Mayo Health Care
The Heat is On for This Natural Back Pain Relief
Natural pain relief comes in many forms. Some of it are acupuncture, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, massage, reflexology, chiropractic manipulations and a lot more. These methods are quite popular nowadays as they have proven to be effective and have less side effects compared to medicines with chemicals and other unknown artificial ingredients. Some of the more widely known natural and herbal remedies for pain relief include varying dosages and combinations of Devil's Claw, Willow Bark, the ayurvedic compound Boswellia, Chamomile, Bromelain, St. John's Wort, Horsetail, and numerous other plant-based cures. While these herbs and alternative natural substances may have indeed possessed some therapeutic anti-inflammatory and pain relief qualities, they could not kill the pain sufficiently enough on their own.
A recent research was done by the VA Medical Center at the Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, regarding one kind of a natural back pain relief that can supposedly improve muscle flexibility. The research acknowledged that heat therapy application can help relieve pain from the muscle spasm and related tightness in the lower back. Many episodes of lower back pain result from strains and over-exertions, creating tension in the muscles and soft tissues around the lower spine. As a result, this restricts proper circulation and sends pain signals to the brain. Muscle spasm in the lower back can create sensations that may range from mild discomfort to excruciating lower back pain.
Heat therapy facilitates stretching the soft tissues around the spine, including muscles, connective tissue, and adhesions. Consequently, with heat therapy, there will be a decrease in stiffness as well as injury, with an increase in flexibility and overall feeling of comfort. Flexibility is very important for a healthy back. This application can help provide lower back pain relief through several mechanisms. Heat therapy dilates the blood vessels of the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine. This process increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal the damaged tissue. Heat also stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort. There are several other significant benefits of this kind of natural back pain relief that make it so appealing. Compared to most therapies, heat therapy is quite inexpensive and in many circumstances it’s free such as taking a hot bath. Heat therapy is also easy to do.
It can be done at home while relaxing, and portable heat wraps also make it an option while at work or in the car. Although heat therapy is commonly administered with hot packs and hydrotherapy, ultrasound is also considered a form of heat therapy. Basically, hot packs heat up affected body parts by the process of conduction, hydrotherapy heats by convection, and ultrasound heats tissues as the result of the transduction of sound waves to heat. Radiant heat, short-wave diathermy, and paraffin baths are also used on occasion to heat up troublesome body regions. For many people, especially among athletes, this natural back pain relief works best when combined with other treatment methods, such as physical therapy and exercise. Relative to most medical treatments available, heat therapy is appealing to many people as it is a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical form of lower back pain relief.
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