Pain is something that all of us can relate to. Everyone does not want to go through a lifetime of pain – but that exactly is what happens to all of us.
One of these almost intolerable pain is what we call Lower back pain (LBP) which seems to torment mostly urban settlers. It is supposedly the “leading cause of disability” and it is the 2nd most common reason for finding medical attention for it.
Now, there is a major coup happening right now in the medical world! In an unprecedented move, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, along with the American College of Physicians, have set down new clinical guidelines for medical professionals who are providing primary care management of LBP.
The New Guidelines
Unlike the older ones, encourage the use of “non-traditional ways” to seek relief for LBP. The guidelines encourage doctors and other medical experts to prescribe non-invasive, non-medicinal kinds of treatment such as “yoga, mindfulness, physiotherapy, and psychological therapies”.
In a world where doctors usually prescribe paracetamol and other anti-inflammatory drugs, this was like a breath of fresh air to health practitioners. Basically, I am quite happy that they are also recommending a group exercise program, such as aerobic exercise, mind-body experiences and other approaches to help with LBP.
LBP is an offshoot of a lot of factors some of which could be poor posture, a prior accident, not getting enough sleep and rest, STRESS (must watch out for that), a poor diet, not enough exercise (even if it’s moderate exercise, it’s good for your health and it strengthens your bones and muscles), etc. As we have written about in the past, mental health is also important.
What the guidelines have not recommended is acupuncture. These agencies always try to say that because there is not enough peer-reviewed evidence on acupuncture being really helpful on pain management or pain elimination that they do not recommend it yet. As stated in the guidelines, the increasing use of opioids for pain management has prompted these agencies to recommend non-invasive kind of holistic medical treatments in pain management and elimination.
Personally, I have had experience with acupuncture, my patients have had experience with acupuncture and it does generate good results in helping with pain management.
Yoga is great for relieving joint pain, especially for arthritic patients. But you can also use it for other illnesses that need to alleviate pain. Sometimes, it all depends on the practitioner to find their center also when it comes to pain management. Yoga relaxes the body and builds flexibility for our muscles and bones. So in a way, it does help in generating an overall feeling of tranquility and relaxation. Once the body is in a relaxed state, then we can better manage our pain. In fact, we can tell our body to “over-ride” the pain signals.
A regular massage per week to ease out the kinks in our system is a great way to ease our pain. Scientifically, when blood can flow unhampered and well in our body, then our pain centers will be shut down.
Lastly, try engaging in Mindfulness Meditation! You don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice this. Mindfulness means “being in the NOW”. It promotes training one’s mind to be in the present and to facilitate this, focus only on your breath. Once you master mindfulness meditation, you can focus on the most important thing you have to do. You also have better control of your body and of course, your mind.
Well, I hope I managed to share these little nuggets of information with all of you. If you have your own set of tips to relieve lower back pain or LBP, do share with us in the comments section below!