Updated: Jul 29, 2020
As a chiropractor and holistic practitioner, my patients often ask about natural remedies to relieve their back pain at home. As we are treating their condition with chiropractic and soft tissue techniques at the office, I offer these alternatives to traditional pain relieving drugs to aid in their recovery and relieve pain. Gratefully, you don’t have to settle for conventional pain medications that often come with nasty side effects. Homeopathic remedies have superior qualities and offer an effective solution and a chance at real correction.
Supplement with Turmeric
Turmeric is an excellent remedy for joint pain. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and contains the active ingredient curcumin. It's an organic compound that is also a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that turmeric is more effective than ibuprofen for pain relief in patients with joint pain. You can supplement with turmeric in powder form by adding a teaspoon to warm water, tea, or your favorite smoothie daily. You can also take turmeric capsules. I recommend 250-500 mg. three times per day. This is the brand I use and recommend to my patients.
Take an Epsom Salt Bath
One of the most effective, long standing remedies for muscle and joint pain is an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt contains Magnesium Sulfate. It is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for years to relax muscles and reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain. Magnesium deficiencies are much more common than you think and a warm bath is an excellent way to allow magnesium to absorb through your skin. Add two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. You can also add a few drops of relaxing essential oils (lavender, chamomile, or vetiver) to provide even more calming benefits.
Add More Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3's are "essential" fatty acids because the body doesn't produce them on it's own. So, we must rely on our diet to provide them. There are many benefits to Omega 3 fats and reducing inflammation associated with joint pain is one of the most powerful. The foods that are high in Omega 3 fats are wild caught salmon, grass fed beef, flax and chia seeds, walnuts, eggs, and spinach. These are considered to be the "good fats" and even when we think we are eating enough of these healthy foods, we often need to supplement to reduce overall inflammation and counteract the negative effects of some of the other unhealthy foods we are eating. Krill oil is possibly the best source of omega-3, and it has countless other benefits and can support a healthy endocannabinoid system.
See a Chiropractor
The basis of chiropractic care focuses on correcting joint restrictions (joints that have lack of movement) and improving the functioning of the entire nervous system. In order to reduce pain and dramatically improve the quality of life, chiropractors restore joint movement and re-establish proper bio mechanics throughout the body. During a manipulation, the patient is positioned in a way that isolates the involved joint, allowing chiropractors to move or separate the joint surfaces, restoring full motion of the joint and decreasing associated muscle tension. Once the correct mechanics have been restored, the body has the ability to function optimally. Chiropractic work is widely researched, practiced, and respected, and has been shown to help a wide range of ailments.
Try Essential Oils
Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties. In fact, this remedy is the one I recommend most often to my patients. Essential oils are plant based, naturally occurring compounds that have been used for thousands of years to promote healing. Essential oils can be used for a wide range of benefits including muscle and joint pain, headaches, hormone management, weight control, stress reduction, and as a sleep aid.
Frankincense: most powerful anti-inflammatory oil, blocks inflammatory pathways
Peppermint: antispasmodic, aids in relieving muscle aches and symptoms associated with headaches and migraines.
Marjoram: reduces muscle aches, spasm, and tension, relaxing and calming
Lemongrass: aids in ligament and cartilage repair, muscle strain, and increased circulation
Wintergreen: strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, reduces joint discomfort
Lavender: strong calming and relaxing properties, reduces inflammation and physical stress
Cannabis: one of the most powerful essential oils for muscle and joint, and inflammation support
Essential oils are very powerful, however, if essential oils are carefully blended, their individual properties are greatly enhanced. At Dr. Angela's Essential Oil Blends, we've taken the guesswork out of blending oils. Try one of our premium blends for Muscle & Joint pain.
Strengthen Your Core
You will not correct a back problem without strengthening and balancing your core. When your core is strong, your posture is upright and effortless, you move properly, and you feel strong and flexible.
When we think about our core, we almost always think about our abdominal muscles. The abs are important stabilizers, but of greater importance is the core in the back of the body. We have sets of core muscles in the front of our body (anterior chain) AND in the back of the body (posterior chain). Almost every activity we perform throughout the day is forward facing and uses our anterior core muscles. For example: sitting at workstations, cooking, sitting with a laptop on the couch, checking our phones, reading in bed. Even many forms of exercise put our bodies in constant forward flexion such as running or cycling.
Our posterior chain isn't activated nearly as often and this creates imbalances in the core and improper movement patterns. When your posterior chain is weak (lower back, gluteal muscles, and hamstring muscles), too much stress is placed on your weaker, vulnerable spine instead of the strong, capable core muscles. This can create many pain syndromes such as low back pain, sciatica, disc herniations, degenerative joint disease, knee pain, hip issues, and neck and shoulder problems.
Focus on strengthening your lower back and gluts for a more balanced core.
For more information on how to strengthen you posterior chain, check out this article.
Eliminate Inflammatory Foods
Research has proven that a significant contributor to chronic inflammation comes from what we eat. Certain foods provoke an inflammatory response and are full of inflammatory nutrients. These foods can lead to chronic diseases as well as cause inflammation and pain in our muscles and joints. Avoid these foods...
Grains (including gluten)
Hydrogenated oils and trans fats (vegetable oils, canola, soybean, sunflower, margarine, buttery spread)
For more information on the foods that decrease inflammation follow this Clean Eating Detox.
Try CBD Oil Hemp Extract
Although somewhat controversial and misunderstood, CBD oil is rising in popularity. With more and more research arising, the benefits just simply can't be ignored. CBD Hemp oil is a form of cannabidiol (CBD) that has been sourced from industrial hemp rather than marijuana. It is completely safe and legal and does not cause intoxication. Studies have shown that CBD can have powerful pain-relieving and anti inflammatory effects, making it a very viable option for treating the symptoms of back pain, joint pain, and even arthritis. CBD has a profound effect on reducing inflammation in the body and this explains why it is effective for so many health conditions especially chronic pain. What’s really amazing is that CBD doesn’t cause dependence or tolerance, so it’s a great choice for those trying to stay away from opioids. Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in our society that contributes to many non-infectious diseases including fibromyalgia, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease and more. Our CBD Hemp Extract is sourced in Tennessee and is the highest quality available.
Movement is vital for those who suffer from any form of stiffness or joint pain. It's so important to maintain movement in our muscles and joints to improve range of motion and lubricate our joints. Inactivity is one of the primary contributors to muscle and joint pain.
If you have a sitting job, I recommend standing every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds. Research indicates that it is PROLONGED STILLNESS that creates more consequences from sitting. Frequently changing positions is the proven remedy for a healthy workstation. Even if you do not leave your work area, stand, stretch, squat, take steps in place for 20-30 seconds. Set a timer on your phone or fit bit to remind you to stand! For those that are experiencing mild pain, try walking, yoga, Pilates, or light weight training.
About Dr. Angela...
I am a wellness physician specializing in chiropractic care, advanced nutrition, hormone management, and essential oils. Through 20 years of private practice, I have become very passionate about empowering others to transform their lives through natural health and wellness.