Lots of people deal with back pain. And I used to be one of them. Here are 7 easy habits to add to your daily routine to get rid of your aches and pains for good.
I am not a doctor. I do not suggest stopping your medication. I do suggest talking to your doctor. I am simply sharing my experience.
Get it?? “Back”-ground!! Ok, back to business.
I herniated my L5-S1 disc in November, 2007. I was 27 and had been married for 2 months. I woke up one day and couldn’t stand up by myself. My disc had herniated and was pushing against my left sciatic nerve. I didn’t have an accident, I wasn’t in a car wreck, I didn’t have a sports injury. I firmly believe that my herniation was a result of a low fat and high inflammation diet.
By January, 2008 (2 months later), I was bedridden. I couldn’t do anything by myself, including walking to the bathroom by myself. I was on a lot of pain pills. My husband had to help dress me everyday. I was losing weight very quickly. My healthy and regular weight is about 145 pounds and I’m 5’10”. I got down to under 120 pounds. I was very weak.
I was going to every doctor, surgeon, chiropractor, and physical therapist in my area trying to find a solution. I was 27 and otherwise healthy. I wasn’t finding the help I needed. Several doctors told me I “didn’t fit the profile” of a back patient. I wasn’t overweight and I was too young. One doctor prescribed a morphine pill to take at home (which caused much more damage with side effects than it healed). I went to over 20 doctors before I found one that was able to provide effective pain management.
In April, 2008 (5 months after herniation), I had a microdiscectomy surgery. It’s a relatively minimally invasion surgery (well, compared to other spine surgeries). The surgery consists of cleaning up the herniated disc and removing the parts of the disc that are putting pressure against my sciatic nerve. I had 2 weeks of bed rest afterwards and then quickly recovered.
Until the disc slipped out of place. It landed right back on that sciatic nerve. This was about 6 months after surgery. I quickly started losing feeling and movement in my left leg. I tried everything to alleviate the pain that modern medicine offered (except a detox and real food!). My doctor was tracking how my sciatic nerve was responding to stimulation and my nerve was dying. He told me that if I didn’t remove the pressure off the nerve, the nerve would die and my leg would have to be amputated. He said it was a matter of when, not if. So I removed the disc and had a spinal fusion.
A spinal fusion is a big surgery. I did not take this decision lightly. I had this surgery in October of 2009 (almost 2 years after the original herniation). Recovery included 3 months of strict bed rest. I only left the house for physical therapy.
Recovery after surgery was long and hard. I was very weak, underweight, and my body was very toxic from all the pain medications.
About 6 months after surgery, I started a whole food diet and detoxing. That is when my pain started to disappear. That is what eliminated my painful inflammation. And it was disappearing QUICKLY. I firmly believe I could have avoided a lot of the procedures, tests, and surgeries if I had started this process much earlier.
Once I started on this detox journey, I was like a sponge soaking in everything. I read everything I could find. I tried everything anyone suggested. Here is the combination that I have found that works for me. These are 7 daily habits I incorporate in my routine to eliminate back pain (along with a REAL FOOD diet). I do occasionally have aches and pains. But not near the pain level as before implementing these habits. I estimate that 8 times out of 10, any aches I have are a result of me not committing to these habits and skipping a few of them for a few days. The other times are from a change in the weather. I can feel a rain storm coming from miles away!
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an amazing and crazy detox that works. Most people are skeptical of this until they try it. Swish oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, then spit it out. I use coconut oil. Read more about oil pulling here. When I started this, I did it everyday for about 3 months. Now I do it 3-5 times a week and on days that I am achy. Oil pulling gets rid of inflammation very quickly for me.
One of the main sources of pain is inflammation. So adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet when you are in pain is VERY important. When I am in pain, I eat as many anti-inflammatories as I can possibly squeeze into every meal I eat that day.
The following all are natural anti-inflammatories:
- Ginger (read about it here)
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil (read about it here and find it here)
- Coconut Oil (read about it here and find it here)
- Elderberry Syrup (read about it here and find it here)
- Quality Gelatin (read about it here and find it here, note: bone broth would be great! But my 20 month old refuses to drink it. I’m hoping he will learn to love it.)
- Raw Honey (local is preferred, but if it’s not available find it here)
- Kombucha (read about it & learn how to brew it here and find it here)
- Kefir (read about it & learn how to make it here)
- Raw Milk (read about it here)
- Garlic Oil Ointment Treatment (this is a topical oil, read about it & learn how to make it here)
- Avocados (read about the benefits here)
- Coconut Water (read about it here and find it here; my son loves the mango flavor)
- Cell Salt #4 Ferr Phos (read about cell salts here and find them here)
- Cinnamon (read about it here and find it here)
- Turmeric (read about it here and find it here)
- Kale (read about it here)
- Garlic (read about it here)
3. Morning Lemon Detox Drink
Every morning, I drink a cocktail with the juice of 1 lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey, turmeric, and gelatin. It’s a detox, anti-inflammatory, immune booster, appetite suppressant, and metabolism booster. Read more here.
4. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
I mentioned fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) above with the anti-inflammatories. Read about it here and find it here. But it’s sooooo important that it’s worth mentioning again. FCLO is full of vitamin A & D, DHA, EPA, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and natural pain reliever. I like the cinnamon tingle flavor.
Your stomach has good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria. It is very important that you have more good bacteria than bad bacteria in your body for digestive health. And one of the quickest ways to get your gut flora out of balance is with prescription medications. When my back first when out and for the next 2 years, I took A LOT of prescription medications. My body was screaming for a detox to get my gut healthy again. I took this probiotic supplement for a couple years until I started fermenting foods that contain probiotics. Now I consume kefir and/or kombucha everyday. And an added bonus, probiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Dry Body Brushing
Lymph is a fluid in our circulatory system and it contains white blood cells, so lymph also affects our immune system. It picks up bacteria, toxins, and other waste from our blood and filters it through the lymph nodes, where the bacteria is destroyed. Poor blood circulation means the lymph cannot properly do it’s job resulting in cellulite, varicose veins, and a weakened immune system. Dry brushing improves the lymph flow, detoxes your skin, and improves circulation. I use this brush. Read more about it here.
70% of your body is water. And your spine is no different. When you are hydrated, your spinal discs reabsorb fluids at night. When you aren’t hydrated, your spinal discs are unable to stay hydrated. This can cause degeneration and unnecessary pressure. The rule of thumb is at least 8 eight ounce glasses a day. But listen to your body.
And here I am today. It’s been almost 7 years since my injury. I am healthier and stronger than the doctors said was possible!
Sources & Studies