

However the problem is that even the most comfortable mattresses don't last forever.

And for this reason your old friend may just be becoming your worst enemy.​

Because if your mattress is sagging in all the wrong places and lacking the support it once gave you then it could be the thing that is causing your back pain because a bad mattress can:

  • Throw your neck and spine out of alignment during the night causing you aches and pains when you wake up.
  • Make it hard to get a restful and deep night's sleep which is what your body needs to regenerate and keep you fit and healthy.

When you consider you spend a third of your life in bed then this is a serious cause for concern.

And the professionals seem to agree.

In a survey of orthopedic surgeons a whopping 95%​ of them said that the mattress people were using played a part in how well they could manage their pain and get on with their lives.

So look to renew your mattress roughly every 8 years to make sure you are still getting the right amount of support and protection for your back as you sleep.​

How to Choose Your New Mattress

Now choosing a new mattress can be a real headache as there are so many different options available.

So how the hell are you supposed to know which one to go for?​

Make sure you pick the right one for you.

Well it all comes down to doing a little research and knowing from experience what you (and your back) prefers to sleep on.

Because there are four main types of mattress to choose from that all have slightly different plus points:​

  • Memory foam - Great for comfort as well as relieving pressure on your body.
  • Latex - Great for support and keeping you cool.
  • Pocket springs - More bouncy but provides great support for your back in a variety of sleeping positions.
  • Hybrid - Combine all three of the above in the same mattress to attempt to give you the best of all worlds. 

So you need to work out if support or comfort is more important to you and also use your past experiences of sleeping on different beds to guide you.

And three things to do so you make the right decision when picking your new mattress are:​

  • Get yourself a medium-firm mattress as these have been shown to be most beneficial for people with chronic lower back pain.
  • Choose the right type of mattress to suit your specific needs and body (see above).
  • Buy a mattress that comes with a 100-night free trial so you can fully road test it and make sure it is right for you before committing all that money.

Taking the time to pick the right mattress is time well spent and your back will feel all the better for it for years to come afterwards.

To read my full guide on how to choose a mattress click here.​

Which are the Best Mattresses for People With Back Pain?

So once you know the type and style of mattress you are going to go for which makes are the best for people with back pain?

This can be a matter of opinion but there are a few clear winners in my eyes.

I did a review of the best mattresses for back pain in 2017 which covered all the different types and came up with a top 6 as follows:​

So you can start off by checking these out first.

And if you don't like the look of them then shop around.

Check out a few department stores near you and don't be frightened to lay down and test out all the mattresses.​

Because finding the right one is a difficult but super important task that could cure your back pain and make your life a hell of a lot more comfortable.​

And if you want to read my full review of the best mattresses for back pain click here.​

4. Quit Smoking

I'm sure you already know that smoking is really bad for your health.

The risk of cancer, heart and lung disease can all take years off your life. ​

But the problem so many people have is that while they know smoking is bad for them it can be so hard to give up.

This is because smoking is so incredibly addictive that quitting can be an almost impossible struggle for them.

​One of the reasons for this is that taking a drag on your cigarette brings a hit of nicotine into your system.

This triggers the release of many different chemicals in your brain including dopamine.

And it's this dopamine release that makes it so addictive.

Because this chemical makes you feel good and gives your brain a 'reward' signal that makes you crave it again and again.

And it's this satisfying hit that make smokers feel the need for a cigarette when they are under stress or feeling down.

Which leads to some using smoking as a form of pain relief.

As having a smoke can take their mind off things and relax them.​

However this effect is only very temporary.

And the evidence suggests that in the long-term smoking may actually be a cause of lower back pain rather than a cure.​

How Can Smoking Cause Back Pain?

It may be hard to make the association between smoking and back pain at first.

However there are a few reasons why it may be the cause of your back pain:​

  • Nicotine restricts blood flow - This means the body can't deliver the needed amount of oxygen and nutrients to your spinal discs, muscles and tissues which leads to degeneration, a lack of back support and increasing muscle pain and tension.
  • Smoking slows down the healing time after injury - A lack of oxygen and nutrients plus more brittle bones makes recovery harder for smokers.
  • It also reduces the body's ability to absorb calcium - This can lead to a loss of bone density, osteoarthritis and joint pain.
  • This lack of calcium also affects the outcome of back surgery - Smokers have less chance of gaining a solid fusion from spinal surgery than non-smokers. 
  • Smoking increases brain activity between the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex - This increased activity has been found to make you less resilient against chronic pain.
  • Excessive coughing - developing a 'smokers cough' places your spinal discs under more pressure.

And while science hasn't been able to prove conclusively that smoking causes back pain, the link between the two has become very apparent in most studies.

​For instance one study followed 1337 physicians over a 50-year period and found that smoking was associated with both the development of lower back pain and lumbar spondylosis.

While another found that smokers were 3 times more likely to develop chronic back pain than non-smokers due to the increase in brain activity that nicotine stimulates.​

However when they quit smoking this brain activity decreased and they were less vulnerable to chronic pain as a result.

So if you want to give your body the best of chance of curing chronic back pain then quitting smoking could be the thing that ​gets you there.

I know this is difficult but keep trying as your back could really benefit.​

And if you need some​ extra inspiration check out the video below.

5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Now as a chronic pain suffer I'm sure you've been as frustrated as me in the past at people thinking that your pain was 'all in your head'.

I mean it's not really their fault.

People just don't seem to get the whole concept of chronic pain unless they directly experience it themselves no matter how well meaning they are.​

But while our pain is very real (I don't need to tell you that right!) what's going on in our heads is also very important.

Because studies have shown that how you think about pain plays a big part in how much pain you feel and your ability to cope with it.​

For instance if you take a 'woe is me' approach then you will be filled with negativity, frustration and anger which will only add to your problems.

This anger and frustration will transfer itself into physical stress and tension within your muscles increasing your pain.

And your negative attitude will prevent you from doing what you need to do to stay on top of your pain.

Staying positive on the other hand will keep you in a good frame of mind to be able to live your life well in spite of the pain.

However it can be hard to remain positive when your back is nagging away at you.

So much so that your negative thoughts can become so constant that ​they become deeply ingrained within your psyche.

Which is where cognitive behavioural therapy can help.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and How does it Work for Chronic Back Pain?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a process of identifying the negative thought processes you have, challenging them, and reconstructing them into more positive and accurate thoughts.

And when it comes to chronic back pain it can work really well.

Now when we feel pain it can sometimes take us over.​

This is because our brains are wired to look out for signals of pain as signs of immediate danger that requires it's full attention.

So it puts you into survival mode and this makes sense in most situations involving pain.

However chronic pain is totally different.

As it is a constant nagging pain that is just there and not an indication that we are in any danger.

But if we are not careful the brain will interpret it as more serious than it is which can lead you to become consumed with the following negative thought processes:​

  • It can fill your mind with catastrophic thoughts and worst case scenarios.
  • You can develop a defeatist attitude such as "my pain never goes away so why bother doing anything about it?".
  • The pain takes over your mind and becomes your sole focus meaning you don't recognise or appreciate the good things in your life.

​And all that negativity is really not good for your health!

However by using cognitive behavioural therapy techniques you can retrain your brain to replace these negative thought processes with more positive and accurate ones.

And over time this will become more and more natural giving you a great mindset to be able to handle anything that chronic pain can throw at you.​

Putting it into practice

There are 3 steps to changing negative thoughts into positive ones using cognitive behavioural therapy:

  • Identify the negative thoughts about pain you are having.
  • Challenge these thoughts using knowledge and past experiences.
  • Reconstruct these thoughts into more positive ones.

1. Identify Negative Thoughts

Negative thinking about pain can become so ingrained that you may not even know you are doing it.

Which can make it difficult to identify any negative thoughts you are having when you are having them.

However a good way to do this is by keeping a pain diary.

As by writing down your thoughts about pain at various intervals during the day for a period of a few weeks you are forced to become aware of your way of thinking.

From this you should be able to come up with a list of negative thoughts that you can work on.​

And once you have this list you are ready to see if these thoughts stand up to cross-examination.​

2. Challenge Negative Thoughts

A lot of your negative thoughts will be almost automatic responses to your brain's reaction to your pain.

And they have a huge influence over your pain experience.

But a lot of the time these thoughts make no sense when you analyse them with cold hard facts.​

So go through your list of negative thoughts one by one and really look at them.

Can they be challenged using facts, knowledge and experience?​

Do some research about the chronic pain experience to help you to gain this knowledge (hopefully this site can help you with that too!).

And use your past experiences of living with pain to also see whether these thoughts stand up.​

Once you've done this you are ready to ​challenge these negative thoughts and reconstruct them into thoughts that more accurately reflect reality.

3. Reframe Negative Thoughts

Once you begin to really scrutinise your negative thoughts about pain you will start to see just how ridiculous some of them are.

​So next to each negative thought on your list write out a more accurate and positive thought that can replace it.

In cognitive behavioural therapy these are called coping statements.

And once you train your brain to believe these coping statements rather than your negative thoughts you'll be on your way to a more positive pain experience.​

So for example use experience to replace a thought such as "My pain is so bad that I can't cope"​ with "I've coped before and I will again today".

Or use knowledge of chronic pain to replace a limiting belief such as "I won't do that activity in case it makes my back pain worse" with "I will give it a go because my pain is chronic and unlikely to get worse. I just need to make sure I don't overdo it".​

And finally you can change how positive you feel by replacing thoughts like "I'm useless because I can't do that anymore" with "Although I can't do that anymore I'm proud that I can still do all these other things in spite of my pain".​

Now these are just a few examples.​

But do you see how changing each of these thoughts into more accurate and positive ones will help you to feel less pain, cope with it better and be able to do more things?​

This is why cognitive behavioural therapy can be such a powerful help against back pain.​

6. Hypnotherapy

If cognitive behavioural therapy is a conscious way of changing how you think about pain then hypnosis is a way of doing the same thing using your subconscious.

Now you may have an idea of hypnosis in your head as just a funny stage act where the hypnotist can get grown adults to think they are ducks or chickens at the click of their fingers.

And the sight of people quacking and waddling on stage in front of hundreds of people completely oblivious to what they are doing is hilarious for sure.

But hypnotherapy is so much more than that and it can be especially helpful for your back pain.

As it can help you identify and reverse emotional and mental problems that might be causing you pain and anxiety. 

And it can also make you more able to mentally deal with the pain signals your brain receives.​

In fact hypnotic therapy has been found in many scientific studies to reduce pain intensity for many chronic pain conditions not just lower back pain. ​

So it's well worth giving it a try to see if it helps you with your pain too.​

How does Hypnotherapy Help you to Manage Back Pain?​

The aim of hypnotherapy is to get you into a deeply relaxed state so your subconscious mind can more easily receive suggestions.

Now this doesn't mean you go into a trance where you don't know what's going on.​

Instead you go into an altered state of consciousness that makes your brain become acutely aware of what your hypnotherapist is telling it.

And this enables them to identify negative thoughts and emotions as well as relay information directly into your subconscious that can help you to better deal with your back pain in the future.

And this can be done in a few ways.

Changing Your Subconscious Perception of Pain​

When you live with chronic pain it's easy to develop a negative mindset that makes it harder for you to cope.

And these catastrophic and defeatist thoughts and attitudes about your pain only increase it's power and intensity.

However by planting more positive thoughts and perceptions of pain into your subconscious mind through hypnotherapy you can change your whole outlook and attitude towards pain.

And this can help lower your pain levels while also allowing you to respond less emotionally towards any pain signals your brain receives.

Which keeps you on a more even keel mentally and emotionally and makes you better able to get on with your life.​

Program Your Brain to Release Endorphins

Endorphins are great as they not only improve your mood and make you feel good they are also the body's natural painkiller.

And through hypnotherapy you can program your subconscious mind to release endorphins when your brain is receiving pain signals from your back.​

This will help to lessen the intensity of your pain signals and decrease your sensitivity to the pain.​

Uncover and Heal any Emotional or Mental Problems that may be Causing Your Pain

As much as the pain in your back is a physical one it can be triggered and made a hell of a lot worse by your emotional and mental state.

For instance when you are suffering from stress and anxiety you tend to hold a lot of tension within your muscles.

And this is the same if you are going through the emotional wringer.​

So if you don't look after your mind and emotions then you are only going to make your back pain worse. 

​And this is where hypnosis can really help.

Because it is a great way of identifying emotional and mental distress that we can't access ourselves because ​we have locked it away deep within our subconscious.

And by confronting these issues and offering suggestions to help them to heal ​you can feel much more relaxed and free from tension in both body and mind.

Help to 'Get Over' Things that may be Holding you Back

It's very easy when suffering from chronic pain to overly limit yourself.

For instance you may be so paranoid that you may cause yourself further damage that you get ideas in your mind that you can't do certain things.

However these limiting beliefs are usually false and when they stop you from being active or doing things that would make you happier then they need changing.

And hypnosis can be a great way to change these irrational and deep-seated beliefs.

Because by offering more realistic suggestions to your subconscious about your pain and your physical limits you can increase your confidence on what you can take on.

Which will make you more adventurous, active, and happier in the long run.

And more able to manage and live a life with chronic pain.​

So hypnosis could be just the 'cure' you've been looking for.​

7. Mindfulness Meditation

Now when you think about meditation you may be envisaging a picture of a hippie on a mountain-top sitting in the lotus position with their eyes closed humming.

And it may be exactly this image of meditation that makes you reluctant to try it.

But meditation isn't just for the hippies.

In fact it's use is becoming ever more widespread as people find it's a great way to combat the stresses of modern living.

Because by learning to meditate regularly they focus their mind to achieve a mentally calm and clear state.​

And by focusing on their breathing they also bring this calm and relaxed state into their bodies. ​

Which really helps them to lower stress and anxiety levels.

And it can also help to lower your pain levels and make managing pain a lot easier too.​

How does Mindfulness Meditation Help Your Back Pain?​

​Mindfulness Meditation has been found to have similar success rates for people with chronic lower back pain as cognitive behavioural therapy. 

And this effect was long-lasting with people still benefiting from it a year after the study had finished.​

However it does so in different ways.​

Firstly it is more about becoming aware of and accepting your thoughts about chronic pain than trying to challenge and change them.

As by recognising your thoughts about pain but choosing not to engage with them ​you lower their intensity which will lower the amount of pain you feel.

And secondly you can also lower your pain levels by moving your focus away from your pain towards something more calming and quiet.

Which is great because when your brain is focused on the pain signals it receives this only intensifies the sensation of pain you feel.

And the relaxed and calm state of mind that you achieve through meditation​ also helps to:

  • Lower stress, tension and anxiety in both your body and mind.
  • Regulate your emotions which gives you more control over processing your pain.
  • Lower your perception of pain.
  • Give you a better night's sleep allowing your body to heal and repair.

Which is all great news for people with chronic lower back pain.

How to get Started

Meditation can take a bit of practice to get the hang of but you have plenty of resources available to help you nowadays.

There are YouTube videos that will guide you through the process as well as books and even meditation classes.

However one thing I'd especially recommend for a beginner thinking about taking up meditation is to download the Headspace app to your mobile phone.​

This app is your go to place for daily meditations that gradually increase your skill levels as you go.

And it's great at keeping you motivated.​

It's also really easy to follow so it's perfect for complete novices.

Plus you get the first 10 meditations for free as a trial to see if you enjoy it before having to commit to a small monthly subscription.​

You can try for yourself by downloading it via the buttons below.​

Rounding Up

So I hope that after reading through that list of potential back pain cures you have discovered one or two that you haven't tried before.

Because there are so many causes of pain and so many things that could potentially make it better that you should never run out of things to try.

And the more lifestyle changes you try the more you will be able to fine-tune your daily habits to give yourself the best chance of living a full life in spite of chronic back pain.

So good luck and let me know in the comments if any of these 'cures' have worked for you in the past.​

Resources used in researching this article:​

https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/can-good-diet-fight-back-pain/​

https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/nutrition-diet-weight-loss/food-thought-diet-and-nutrition-a-healthy-back​

​http://www.eatthis.com/foods-that-cause-inflammation/

Daniel

A 30-something painter and decorator, psychology graduate, and veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. Looking to explore the physical, psychological and emotional effects of living with chronic low back pain.

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