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Chronic backaches can be quite debilitating, affecting our daily routine, restricting basic activities and reducing work capacity. The spine is known to be the most important part of the skeletal system that not only protects the framework of our body, but also plays a vital role in providing stable movement, flexibility and a strong form.
Resolving back pain requires us to first investigate its root cause. It is important to examine the lifestyle and habits of the person who is experiencing back pain time and again. What a person eats, feels and behaves, is directly connected to his or her spine health. Indic sciences look at any physical illness as a mere extension of their mental state.
Most people do not take back pain very seriously until it starts to chronically affect them and by the time they are diagnosed, it becomes too late to improve their condition. To learn how to tackle back aches, Midday.com spoke to Radhika Iyer, the founder of Anahata Organic, and yogini by passion. She shares the following hacks to overcome back pain and heal holistically:
Yoga helps increase blood flow and lubrication in the body which is essential for managing back pain. Yogasanas are known to help ease muscle tension, strengthen joints, improve blood circulation and reduce chronic back pain. Regular practice of yoga under the guidance of a qualified teacher can help heal the lumbar vertebrae from L1 to L5.
This allows one to twist and move the torso easily, bend backward and forward more often and fully elongate the spinal network of ligaments, muscles and tendons that support the spinal cord. 45 minutes of a good yoga session every day is proven to strengthen abdominal muscles and support spine health throughout life.
Daily workout regime
The body naturally produces hormones known as endorphins that block pain signals from registering within your brain when you learn to physically work out. Not only are these capable of alleviating anxiety and stress associated with chronic back pain, but the release of such hormones also strengthens heart and brain health as well.
Practicing activities such as running, walking in nature, cycling, dancing, Zumba, aerobic exercises, swimming, etc. can release ample of endorphins in the body that can heal chronic back pain.
Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet
What we eat definitely matters, because the foods we eat can either harm or heal us. Research now shows that consuming fresh, seasonal and regional foods can help prevent and reverse pain. Foods that promote inflammation in the body like fast or processed foods are filled with high amounts of saturated fat and refined carbohydrates that are a known cause of major health issues including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disorders and gastrointestinal problems.
These in turn affect bone density and neuromuscular function in the body causing chronic pain in many parts. An effective way to rid the body of this pain is by choosing to eat healthy food that can fight inflammation. Consuming green leafy vegetables, wholesome nuts, nutritious berries and vitamin-enriched seeds can play an important role in developing a strong spine health.
Including healthy, monounsaturated fats, such as Cow’s ghee, sesame, groundnut, coconut, mustard and olive oil will improve bone elasticity and strengthen tendons. Making a conscious choice to avoid preservative-laden foods, aerated drinks, too much caffeine and consuming alcohol in moderate proportions will also help heal back pain fast. Make sure to add turmeric, cumin, pepper and cinnamon to your daily meal and you will notice a substantial increase of energy in your back.
Consistent sleep cycle
Pain and sleep share a reciprocal relationship and impact each other. A painful day affects the quality of that night’s sleep and in return, poor quality of sleep will automatically increase pain levels the next day. The somatosensory cortex is that region of the brain that interprets what pain feels like and research now proves that sleep deprivation can cause this area to work on an overload leading to chronic pain.
Since the body is tuned to follow an inbuilt circadian rhythm that aligns itself with nature’s own cycle of rest, restoration and repair, a restful night’s sleep is vital to heal back pain naturally. Choose a semi-hard mattress to sleep on if you suffer from back pain. Sleep straight and avoid sleeping on the belly completely. Consuming some warm herbal green tea induces sleep faster.
Remember that sleeping well will make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated and less anxious at all times. Fix the time you go to bed and work your daily activities to revolve around it. Eat at least 3 hours before you sleep and go off gadgets at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Simple efforts like these will help you sleep well, paving the path towards a more painless life.
Meditation has been proven to heal chronic pain that is caused due to emotional, mental and physical stress. It is a holistic approach to creating an environment grounded in strengthening internal empowerment. Simply sitting in silence regularly can be a powerful tool to reduce stress, improve sleep and empower one’s emotional prowess. Meditation helps to cope with distressing thoughts and emotions and helps heal depression, anxiety, and all physical pain.
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