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12 Ways to Relieve Back Pain (No Drugs Included)

Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.


Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and shift your focus onto your back. How does it feel? If you are one of the millions of people who spend all day sedentary, the chances are you have tense shoulders and an aching back.

The American Chiropractic Association claims that back pain is responsible for over 264 million days of work absences annually. Further, experts in medicine estimate that 80 percent of the world population will suffer from back pain at some time in their lifetime. The problem often results from poor posture, monotonous movements, lack of exercise, or incorrect lifting.

Alternative Treatments for Back Pain

Before you consider painkillers and other drugs, let’s look at the ways to relieve back pain naturally:

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  1. Stretching. Stretching is an important form of physical activity. It not only loosens your muscles to get rid of back pain, but it also strengthens your back.
  2. Strength Training. According to a 2015 study, free-weight based exercise improves the quality of life in patients with lower back pain.
  3. Stress Reduction Techniques. Stress is a significant contributor to back pain. When stressed, your breathing patterns shift and create unwanted strain. With that said, always make time for fun or relaxing activities to lower your stress levels.
  4. Yoga. If your back experiences occasional soreness and aches, certain yoga positions can help elongate your spine and strengthen your back muscles.
  5. Massage. There are many perks to a relaxing massage. For example, a study found that Swedish massages and certain deep tissue massages were effective at addressing lower back pain associated with disabilities.
  6. Comfrey Root. An ointment containing comfrey root may provide relief if you suffer from back pain.
  7. Acupuncture. Research suggests that acupuncture, which involves pricking the skin with needles, is an effective treatment method for back pain.
  8. Physical Therapy. Did an accident cause your back pain? Physical therapy might help. Its goals include reducing pain and discomfort, improving function, and preventing further recurrences.
  9. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. According to the National Institutes of Health, mindfulness-based stress reduction accompanied by cognitive-behavioral therapy can soothe lower back pain in adults.
  10. Osteopathic Manipulation. This alternative medicine involves the physical manipulation of muscle tissues and bones.
  11. Aquatic Therapy. Specific water therapy exercise programs may play a role in relieving low back pain or neck pain.
  12. Chiropractic Care. Did you know about 22 million Americans visit chiropractors each year? Almost 8 million of them seek relief from chronic back pain.

There is more to chronic back pain than meets the eye. Aside from bringing mild to severe discomfort, back pain is one of the main reasons people get addicted to prescription painkillers. If you have a history of substance abuse, speak with your doctor to determine which of these remedies you should try instead, or if another method is a better option for you.


Over-the-counter pain relievers are some of the most effective remedies for back pain. However, these treatments are often temporary and do not always result in full recovery. Do your research and consider more comprehensive methods before deciding to take painkillers, which may lead you to become a candidate for drug addiction.


Lorna Lamon on May 29, 2019:

I enjoyed reading this very informative article. I use alternative treatments for back pain mainly yoga and CBT. Thank you for sharing.

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