Times of Oman - - LIFESTYLE -

Strug­gling with foot and back pain? Have a hard time sleep­ing and mov­ing around? Be­fore pop­ping pills, con­sider mak­ing some life­style changes. Painkillers and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory drugs come with a myr­iad of side ef­fects. Kid­ney prob­lems, bloat­ing, de­pres­sion, and fluid re­ten­tion are just a few to men­tion. Even the hum­ble as­pirin may cause stom­ach ul­cers and in­di­ges­tion when used for a long time. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to re­lieve pain nat­u­rally. For in­stance, cer­tain ex­er­cises can strengthen the back mus­cles and re­duce ten­sion. Ice packs help with in­flam­ma­tion and swelling. First, it’s im­por­tant to de­ter­mine the root cause of pain. This way, you’ll be able to find a treat­ment that best suits your needs.

What causes foot and back pain?

This is lead­ing cause of dis­abil­ity world­wide. It can af­fect your flex­i­bil­ity, mo­bil­ity, and qual­ity of life. Some­times, the pain can ra­di­ate into the legs and foot. It may also cause aches in the chest or ab­dom­i­nal area. Sci­at­ica, for ex­am­ple, can cause chronic pain in the back and legs. Foot and back pain can be re­lated or not. It all comes down to the cause of your symp­toms. Your feet can hurt for var­i­ous rea­sons, such as: Bone spur, Achilles ten­dini­tis, stress frac­tures, pso­ri­atic arthri­tis, plan­tar fasciitis, os­teoarthri­tis, gout, flat­feet, di­a­betic neu­ropa­thy, bur­si­tis, bunions, cal­luses, sports in­juries. Cer­tain life­style fac­tors, such as sit­ting for too long or wear­ing high heels, may cause foot pain too. How­ever, this symp­tom can also in­di­cate a se­ri­ous con­di­tion like arthri­tis. In this case, you may ex­pe­ri­ence back pain as well. Un­der nor­mal con­di­tions, pain should sub­side within a few days or weeks. If it doesn’t, see your doc­tor as soon as pos­si­ble.

Un­less you suf­fer from a se­ri­ous con­di­tion, nat­u­ral reme­dies should do the trick. Even if you do have chronic pain, they can help re­lieve dis­com­fort. Re­gard­less of the cause of your prob­lem, it’s im­por­tant to act as soon as pos­si­ble. If left un­treated, pain can per­sist and be­come chronic. In the worst case sce­nario, it can leave you dis­abled. To help you out, we’ve com­piled a list of the best ways to re­lieve foot and back pain nat­u­rally.

Book a mas­sage

Mas­sage ther­apy has long been used for its abil­ity to re­duce pain and aches. It not only im­proves th­ese symp­toms but also helps with de­pres­sion and sleep prob­lems. More­over, it boosts en­dor­phin lev­els, which helps re­lieve pain and lifts your mood. This heal­ing prac­tice in­creases blood flow to your joints and mus­cles, ac­cel­er­at­ing re­cov­ery. At the same time, it im­proves flex­i­bil­ity and range of mo­tion. Plus, you’ll catch more sleep and have greater en­ergy.

Stay ac­tive

When you’re strug­gling with foot and back pain, you want to get as much rest as pos­si­ble. How­ever, too much bed rest can worsen your symp­toms and re­duce joint mo­bil­ity. Re­search shows that reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, es­pe­cially strength train­ing can sig­nif­i­cantly re­lieve pain and speed up heal­ing. Fur­ther­more, it helps you main­tain a healthy body weight. Ev­ery ex­tra pound puts pres­sure on your spine and joints, mak­ing pain worse.

Try yoga

In clin­i­cal tri­als, sub­jects who prac­ticed yoga showed a greater re­duc­tion in pain and in­crease in flex­i­bil­ity com­pared to the con­trol group. They also re­ported en­hanced men­tal well­be­ing and stress re­lief. Yoga stretches and strength­ens your spine while im­prov­ing joint flex­i­bil­ity. It also helps de­velop core strength, which con­trib­utes to a good pos­ture. Cer­tain poses are par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive against back pain. Your work­out should in­clude the bow pose, the bridge pose, the camel pose, the cat pose, and the dol­phin pose.

Avoid pro­longed sit­ting

Pro­longed sit­ting is a ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tor to foot and back pain. In the long run, it may in­crease your risk of in­sulin re­sis­tance, metabolic syn­drome, di­a­betes, and obe­sity. Statis­tics in­di­cate that sit­ting for too long dou­bles the risk of death from any cause. This should be rea­son enough to leave the couch and get ac­tive.

Wear or­thotics

Phys­io­ther­a­pists rec­om­mend foot or­thotics for a good rea­son. Th­ese ac­ces­sories help re­align foot po­si­tion­ing on the ground, which in turn, im­proves your gait and pos­ture. As a re­sult, you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence less pain. In­soles are among the most pop­u­lar and con­ve­nient or­thotics. They’re par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial for those with Achilles ten­donitis, knee pain, and back­aches. Plus, they prevent blis­ters and rub­bing.

To reap the ben­e­fits, choose a qual­ity brand. Samu­rai In­soles, for in­stance, are de­signed to re­lieve pain and im­prove com­fort. Each pair comes with a one year war­ranty, so they’re de­signed to last.

Use a foam roller

Ath­letes and gym go­ers use foam rolling to sooth tensed mus­cles and re­cover faster from train­ing. This prac­tice in­volves mas­sag­ing the af­fected ar­eas with a lacrosse ball or foam roller. Think of it as a firm of self-mas­sage or deep tis­sue mas­sage. Foam rolling works by break­ing down the mus­cle knots or trig­ger points that cause pain. It also im­proves cir­cu­la­tion and sup­ports tis­sue re­pair.

Take nat­u­ral sup­ple­ments

Glu­cosamine sul­phate, mag­ne­sium, cal­cium, and other sup­ple­ments can help re­lieve foot and back pain nat­u­rally. Some in­crease bone strength and in­crease your pain thresh­old. Oth­ers im­prove lum­bar spine mo­bil­ity.

If your pain is due to arthri­tis, take glu­cosamine. This com­pound lubri­cates the joints and in­creases mo­bil­ity. For this rea­son, it’s of­ten pre­scribed to those with arthri­tis and se­vere joint pain.

Th­ese are just a few of the many ways to re­duce pain and keep your joints healthy. De­pend­ing on your needs, you can also try Ep­som salt baths, ice ther­apy, Pi­lates, and stretch­ing. Try to limit stress and squeeze more “me” time into your rou­tine. The more re­laxed you are, the less dis­com­fort you will ex­pe­ri­ence. Re­lax­ation tech­niques like yoga and meditation can im­prove your body’s abil­ity to cope with pain.

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