Sacrum Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Sacrum pain causes aches and sharp pains in the low back and buttocks. Sacrum pain comes from dysfunction to the sacroiliac (SI) joint which is between the base of your spine and your hip bone. Diagnosing sacrum pain can be a challenge because there are many other reasons for low back pain. The pain and irritation that sacrum pain causes in the lumbar region can feel like a herniated disc or problem with your hip.

Irritation and inflammation caused by wear and tear, injury, or strenuous physical activity can cause pain in your sacral area. Pain from the sacroiliac joint can also radiate to the groin, upper thigh, or hip. Heat therapy, massaging the lower back, and stretching exercises are excellent natural ways to treat the symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain.

In this article, you will find out what can be causing sacrum pain and how it is related to lower back pain, and how to spot the symptoms of SI joint dysfunction. You will also get some effective pain relief treatments to help get rid of the pain in your low back and buttocks.

What is Sacrum Pain and How It is Related to Lower Back Pain?

Your sacrum is a large, triangular-shaped bone at the base of your spine. Either side of your sacrum are your iliac bones, or hip bones and the join between the two bones is called the sacroiliac joint. According to doctors on MedicineNet, the sacrum forms the back of the pelvic bone and the sacrum in women is wider than in men.1

Your sacrum is located just where you have two dimples on your lower back.

Pain in the sacrum occurs when the ligaments and muscles that support the sacroiliac joints weaken causing the sacrum and iliac bones to rub together. According to doctors from the Mayfield Clinic, the aging process means that conditions like arthritis can stiffen back muscles and ligaments and cause SI joint strain in the pelvic area resulting in pain when moving.2

Another cause of sacrum pain is the fact that there are many nerve endings at the base of your spinal cord. Joint dysfunction can cause SI joint inflammation if movement between the bones is too much or if joint degeneration presses or rubs on nerves.

The intensity of sacrum pain can range from mild occasional aches to severe stabbing pain in your lower back. An injury to your abdomen, pelvic area, or lower back could cause acute sharp pain above your waist that may take a few weeks to heal. Joint degeneration can result in chronic pain in the lumbar region and buttocks which may be constant, or the aches and pains could come and go.

Sacrum Pain and Low Back Pain

SI joint syndrome is one of the major causes of low back pain; in fact, according to a report in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, SI joint dysfunction is to blame for up to 25% of all cases of low back pain. The report also stated that sacrum pain can also be a reason for pain in the upper thigh and can radiate to the buttocks.3

However, it seems that many doctors fail to diagnose the connection between the sacroiliac joint and lumbar pain. In many cases, doctors attribute low back pain to spinal problems without taking into consideration SI joint dysfunction. The journal Spine reported that many patients who have undergone spinal surgery for low back pain still have pain afterward. However, the real reason for their lumbago (low back pain) was pain coming from the SI joint.4

Therefore, to relieve low back pain and tension, it’s important to take into consideration SI joint dysfunction because the pain could be coming from the sacrum joints. That is why the journal ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research reports that dysfunction in the joints between the sacrum and hip bone should be evaluated when looking for the underlying cause of low back pain.5

Symptoms of Sacrum Pain and How It Affects Your Lower Back

Sacroiliitis is the medical name given to pain that comes from inflammation in the SI joint. This usually results in pain on just the left side of the lower back or pain in the right side of the lower back.

According to Dr. Tyler Wheeler on WebMD, sacrum pain can range from a dull ache to sharp intense pain that gets worse when you move. For some people, the pain may be worse in the morning and gradually ease throughout the day.

Doctors from the Virginia Spine Institute say that severe sacrum pain can also be a reason for groin pain in women and men, hip pain, aches in the buttocks, and soreness at the top of the thigh. Sometimes, even simple daily activities like walking or standing up can aggravate the SI joint and cause more pain.7

Si joint syndrome can also cause shooting pains that go from your lower back down the length of your leg. The European Spine Journal reported that sacrum joint dysfunction can cause symptoms similar to sciatica. This can cause tingling down one leg, weakness in the leg muscle, or debilitating pain that makes walking difficult.8

The Virginia Spine Institute also reports that painful symptoms caused by problems with the joint between the iliac bones and the sacrum can be similar to a degenerative hip disease, herniated lumbar disc, inflammation of the hip, or pinched nerves in the lower back.7

Causes of Sacrum Pain

Let’s look at some of the causes of sacrum pain that may be to blame for stiffness, discomfort, and pain in your lower back.

Injury to the sacrum

Injury or a traumatic blow to your sacral area at the base of your spine will result in sacrum pain. The injury to the SI joint could just be as a result of aging where the muscles and ligaments around the bone stiffen. Or, the pain in the sacrum could be caused by an injury from falling, being in a car accident, or playing sports.

For example, the website Drugs.com report that common causes of a sacral fracture include intense activities like running, old age, falling, or osteoporosis. The stress on your SI joint that can cause a sacral fracture resulting in back and buttock pain could even result from wearing incorrect footwear.9

Strenuous physical activity

Putting your back or spine under regular stress from strenuous physical activity can also result in sacrum pain.

The journal Current Sports Medicine Report says that SI joint dysfunction is very common among athletes. Although injury can be a source of sacrum pain, the study found that repetitive micro-trauma from strenuous physical activity was the most common reason for dysfunction and pain of the sacroiliac joint. The result from SI joint problems is an “achy” back that gets worse at night.10

The journal also pointed out that repetitive strain on the sacrum joints can also cause lower abdominal pain, groin discomforts, and pain at the top of the thigh.

Abnormalities of the spine

Abnormalities of the spine can put undue stress and tension on the SI joints causing pain in the lower back that radiates to the groin. The Spine Journal reported that certain spine problems can cause low back pain.11

Also, Dr. Tyler Wheeler on WebMD says that ankylosing spondylitis caused by arthritis can affect the spine and, over time, can damage the sacroiliac joint that will hurt when you move.6

One type of abnormality of the spine is Bertolotti’s syndrome. This is when vertebrae at the lower part of the spine fuse together and cause lower back pain. According to the journal Malaysian Family Physician, this type of spine abnormality can cause low back pain in children as the vertebrae start to fuse as bones grow.12

Pelvic floor disorder

Pelvic floor disorder can also cause sacrum pain in many women. The sacrum bone forms part of the pelvic bone and any dysfunction of the pelvic area can increase tension and stress in the sacroiliac joints. Pelvic floor disorder is common in middle-aged or older women and may also result in incontinence and pelvic pain without a period.

According to the journal Manual Therapy, pelvic floor dysfunction is also associated with low back pain. Doctors usually recommend exercises to strengthen the pelvis and prevent symptoms of pelvic floor disorder.

Endometriosis

Another reason for low back pain in women that is caused by problems with the sacroiliac joint is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue grows outside the womb in the tissue lining of the pelvis. It can cause spotting before your period, pain during sexual intercourse, and pain when passing a bowel movement, as well as cramping pelvic pain.

The Journal of Clinical Research reported that deep endometriosis can affect the sacral ligaments. This can result in pain and discomfort in the lower back and abdominal area. The abnormal tissue growth in the pelvic area can also affect nerve endings and also cause severe chronic pain.13

Sacrum pain during pregnancy

Many pregnant women suffer from lower back pain and pain in the sacral region that becomes more intense as the pregnancy progresses. Most of the times the pain usually disappears within several weeks after delivery, however in some cases one of the sacroiliac joints becomes sprained, and the result is chronic pain.

The reason for the sacrum pain is that during the later stages of pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that cause increased motion to allow the pelvis and the muscles around it to enlarge in preparation to delivery. This causes over-mobility of the SI joints, and with the additional weight gain of the pregnancy these may cause strain on the sacroiliac joints which may cause pain and inflammation.

Hodgkin’s disease

A rare cause of sacrum pain is Hodgkin’s disease. According to the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, in rare cases, bone cancer can show up as lesions on the sacral bone without other symptoms.14

However, it is good to remember, that this is a rare occurrence and in the majority of cases, pain in the lower back is due to wear and tear or an injury to your spine or sacroiliac joints.

How to Treat Sacrum Pain and Lower back Pain Naturally

Most methods for treating sacrum pain involve getting symptomatic relief from discomfort and pain that SI joint dysfunction causes.

Cold therapy

If you have damaged your pelvic bone from an injury and you have low back pain, applying an ice pack can help to relieve inflammation, swelling, and pain in your sacroiliac joints.

Dr. Linda Vorvick on MedlinePlus says that applying ice to a joint or muscle immediately after an injury helps to reduce blood flow to the area and reduces swelling. The effect of cold also helps to calm damaged nerve endings in the sacrum.15

How to use ice for sacrum pain:

You can make an ice pack at home to treat acute low back pain by putting ice in a sealable plastic bag or using a bag of frozen vegetables. This is what you should do:

  1. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel and hold to your lower back where you feel the pain.
  2. Keep the ice pack held for up to 15 minutes at a time.
  3. For the first day – apply ice for 15 minutes every hour.
  4. For the second day – apply ice for 15 minutes every 3 or 4 hours.

If you still have pain in your lower back, groin, or abdomen from an SI joint dysfunction in the third day, you should change to heat therapy for pain relief.

Heat therapy

Once any swelling has gone away, you can use heat therapy to get rid of acute or chronic pain from your lumbar region. Heat helps to boost blood flow to the muscles and tendons around the SI joint and helps to get rid of the pain.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that heat can be applied to get rid of joint pain, muscle pain, and other general aches. Applying a heat pack to a sore area on your lower back will help to remove tension from muscles and help to boost the healing process.16

How to use heat packs for sacrum pain:

You can easily make your own heat pack to treat sacroiliac joint dysfunction symptoms at home. Here is the simple method:

  1. Fill an old clean sock with rice leaving a few inches clear at the top.
  2. Tie the sock and place in a microwave on full power for 2 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the heat pack, making sure not to burn your fingers.
  4. Wrap the hot rice-filled sock in a warm moist towel and hold on your lower back for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Apply every 3-4 hours during the day to relieve pain from your lumbar region and sacroiliac joint.
  6. Continue using daily until you don’t have low back pain when walking or moving.

Alternate cold and heat treatment for sacrum pain

Using a combination of hot and cold treatment for joint pain is a great way to treat sacrum pain in your lower back.

Dr. David Zelman on WebMD says that heat and cold therapy dilates and constricts the blood vessels to stimulate circulation. The cold also acts as an anesthetic to numb the pain and heat acts as an analgesic to relieve inflammation in irritated joints and muscles.16

How to use:

It is very easy to use heat and cold therapy to treat lower back sacrum pain or pain in the buttocks. This is what you should do:

  1. Start off by applying the ice pack (see above) for 10 minutes to numb the pain.
  2. Then apply the heat pack for 15 minutes to help relax the muscles.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes then repeat the cold and heat treatment.
  4. Repeat for up to 3 hours – alternating between heat and cold with a 30-minute break to help relieve pain and restore movement to your pelvic and groin area.

Epsom salt bath to relieve sacrum pain

One way to relax stiff SI joints and ease sacrum pain is to take a warm bath of Epsom salt.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that an Epsom salt bath can help to heal strained or pulled muscle and ease many aches and pains. It is thought that magnesium and sulfate from the salts penetrate the skin and help relax stiff muscles.20

How to use Epsom salt for sacrum pain:

Here is what you should do to make a healing bath with Epsom salt to get rid of pain in your sacral region:

  1. Fill your bathtub with very warm (but not hot) water and add 1 to 2 cups Epsom salt.
  2. Soak in the bath water for 20 minutes to allow the salts and minerals ease pain and stiffness in your lower back.
  3. Rinse off in the shower and dry yourself.
  4. Take the bath up to three times per week until your lower back pain is healed and is no longer sore.

Massage to ease lower back pain

Massaging your lower back and the area at the base of your spine is an effective way to make your sacrum hurt less. Massage techniques help to increase blood circulation to the lower back. You can also make your own massage oil with essential oils that have pain relief properties.

For example, the journal Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine reports that massage can help to repair mild to moderate muscle injuries. Massaging can help to relax the muscles that surround irritated joins and can provide better muscular support if joints are irritated.17

Scientific research into essential oils has shown that they help to reduce pain and inflammation. For example, research in 2015 found that lavender oil has anti-inflammatory effects as well as analgesic properties.18 Also, peppermint oil has been shown to have a cooling effect when applied to the skin and has pain-relieving properties.19

How to make your own massage oil for sacrum pain:

This is how to make a massage oil at home to help relieve tension in your lower back and get rid of the symptoms of SI joint pain:

  1. Mix 10-12 drops of peppermint oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil with 1 oz. (30 ml) carrier oil such as sweet almond oil.
  2. Take a little of the oil and rub between your palms and massage into your lower back and buttocks.
  3. Apply the essential oil treatment 2 times a day.
  4. Use daily for chronic sacrum pain to help reduce pain and discomfort in the sacrum.

Exercises to Treat Sacroiliac Joint Pain

If you suffer from recurring sacroiliac joint pain or you have to deal with chronic sacrum pain every day, exercises can help treat the lower back and buttock pain.

The Journal of Physical Therapy Science reported that exercising the lower back area and pelvic region can help to strengthen the sacroiliac joints. This can help relieve pain if you have chronic SI joint pain from a sedentary job or age-related hip and groin pain.

Exercises for sacrum pain:

Here are some specific exercises that can help to strengthen your pelvic area and reduce symptoms of SI joint dysfunction such as low back pain and sciatica.

Pelvic twist. Help keep your lower back muscles nimble with pelvic twist exercises. This is what you should do:

  1. Lie on your back and pull your knees to your chest.
  2. Turning at the hip, gently twist your legs to the right until they touch the floor.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds and return your knees to the starting position.
  4. Repeat to the left side.
  5. Do the exercises 5 times to help increase flexibility and strength in your lower back and pelvic area.

Thigh exercise. If SI joint dysfunction also causes sciatica-like symptoms, then this thigh exercise is great to release nerve pain and strengthen your lower back.

  1. Lie on your back and pull one leg to your chest. You should feel your buttock and back of your thigh muscles getting stretched.
  2. Hold in position for 30 seconds and then release.
  3. Repeat 2 or 3 times in the day to help ease the pain in your back and get rid of sciatica pain in your leg.

There are many more effective exercises that can help to reduce low back pain and nerve pain in your back. For example, you can strengthen your low back muscles with a foam roller or you can use a tennis ball to ease nerve pain from your lumbar region.

Sacrum Pain – When to See a Doctor

It is usually possible to get symptomatic relief from sacrum pain and ease SI joint dysfunction symptoms if they flare up. However, in some instances, you should see a doctor for SI joint pain. Dr. Tyler Wheeler on WebMD recommends visiting a doctor or chiropractor if you can’t get rid of joint pain and it interferes with your daily activities.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MedicineNet. Sacrum.
  2. MayfieldClinic. Sacroiliac joint pain.
  3. Anesth Analg.2005 Nov;101(5):1440-53.
  4. Spine. 2008 May 15;33(11):1192-1198.
  5. Clinicoecon Outcomes Res. 2016; 8: 23–31.
  6. WebMD. Is your SI joint giving you back pain?
  7. SpineMD. Sacroiliac joint pain.
  8. Eur Spine J. 2013 Jul; 22(7): 1657–1664.
  9. Drugs. Sacral fracture.
  10. Curr Sports Med Rep.2017 Sep/Oct;16(5):336-342.
  11. Spine J.2011 Sep;11(9):858-62.
  12. Malays Fam Physician. 2015; 10(2): 55–58.
  13. J Clin Med Res. 2013 Jun; 5(3): 153–163.
  14. J Cancer Res Ther.2013 Jul-Sep;9(3):511-3.
  15. MedlinePlus. Strains.
  16. WebMD. Heat and cold therapy for arthritis pain.
  17. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2015 Jun; 8(2): 162–167.
  18. An Acad Bras Cienc.2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.
  19. Nervenarzt. 1996 Aug;67(8):672-81.
  20. WebMD. Why take an Epsom salt bath?

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Effective Treatments for Pulled, Strained or Torn Muscle in Back

Most people will suffer from back pain caused by a pulled, strained, or torn muscle in their back. Your back contains muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your upper body, give you strength for performing tasks and help move your neck, shoulders, and arms. Pulling, straining, or tearing a muscle can cause shooting severe pain if you suffer an acute injury. Or, back muscle strain caused by overuse can cause deep aches and chronic pain that can affect your daily activities.

Treating muscle pain in your back usually requires getting plenty of rest to prevent irritating inflamed tissue even more. Also, hot and cold treatment can be effective in speeding up the recovery time by helping to reduce swelling and inflammation. Pulled back muscle treatments also include essential oils that are effective to treat pulled, torn, or strained back muscles as well as Epsom salt bath.

In this article, you will learn about the best and most effective treatments for strained lower back muscles, pulled or torn upper and middle back muscles, and how to treat back pain in general.

First, it’s important to know something about the muscles in your back.

Muscles in Your Upper, Middle, and Lower Back

Your back from the nape of your neck to the top of your buttocks contains many important large muscles. In the center of your back is your spine which is connected by tendons to many of your back muscles. You also have muscles that connect to your scapulae (shoulder blades) and your pelvic bones in your hips.

Back muscles

Your back contains 5 important muscles that are necessary for body movement and strength.

Trapezius. Your trapezius muscles start at the back of your neck and end about the middle of your back and are found on either side of your spine. The trapezius muscles are a triangle shape and connect your spinal column to your shoulder blades.

The main function of the trapezius muscles is to move your shoulder blades and assist with arm movements. Pulled, strained or torn trapezius can cause varying degrees of pain in your neck and back of your head, shoulders, and muscles between your shoulders.

trapezius muscle

Rhomboid. Rhomboid muscles are diamond-shaped muscles that are located on either side of your thoracic spine (upper spine). Both rhomboids (major and minor) connect your spine to your shoulder blades. A pulled or strained rhomboid will cause pain and discomfort on one or both sides of your upper back.

Like the trapezius muscles, rhomboids control movement of the scapulae. For example, when you squeeze your shoulder blades together or bring your shoulder together at the front of your body, it’s your rhomboids that move your shoulder blades.

rhomboid back muscle

Latissimus Dorsi. One of the most important muscles in your back are the latissimus dorsi muscles. These are the largest and strongest muscles in your back and are often referred to as “lats.”

Latissimi dorsi connect your spine, hip bone, and humerus (upper arm bone) and are important muscles when lifting heavy objects and supporting your upper body. For example, when you push yourself up from a chair, you use your latissimus dorsi muscles. Pain in your latissimus dorsi muscles will be felt in your shoulder, upper arm, or middle or lower back if you strain or tear them.

latissmus dorsi back muscles

Erector spinae. Erector spinae is a group of muscles that run vertically from your lumbar region (lower back) to your thoracic region and to your neck. The erector spinae are the longest muscles in your body and are found on either side of the spine.

The erector spinae muscles help to keep your back straight and assist in rotating your back. Very often, incorrect posture or repetitive lifting can strain and even tear your erector spinae muscles. This can cause lumbago (lower back pain) or pain in the thoracic region of your back.

Erector spinae

Obliques. Your obliques form part of your core muscles and are found in your lower back, around the side of your waist, and abdominal wall. The obliques support upper body movement and also assist walking and running. Pulled, torn, or strained obliques generally cause pain on the side of your abdomen and lower chest.

Obliques muscles

Ligaments in back

Ligaments also play an important role in stabilizing the spine and proper upper body movement. Ligaments are like long cords that connect the ends of bones to a joint and keep muscles in their proper place.

For example, when you bend over, the ligaments that run down the length of your spine stretch and prevent damage to your spine. Ligaments are also important in keeping proper posture and if you don’t have good posture habits, ligaments can become damaged and start to ache.

If you overstretch a ligament in your back, this is called a sprain and it can result in pain anywhere along the length of the ligament.

Tendons

Tendons are the fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. Tendons usually become strained or even torn along with muscle if you strain, twist, or pull your back.

Back Muscle Strain vs. Pulled Back Muscle vs. Torn Muscle in Back

What is the difference between a strained, pulled, and torn back muscle? Sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference.

A strained back muscle is a general term to describe damage to the muscle or tendon tissue. Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) say that a back muscle strain can happen over time because of repetitive actions that overstretch or damage the muscle. Or, the strain can be an acute injury caused by falling, twisting, or suffering trauma to the back.1

For example, a pulled muscle in your back is an example of an acute muscle strain that causes mild to severe back pain. Doctors from MedlinePlus say that pulling a muscle or tendon can result in a muscle strain. This can cause muscle spasms, swelling, and make moving the muscle difficult.2

A tear in a back muscle is a more serious injury that results in some of the tissue tearing from the connective joint or tendon. Doctors from the AAOS say that a torn muscle will cause significant swelling and will probably result in the affected area becoming immobile.1

What Does Pulled, Strained, or Torn Muscle in Back Feel Like?

The symptoms of a strained, pulled, or torn muscle depend much on the cause of the injury and the extent of muscle damage. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that a strained muscle will feel painful and sore and you may notice some swelling around the injured area.

Dr. Lawrence Gulotta, a sports injury specialist, says that muscle injuries can be divided into 3 grades:3

Grade 1 strained back muscle. This will cause mild pain as just a small percentage of muscle tissue is damaged. You will only have minimal loss of motion in your back. Injuries that strain back muscles take about 2-3 weeks to heal if they are treated properly.

Grade 2 pulled back muscle. Severely pulling a back muscle will result in intense pain and can also cause some of the back muscles to tear. A severely pulled trapezius, rhomboid, or latissimus dorsi muscle will take between 2 and 3 months to completely heal.

Grade 3 torn back muscle. If the back muscle gets completely torn or ruptures, this will cause you to feel severe pain and discomfort. It will take many months to heal the torn muscle and in some cases, may take surgery to repair the muscle tear.

Causes of Pulled, Torn, or Strained Muscle in Back

Unfortunately, all of us at some point in our lives will suffer from some degree of upper back pain, middle back pain, or lower back pain. In fact, according to a report published in 2014, lower back pain is the number one cause of lost days at work. The report described back pain as a major health condition that affects about 10% of people and is a leading cause of disability worldwide.4

Injury

Injury to your back can cause back muscle strain or a pulled back muscle. For example, Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that upper and middle back pain can be caused by injury to the muscles and ligaments in the thoracic region.5

Dr. William Shiel on eMedicineNet says that injury to the muscles in your lower back is also to blame for pain in the lumbar regions as well as the trapezius and rhomboid muscles.6

Extreme physical exertion

If you have pulled a muscle in your back, it could be due to extreme physical exertion. For example, running long distances, performing manual work tasks, or strenuous activity can all strain, pull, or even tear back muscles.

According to Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD, extreme physical exertion can cause low back strain on the left side or right side. Because straining your back can also damage nerves, tendons, and ligaments, you can also feel pain from the cervical area (at the base of your skull) right through the thoracic region to your lumbar area.7

Lifting heavy objects

Lifting heavy objects can strain your back muscles, especially your lower back and trapezius muscles. If you bend from your back when lifting heavy items, you risk putting undue pressure on the tendons and muscles in your back.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that pulled muscles in the lower back and upper back are often caused by suddenly lifting something heavy. The back muscle strain could also be a result of frequently lifting heavy items, as small tears in the back muscles don’t have time to heal before being damaged again.8

Overstretched muscles

If you overstretch your trapezius muscles when lifting items or throwing objects you could pull a muscle in your upper back.

Doctors from Bupa in the United Kingdom say that overstretching any of your back muscles could result in a pulled muscle or muscle tear. You should, if possible, warm up before lifting heavy items or playing sports to avoid straining or pulling muscles in your back.9   

Sudden movements

Sudden body movements with your arms or while running could result in pulled back muscles. For example, taking part in sports that involve throwing or using a racket or bat can easily tear trapezius or latissimus dorsi muscles in your middle and upper back.

For example, doctors from AAOS say that trapezius muscles and rhomboids are required to throw objects with force. If this is done in a jerking motion or if the muscles and tendons have not been warmed up, you could pull a muscle in your left upper back or right upper back.10

Also, according to doctors from the Cleveland Clinic, your lower back gets put under enormous pressure while running and walking. If you twist your body suddenly or fall, you could strain the muscles and tendons in your lower back very easily.11

Poor posture

Poor posture while standing or sitting can strain muscles in your back resulting in stiffness, discomfort, and pain in your lumbar region or thoracic region. Slouching in your chair, being hunched over your desk while working, or standing with rounded shoulder can cause excessive pressure and strain on your lower and middle back muscles.

According to a sports injury clinic, poor posture is often to blame for strained back muscles. Not standing properly or sitting correctly causes structural changes and imbalances in your back muscles. This causes some muscles to tighten and others to weaken. The result is stiffness, pain, and knots in your shoulders that can lead to chronic back pain.12

Weight gain or being overweight

Being overweight or putting on weight can put you at risk of pulling a muscle in your left lower back or right lower back. Carrying around extra weight also puts a strain on your lower back as your lumbar muscles have to work harder to keep your body stable.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that there is a proven link between obesity and low back pain. It was found that the heavier a person was, the greater low back pain they felt. The report concluded that being overweight is the main reason for obese people seeking treatment for chronic low back pain.13

Natural Treatment for Pulled, Torn, or Strained Back Muscle

With proper home remedies, it’s possible to successfully treat pulled, torn, or strained back muscles as home. Here are some of the best treatments for strained muscles in your back to help reduce muscle strain recovery time.

R.I.C.E.

R.I.C.E. is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This is one of the best ways to treat an acute pulled or torn trapezius, rhomboid, or Latissimus dorsi muscle and help speed up recovery.

According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, using the RICE method helps to control swelling by restricting blood flow to the injured area. It also helps to numb the pain that damaged nerves cause and promote quicker healing. However, for the muscle strain treatment to work, you have to apply it as soon as possible after the injury.14

How to use:

First of all, you have to make an ice pack to reduce swelling in a muscle strain. You can do this by putting plenty of crushed ice in a sealable plastic bag (or use a bag of frozen vegetables) and then wrap in a towel.

Use the RICE method this way to help promote healing after pulling or straining a back muscle:

  1. Rest the muscles by stopping any activity that puts extra strain on your upper back or lumbar region.
  2. Ice the affected area to stop swelling and reduce the pain. Apply the ice pack for up to 20 minutes every hour on the first day, then 3 to 4 times a day on the second day.
  3. Use a compression bandage to wrap the affected area to prevent movement and help prevent swelling.
  4. Elevation of the affected area is important to prevent blood flow to the injured area on your back.

This method should be used for the first two days after the initial back injury. After this time, if you still have pain and the swelling has gone down, you should use a heat pack.

Heat

Heat is a great way to relieve muscle soreness that has been caused by pulling, straining, or tearing a back muscle. Heat can also help to get rid of pain while a grade 2 or grade 3 muscle strain is healing. Heat is also an effective pain-relieving treatment for chronic back pain.

Dr. Jan Sambrook on Patient.info recommends using heat packs to treat acute back muscle strains and chronic back pain. Heat helps to boost blood circulation to the injured muscle and speeds up the healing process. Heat also relaxes muscles to stop cramping and muscle spasms.15

How to use heat for pulled or torn back muscle pain:

It is very easy to make your own heat pack at home and relieve muscle pain in your lumbar region or thoracic area. This is what you should do:

  1. Fill an old sock almost to the top and leave a few centimeters for tying.
  2. Tie the sock shut and microwave it on full power for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the sock being careful if it is too hot.
  4. Wrap the rice-filled sock in a warm moist towel and apply to the painful area on your back.
  5. Use 3 or 4 times a day for 20 minutes to help boost healing of a strained back muscle.
  6. If you need to, place the rice heat pad in the microwave and heat for one minute.

Epsom salt bath to relieve strained muscle in the back

One way to relax tense muscles and also relax your mind to ease muscle tension is to take a warm bath of Epsom salt.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that an Epsom salt bath can help to heal a pulled or strained muscle and ease many aches and pains. It is thought that magnesium and sulfate from the salts penetrate the skin and help relax stiff muscles.19

How to use Epsom salt for muscle repair:

To make a healing bath with Epsom salt to get rid of pain caused by pulled back muscle, this is what you should do:

  1. Fill your bathtub with very warm (but not hot) water and add 1 to 2 cups Epsom salts.
  2. Soak in the bath water for 20 minutes to allow the salts and minerals ease muscle tension in your back.
  3. Rinse off in the shower and dry yourself.
  4. Take the bath up to three times per week until your sore back muscles are healed and are no longer sore.

Essential oil soothing muscle rub

Another way to help take the pain out of strained back muscles is to make your own soothing essential oil muscle rub. Many essential oils have properties that relax damaged and irritated muscles and tendons. Also, the massaging process helps to stimulate blood flow and reduce the time a pulled muscle takes to heal.

For example, a study in 2016 found that a mixture of lavender, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils helped to reduce chronic shoulder pain in 30% of people who used it.16

How to use essential oils for back pain relief:

If you have pulled a muscle in your back, you should make your own pain-relieving massage oil to help heal a pulled back muscle. This is what you should do:

  1. Mix 4 drops each of rosemary, peppermint, and lavender essential oils with 1 oz. carrier oil such as sweet almond oil.
  2. Massage the therapeutic essential oil mix into your rhomboids, trapezius, or latissimus dorsi muscles to ease the strain.
  3. Use twice a day, and to get rid of knots in your back continue using until your back pain has eased and you no longer have symptoms of a pulled or torn muscle.

Exercises for pulled back muscles

If you have pulled or torn a back muscle, it’s important to regularly exercise your back muscles to strengthen them and prevent further injury. If the muscle or tendon injury caused a lot of tissue damage in your back, you will have to wait until swelling and pain has gone before starting gentle exercises.

How to strengthen your upper back:

Here is one exercise to strengthen your rhomboids or trapezius muscles.

  1. Sit with your back straight, shoulders back, and chin slightly tucked in.
  2. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together as far as possible to tighten your trapezius and rhomboids.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat 10 times to help keep your upper back muscles flexed and supple.

upper back exercise

How to strengthen your lower back:

Here is a great, easy exercise you can do at home to strengthen your lower back and prevent recurring episodes of back pain.

  1. Go on your hands and knees with your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift one leg and extend it behind you and at the same time extend your opposite arm so it is in front of you.
  3. Keep your hips level and hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Do with the other leg and arm.
  5. Repeat 10-12 times for each leg and arm.

back exercise

This will help to improve your balance and tone your lower back muscles to prevent low back pain.

Other Exercises for strengthening you back

You can also find other excellent exercises you can do at home to reduce back pain (including illustrations).

You can also check my other exercises to improve your posture.

Low back pain can also be caused by your sciatic nerve. If you have pain in your lower back and pain down your left leg or right leg, then why not try some great yoga stretches to relieve sciatic pain, tennis ball massage therapy, and foam roller exercises for sciatic and back pain. All these exercises include video or detailed illustrations for easy implementation at home.

Reduce stress

Reducing stress naturally is an effective way to reduce the effect of chronic back pain on your body. Stress tenses back muscles and can also put you at greater risk of straining or pulling a muscle in your back.

Doctors from WebMD say that deep breathing and relaxation techniques using meditation for stress can help many people reduce upper and middle back pain.5

For some easy ways to help cope with stress better, please read my article on natural remedies for anxiety and stress.

Recovery Time for Pulled Muscle in Back

Back muscle strain recovery time greatly depends on the extent of muscle tissue damage that you had. So, knowing how long a pulled muscle lasts can be difficult to specify.

However, Dr. Lawrence Gulotta from the Hospital for Special Surgery says that the length of time for a pulled or torn muscle takes to heal is as follows:3

  • Mild back muscle strain should heal in 2-3 weeks if you apply hot and cold treatment to the muscle injury.
  • A severe back strain or pulled muscle that shows signs of swelling may take between 2 and 3 months to heal completely and be free of pain.
  • A complete back muscle tear may need surgery to reattach the muscles and tendons.

Back Muscle Strain – When to See a Doctor

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, in most cases, you can treat pulled and strained back muscles at home. Home remedies help to improve the healing time and you should be pain-free quicker.

However, there are some conditions that require you seek medical advice for your pulled upper back muscle or low back pain.17, 18 These are:

  • Tingling or numbness in your back, arms, or legs.
  • You suffer intense back pain after a severe trauma like a car accident or falling.
  • You notice weakness or pain in your legs.
  • You have signs of a fever.
  • You lose control of your bladder or bowels.
  • Severe back pain, especially low back pain, that wakes you up in the middle of the night.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. OrthoInfo. Sprains, strains, and other soft-tissue injuries.
  2. MedlinePlus. Sprains and strains.
  3. HSS. Muscle injuries: an overview.
  4. WebMD. Low back pain leading cause of disability.
  5. WebMD. Upper and middle back pain.
  6. eMedicineNet. Muscle strain.
  7. WebMD. Low back strain.
  8. WebMD. Muscle strain.
  9. Bupa. Muscle strain.
  10. OrthoInfo. Shoulder injuries in the throwing athlete.
  11. ClevelandClinic. Back strains and sprains.
  12. SportsInjuryClinic. Back pain & posture.
  13. Am J Epidem. 2010 Jan;171(2):135—154.
  14. WebMD. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
  15. PatientInfo. Heat and ice treatment for pain.
  16. Pain Res Treat. 2016;2016:8158693.
  17. WebMD. Time to see a doctor?
  18. WebMD. When to see your doctor about back pain.
  19. WebMD. Why take an Epsom salt bath?

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Meal Delivery Service – is it a good option for you?

Meal Delivery Service

What is a meal delivery service and is it a good choice for you?  I know we’re all busy.  I know we all get overstressed and overtired.  Meal delivery services have become very popular of late, and if you’re trying to go from a fast food diet to a healthier life style, a meal delivery service may be a good tool for you to use…at least in the beginning.

Because my followers ask me about these services, I’ve taken the time to get a good look at several of them.  They vary in offerings, food styles and quality of ingredients.  Some offer organic ingredients; some offer gluten free menus.  I’ve noticed though that even the ones who offer more drilled down options still don’t vet for the details of truly healthy eating.

For instance, one company offers a meal using tuna;  for this to be a good choice for you, I would like to be assured you understand that because of the high mercury content in tuna, it’s ok to eat it only occasionally.  Another service offers a tilapia dish.  All tilapia is farm raised, and if you know anything about farmed raised fish, it’s not a healthy choice for you or your family.

I probably sound like a tough cookie to you, but understand where I come from.  Changing how I eat got me to enjoy living without the chronic depression that had plagued me for decades… for most of my adult life!  Yes, I am pretty tough for myself and for you.  My job is to help you understand your food choices and how they affect you.  The choices you then make are your own and are made without judgment from me.  I just want you to be able to make informed decisions about what you feed your mind and your body.

Let’s talk about cost.  A meal delivery service is more expensive than going to the grocery store and buying the ingredients yourself; it just is.  That has been documented many times; in fact, depending on the meal service, it can cost up to twice as much as a visit to the store.  On the other hand, you need to factor in the time it takes you to make that trip and whether you’re confident choosing ingredients and making dishes on your own.  If you’re just getting started as a healthy cook, a service may be a good solution or maybe a temporary way to get you started cooking on your own.

Let’s talk about restaurant food. So many people eat out all the time.  The cost of a meal out is certainly going to eclipse the cost of a meal delivery service.  Additionally, you have some control over your ingredients with a meal service and really no control over a meal eaten out.

Eating well is so simple it’s become complicated in our complicated world.  If you understand a few basic tenants of healthy eating, a meal delivery service can be a useful tool in helping you prepare good meals cooked at home.  Here’s a recipe that sounds delicious if you’re thinking of trying a meal prep service…Risotto with Shrimp and Peas!

We’ll go into a few of these services in another post.

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

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Trapezius Strain: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Home Remedies to Relieve Pain

Trapezius strain happens when muscles in your upper back or neck get stretched, pulled, or torn. Your trapezius muscles are located on either side of your spine and start from the middle of your back and reach up to the top of your neck. Your trapezius (sometimes called “traps”) connect to your shoulder blade and support the weight of your arm.

Strained trapezius muscle can happen by sudden jerking movements, lifting heavy items, not warming up before exercising, or playing certain sports. When trapezius muscles tear, get strained, or are injured, the symptoms will be sharp pain in your upper middle back and possibly your neck. This can result in pain when moving your arms, throwing objects, or trying to work with your arms above your head. You may also suffer from swollen trapezius if the strain or muscle tear has been severe.

Treating pulled and torn trapezius muscle usually involves resting the strained muscle and applying ice or heat. After the initial trapezius strain and when the muscle begins to heal, massaging pain-relieving essential oils and exercising to strengthen your back muscles can help to speed up recovery time.

What is Trapezius Strain?

Trapezius strains are muscle injuries to the large muscles on either side of your upper spine. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that muscle strains occur when muscles or tendons stretch too much or tear completely.1

Because your trapezius muscle controls and supports your arm and shoulder movements, strains to the trapezius are very common. The sore trapezius muscles can make it difficult to turn your head or move your neck without pain. You could also find that if you are under stress, your “traps” tighten and it could feel like you have strained your trapezius muscles.

Symptoms of Trapezius Strain

Usually, a tight and sore upper back is the most common symptom of inflamed or strained trapezius muscles. The tension in your upper back can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and can negatively impact on your daily activities.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that muscle strains cause swelling and muscle spasms and may affect the range of motion in your left arm or right arm, depending on which trapezius muscle was strained.2 Depending which part of the trapezius muscles was strained, you might have an aching burning feeling in the back of your neck from your skull to your shoulder blades.

The area around the shoulder could become very tender to touch and feel like you have knots in your shoulders due to tension in the muscles.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that muscle strain can also cause redness and bruising under the skin. You might also have neck, back, and shoulder pain even when resting. In cases of severe trapezius tears, you might not be able to use your arm muscles at all.3

Causes of Trapezius Strain

Let’s look at the main causes of trapezius strains and tears. Knowing what can injure the muscles at the top of your back between your shoulder blades can also help know how to prevent suffering a trapezius muscle strain.

Pulled or strained shoulder muscle

Pulling or straining one of your shoulder muscles can cause also strain in your trapezius muscles. This can cause acute pain in your left or right shoulder, and your arm may be painful to move after. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that falling, throwing, or lifting heavy objects can cause pulled muscles.4

Suffering a traumatic injury to your back or shoulder can also result in a serious trapezius strain. The Journal of Neurology reported that injuries like whiplash can cause damage to one or both shoulders. In some cases, the nerve around the trapezius muscles can become so damaged that it causes permanent injury.5

Repetitive strain injury

One of the most common reasons for developing symptoms of trapezius muscle pain is due to repetitive actions. This often occurs if you have to sit for long periods of time at a desk or computer. The result of repetitive strain is overuse of the trapezius muscles that can cause inflammation, knots in your shoulder, and chronic pain.

The Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine reported that repetitive light work can cause musculoskeletal discomfort and pain. This can especially affect the neck and shoulder areas and especially affect the trapezius muscles.6

Carrying heavy items

You can easily pull trapezius muscles and cause upper back pain if you carry heavy items in an awkward position. You could also tear or injure your “traps” if you don’t lift heavy items properly.

Researchers from the University of Rochester say that if ligaments that hold the muscles in the shoulder and arms are strained beyond their normal limit, this can result in tearing muscles and cause pain. The pain could be acute from an injury and cause sharp, stabbing pains in the shoulder muscle. Or, if you frequently carry heavy items, you could weaken the trapezius and put yourself at more risk of damaging your shoulder.7

Not warming up properly

Failing to warm up properly before exercising can result in a trapezius injury. If muscles and ligaments are put under too much pressure without warming up, you can easily tear trapezius muscles.

Dr. Linda Vorvick on MedlinePlus says that muscle strain is often caused by improperly warming up before physical activity. The result can be a significant tear to your trapezius, rhomboid, or latissimus dorsi muscles.8

Age can also affect the flexibility and strength of your muscles and ligaments. Therefore, if you are an older person, light stretching and gentle exercising in the mornings can help warm up muscle groups and prevent unnecessary strains and muscle pain.

Playing sports

Certain sports that involve throwing, rowing, or hitting with a bat can strain and tear trapezius muscles. Muscle strain of the trapezius can happen without warning if you throw an object with a forceful, jerking motion.

For example, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that overhand throwing can cause trapezius muscle injury and result in weakness of the shoulder. Muscles in the upper back can be damaged by throwing incorrectly or the muscle strain can happen gradually through overuse.9

Poor posture

Poor posture when sitting or standing can result in pinched trapezius muscles that cause tension and stiffness in the upper middle back and neck.

According to doctors from the National Health Service (NHS), common bad posture habits that result in trapezius strain include slouching in a chair, cradling your phone between your shoulders and ear, standing with rounded shoulders, and leaning on one leg.10

If you sit at a desk all day, then sitting properly is important to prevent tension in your upper back and shoulders. Doctors from the NHS say that sitting for long periods can cause a flat back that leads to muscle imbalances. This puts more strain on your trapezius and other upper back and neck muscles.

Doctors recommend taking steps to correct your posture to help ease tension in your back and relieve the symptoms of trapezius strain.

Stress

When you are under stress, your trapezius muscles are usually the first ones to bother you. Stress causes muscle tension and can even increase your risk of pulling or damaging your muscles, including your trapezius.

According to the Workplace Health and Safety Office of the Queensland Government, there is a proven link between stress and muscle strain. Stress creates many physical and mental responses that can increase symptoms of muscle pain and strain.11

If you find that stress is causing your back muscles to become sore and tense, then why not try some of my natural remedies for getting rid of anxiety?

Breastfeeding

Holding a baby during breastfeeding can put extra strain on your trapezius and cause knots in your shoulder muscles. There are a number of factors that cause trapezius strain while feeding a baby. First, holding your baby for a long time can strain your upper back muscles. Second, keeping your head or neck in a fixed position can strain the trapezius in your neck and give you a stiff neck.

You can avoid straining your trapezius while breastfeeding by laying down on your side if possible or sitting with a pillow on your lap to rest your baby.

Effective Home Remedies to Treat Trapezius Strain

With proper care at home, you can easily treat symptoms of trapezius strain. Here are some of the most effective ways to heal strained and torn trapezius muscles and quickly get rid of trapezius pain.

Ice

As soon as possible after tearing, straining, or pulling a trapezius muscle, put ice on it to prevent swelling and inflammation. An ice pack helps to numb the pain and also prevent nerve irritation causing discomfort.

According to Dr. Linda Vorvick on MedlinePlus, you should apply ice immediately to a torn trapezius muscle to reduce swelling. This will also reduce blood flow to the damaged muscles and prevent bruising.8

How to apply ice to strained trapezius:

To help heal a pulled trapezius quickly using an ice pack, this is what you should do:

  1. Put crushed ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag and wrap in a clean towel (ice should never be placed directly on the skin).
  2. Hold the ice pack to the strained trapezius for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Apply every hour for the first day and then every 3-4 hours on the second day.

On the third day, if you still have trapezius pain you should apply heat to continue the healing process.

R.I.C.E.

A combination of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (or, the RICE method) can help to alleviate the pain of damaged muscles in your upper back. RICE will also help to prevent further injury to your trapezius muscles.

Dr. William Shiel on eMedicineNet says that the RICE method can help heal the strained muscles and boost the healing time of injured upper back muscles.12

How to use the RICE method to heal muscle strain:

  1. Rest the strained muscle by avoiding any activity that puts a strain on shoulder muscle.
  2. Ice the sore muscles between your shoulders by making a cold pack.
  3. Compress the affected muscles with an elastic bandage to restrict movement and reduce swelling.
  4. Elevate your body as much as possible by sitting up so that your shoulders are always above the level of your heart.

Heat

If you have severe pain in your trapezius muscles from a muscle strain or muscle tension, then applying a moist heat pack can relieve shoulder pain. Heat helps to increase blood flow to the affected area to promote soft tissue healing in your upper back.

According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, heat can be applied when swelling has gone down. Heat helps to boost the healing process and ease the pain in many types of muscle sprains and pulls.3

How to Use:

To reduce the healing time of pulled trapezius muscles and ease muscle tension using a heat pack, this is what you should do:

  1. Fill a clean sock or small pouch with rice and tie it shut.
  2. Place the rice-filled pack in a microwave and heat on full power for 2 minutes.
  3. Make a moist heat pack by dipping a washcloth in hot water and wrapping the heat pack in the dampened washcloth.
  4. Apply the heat pack to the pulled trapezius for 10-15 minutes every 3 or 4 hours.
  5. Use every day until all pain and muscle soreness from your shoulder and neck has gone for good.

Epsom salt bath

One way to relax tense muscles and also relax your mind to ease muscle tension is to take a warm bath of Epsom salt.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that an Epsom salt bath can help to heal a pulled muscle and ease many aches and pains. It is thought that magnesium and sulfate from the salts penetrate the skin and help relax stiff muscles.13

How to use Epsom salts for muscle repair:

To make a healing bath with Epsom salt to get rid of trapezius muscle pain and repair damaged trapezius, this is what you should do:

  1. Fill your bathtub with very warm (but not hot) water and add 1 to 2 cups Epsom salts.
  2. Soak in the bath water for 20 minutes to allow the salts and minerals ease your muscle tension.
  3. Rinse off in the shower and dry yourself.
  4. Take the bath up to three times per week until your sore trapezius muscles are healed and are no longer sore.

Massage

A massage with essential oils can help get a knot out of your shoulder muscles and relieve trapezius pain. There are many essential oils with pain relieving properties that are great for getting rid of soreness from strained muscles. Also, the massage technique improves blood flow to the pulled trapezius to help boost healing time.

A study in the journal Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine reported that massage can help repair damaged muscles quicker. It was found that massaging muscles for 10 minutes after strenuous exercising helped to reduce pain, soreness, and inflammation.14

How to use massage for strained trapezius muscles:

You can easily make your own pain-relieving massage oil that you or your partner can rub into sore muscles in between your shoulder blades. This massage oil for sore muscle includes relaxing essential oils. This is what you should do:

  1. Mix 10-12 drops of peppermint oil, rosemary oil, or lavender oil with 1 oz. carrier oil such as sweet almond oil.
  2. Apply a little of the massage oil remedy to your sore muscles in your upper back and neck area and gently massage in circular movements.
  3. Apply the massage oil 2 times a day making sure that it all gets absorbed into your skin.
  4. Use every day to relieve muscle stiffness and knots and continue until you no longer have muscle pain.

Improve posture

Improving your posture is important not to just prevent trapezius strain, but also help speed up the healing process.

According to a sports injury clinic, good posture helps to keep muscles in balance. This prevents some muscles being shorter than others and prevents back pain, especially lower back pain.15

When sitting, your head should be upright with your shoulder back. You should be able to put your hand through the gap at your lower back.

When standing, good posture involves standing with your knees straight and your feet at shoulder width.

For helpful advice on how to improve your posture and prevent upper, middle, or lower back pain, please read my article on the best exercises for improving posture.

Easy Exercises to Heal Trapezius Strain

To help trapezius strains heal quicker and prevent them recurring, there are many effective exercises to strengthen your back and prevent upper back pain.

Here are 5 easy exercises to strengthen and flex your trapezius muscles you can do while sitting at your desk.

Shoulder blade pinches. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 15 times.

Shoulder shrugs. Raise your shoulders in a shrugging motion, hold, then relax them. Repeat 15-20 times.

Neck stretches. Tilt your head to one side to try and touch your ear to your shoulder. Repeat with the other side and do the exercise 10 times.

Neck rotation. Move your head to one side so that your nose is parallel with your shoulders. Repeat the movement looking to the other direction. Do the exercise 15 times.

Neck rotation and stretching. Place your right hand on your head with your left arm at your side. Then gently pull your head towards your right shoulder. Rotate your head to look at your right hip. Repeat on the opposite side with your other hand. Repeat 10 times.

How Long Trapezius Strain Takes to Heal

Trapezius muscle strains should heal completely with proper rest and home remedies. Dr. William Shiel on eMedincineNet says that usually, most people recover completely from strained or pulled trapezius muscles. However, the length of time depends on the extent of the injury and if proper care was taken to let the muscle heal.16

How to Prevent Trapezius Strain

You can reduce your risk of pulling or straining trapezius muscles by not overusing your arm or shoulder muscles. Dr. William Shiel recommends stretching every day and always warming up before exercising to prevent muscle strain.17

Trapezius Strain – When to See a Doctor

Although most trapezius muscle pain symptoms heal in time, some serious muscle injuries require examination by a medical professional. Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD recommends seeing a doctor for muscle strain in the following circumstances:18

  1. You have no strength in your arm.
  2. The injured area between your shoulder blades is cool, pale, or changes color.
  3. You have numbness and tingling in your back or arm.
  4. Pain in the neck or between your shoulders becomes increasingly severe and home remedies don’t relieve the discomfort.
  5. You need advice on how to go about your daily activities while the trapezius injury is healing.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MayoClinic. Sprains and strains.
  2. MayoClinic. Sprains and strains. Symptoms.
  3. WebMD. Muscle strain.
  4. MayoClinic. Sprains and strains. Causes.
  5. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1991 Jun; 54(6): 561.
  6. Scand J Rehabil Med.1993 Sep;25(3):131-7.
  7. URMC. Common injuries of the shoulder.
  8. MedlinePlus. Strains.
  9. OrthoInfo. Shoulder injuries in the throwing athlete.
  10. NHS. Common posture mistakes and how to fix them.
  11. WorksafeQLD. The link between stress and muscle strain.
  12. eMedicineHealth. Muscle strain.
  13. WebMD. Why take an Epsom salt bath?
  14. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2015 Jun; 8(2): 162–167.
  15. SportsInjuryClinic. Back pain & posture.
  16. eMedicineHealth. Muscle strain.
  17. eMedicineHealth. Muscle strain.
  18. WebMD. Muscle strain treatment.

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How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast

Although breaking wind is generally frowned upon in public, there are occasions when you need to make yourself fart. A buildup of gas in your intestinal system can cause pain, bloating, and general abdominal discomfort. Usually, the only way to get rid of gas pain in your stomach is to make yourself fart and release the pressure.

If you need to break wind on command, there are some body yoga positions you can use to help relieve trapped gas. Also, walking, keeping physically active, and increasing dietary fiber intake are other great ways to help yourself break wind and get rid of flatus. Of course, you may want to make sure that you are in a private area when you need to make yourself fart as the gas can have a strong sulfur or methane smell, not to mention a loud noise!

Some health conditions and digestive issues are often to blame for a buildup of excessive intestinal gas. If this is the case, then there are many ways that you can prevent trapped gas causing you discomfort and embarrassment. For example, ginger, peppermint oil, avoiding certain foods, and probiotics can all help to improve your digestive health and reduce the frequency of having to fart.

In this article, you will learn how to make yourself fart when you need to. You will also learn things to avoid so that too much gas doesn’t get trapped in your intestinal system. I will also answer many frequently asked questions regarding passing wind.

Why Make Yourself Fart?

Because farting in public is generally frowned upon, why would you want to make yourself fart? It is completely normal for gas to build up in the digestive system and you have to release the gas in some way.

Gas, flatus, or abdominal wind is produced when foods break down in the gut. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that your large intestine holds bacteria that break down undigested food. This can result in vapors forming in the gut that may or may not have a distinct and offensive smell when you fart.1

Another reason for a buildup of gas causing you to fart more is swallowing air. This can happen because of eating too fast, drinking fizzy drinks, chewing gum, or smoking. The NIDDK says that any air not expelled through the mouth eventually has to be passed out as gas.

According to Johns Hopkins Medical, some of the related symptoms of trapped intestinal gas are bloating, abdominal pain and discomfort, and belching. Thankfully, having gas is not a life-threatening condition; however, being able to make yourself fart to release gas from your gut is usually the only way to get discomfort from the abdominal pain.2

Researchers from the NIDDK say that health conditions can increase gas and make you break wind more. They highlighted irritable bowel syndrome, overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or certain food intolerances can cause flatulence.1

How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get Rid of Gas Quickly

To get relief from trapped abdominal gas and make yourself fart when you need to, here are some of the best ways of breaking wind.

Exercise regularly to fart and expel gas

Regular exercise can help get your intestines working and help make yourself fart when you need to.

It doesn’t have to be intense physical activity that gets rid of excess gas from your rear end. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, mild physical activity is all you need to make a fart come out easier and get rid of abdominal pains caused by gas.3

In fact, the journal ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that walking to jogging is enough to help get rid of bloating caused by too much gas in the intestines. The study reported that people who exercise more suffer less from bloating.4

Did you know that walking can also transform your health, not just help make you fart easier? For some helpful ideas of easy exercises you can do at home to help get better health and prevent gas building up, please read my article on simple exercises to transform your body.

Yoga poses to make a fart come out

Many yoga poses help to put pressure on your abdomen and help you fart easier to release excess gas in your gut.

Some studies indicate that yoga can help to relieve some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. For example, the journal Pain and Research Management reported that yoga helped many people suffer less from flatulence (excess gas), bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea or constipation.5

In fact, there is even a yoga pose called “pawanmuktasana,” or the gas release pose.

How to use yoga to make yourself fart:

This is how to do the yoga gas release pose to help break wind naturally and ease pressure on your digestive system:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your arms by your side.
  2. Breathe slowly and raise your legs so that they are at a 90-degree angle and your toes are pointing to the ceiling.
  3. Bring both knees to your chest and hold your knees by holding opposite elbows with your hands.
  4. Bring your chin up to your knees and hold for a few seconds while continuing to breathe normally.
  5. Release the position by laying your head back on the floor, releasing your knees, straightening your legs so they are pointing to the ceiling, then gently lowering them to the floor.

yoga to release gas

The pressure on your abdomen helps to release trapped wind in your abdomen and will also improve blood circulation to your internal organs.

For other yoga exercises you can do at home please refer to my articles about yoga for complete beginners and simple yoga poses (Incl. Illustrations).

The “all-four” method to make yourself break wind quickly

If you have trouble breaking wind because of a digestive complaint, then standing on all fours can help you fart easier.

This method involves standing with your hands on the ground and your butt in the air. As with the yoga pose, this method aims to release gas by putting pressure on your abdomen to make it easier to fart.

How to break wind easily and naturally:

To use this easy way to get trapped gas out of your intestine and break wind when you need to, this is what you should do:

  1. Kneel down and put your hands in front of you on the floor.
  2. Lift your butt in the air so that your legs and arms are fully stretched.
  3. Slowly inhale deeply to flatten your chest.
  4. Hold for a few seconds to help push out trapped gas from your intestines.
  5. If necessary, give a little push to help make yourself break wind.

yoga to release gas

Abdominal massage to get rid of gas on command

An abdominal massage can help you fart on command and quickly get rid of trapped gas when you need to.

Having belly cramps because of trapped wind in your abdomen can be very painful and uncomfortable. Doctors from the National Health Service say that an abdominal massage can help to relieve flatus and ease abdominal cramping that it causes.6

According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, regular abdominal massages can help to improve gastrointestinal symptoms. The massage techniques help to relax abdominal muscles and get rid of bloating and can be used to prevent symptoms related to IBS.7

How to give yourself an abdominal massage to fart easier:

To massage your belly so that you can fart easier and free yourself from trapped gas in your intestines, this is what you should do:

  1. Lie on your back on a firm bed or mat.
  2. Lift up your shirt to expose your belly.
  3. Rub your hand together briskly to warm them up.
  4. From your navel, gently press your fingers to make a rubbing motion and slowly circle out from the navel clockwise.
  5. Keep making the circular massage motions for about 2 minutes in total to help release gas from your belly by making yourself fart.
  6. Repeat the abdominal massage for relieving gas 2 times a day – just after waking up and just before going to bed.

After completing the abdominal massage, you should find it easier to break wind and relieve discomfort from your belly.

Stay upright to make farting easier and quicker

Interestingly, staying in the upright position may make it easier to fart when you need to.

Although many people find that lying down helps to ease abdominal discomfort, staying upright may help to make yourself break wind easier. For example, a report published in the journal Gut reported that the upright position helps ease symptoms of flatulence and propel gas from your gut easier. Being upright, rather than lying on your back, also helps to get relief from bloating and gut distention.8

Increase dietary fiber to make yourself fart more often and relieve trapped gas

It is a well-known fact that fiber helps your digestive health and makes your fart more often.

Consuming more fiber can help to relieve constipation and make food pass through the intestines quicker. This can help to get rid of gas that has built up in the digestive tract because of irregular or infrequent bowel movements.

According to the journal Gut, a high-fiber diet can increase gaseous symptoms in the gut. But although fiber can increase the amount of gas in the intestines, it can also help a person suffering from IBS to control flatulence better and thus it should be easier to fart when you want to.9

Of course, if you have an underlying health condition like lactose intolerance, IBS, or inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), you should be careful with your diet. Too much fiber can increase intestinal gas and aggravate other digestive disorder symptoms.

How to Get Rid of Gas Pain or Get Rid of Trapped Gas Naturally

If you are having to make yourself fart constantly throughout the day to expel trapped gas, here are ways you can reduce gas in your gut and get rid of gas pains naturally.

Ginger for relief of trapped gas and gas pain

Ginger is a great natural product for getting rid of trapped gas and easing abdominal discomfort.

Ginger contains healthy properties that help to relax intestinal muscles and treat inflammation. In fact, ginger is one of the top foods to help beat bloating and get a flatter stomach.

A study of the beneficial properties of ginger has backed up claims about the effects of ginger on intestinal health. For example, ginger has a carminative effect on the intestines and can help relieving flatulence and get rid of intestinal gas.10

How to use ginger to prevent trapped gas:

To use ginger to relieve excess gas and prevent trapped gas, this is what you should do:

  1. Chop or grate a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon if using ground ginger).
  2. Put in a cup and pour over boiling water and cover.
  3. Leave to infuse for 2-6 minutes.
  4. Drink the ginger tea every day to help reduce gassy symptoms in your gut and boost your immune system naturally.

Peppermint oil to get rid of trapped gas

If you have to make yourself fart frequently throughout the day, then taking peppermint oil can help reduce trapped gas in your belly.

Peppermint oil capsules allow the healing properties of peppermint to get to your gut and prevent stomach irritation. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology reported that taking peppermint oil can help get rid of trapped gas. It was found that taking peppermint oil capsules regularly can help reduce flatulence and other symptoms related to IBS and other digestive conditions.11

Also, the International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that taking enteric-coated peppermint oil for 4 weeks significantly improved IBS symptoms.12

Chamomile tea to help prevent excessive farting

Chamomile tea is another great home remedy to prevent bloating and excessive farting thanks to its ability to calm the intestines.

The journal Molecular Medicine Reports says that chamomile is a natural digestive relaxant and will help to relieve excess gas. Chamomile is used to treat flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. Chamomile also helps to prevent gastrointestinal inflammation.13

How to use chamomile to relieve stomach gas pain:

It is very easy to make your own chamomile tea to help improve your digestive health and stop gas building up. This is what you should do:

  1. Put a chamomile bag in a cup (or 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers) and pour over boiling water.
  2. Cover the cup with a lid and let infuse for 5 minutes to extract the healing power of chamomile.
  3. Drink 2 times a day to help prevent gas build up in your digestive tract and other gaseous-related symptoms.

After you have finished with the chamomile tea bag, don’t throw it away, as used tea bags have many beneficial uses.

Probiotics to improve digestive health and reduce trapped gas

If a digestive issue makes you need to fart constantly, then try probiotics to help reduce trapped gas naturally.

Probiotics increase the good bacteria in your gut to improve your digestive health and get rid of flatulence. A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology reported that probiotics can help to get rid of flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, and distention. It was suggested that probiotics be used for their beneficial effects in treating the symptoms of IBS.14

To find out more about how probiotics can improve your gastrointestinal health, please read my article on the benefits of taking probiotics and why they are so good for you.

Activated charcoal for relief from gas pain

Activated charcoal can help reduce the amount of gas that you fart or belch due to stomach upset.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology reported that activated charcoal lowers levels of intestinal gas. This can help to reduce bloating, abdominal pain, and other symptoms of digestive upset. In fact, activated charcoal can also make your farts smell less. A study found that levels of hydrogen (the gas that makes farts smell of rotten eggs) were also reduced when taking activated charcoal.15

Apart from having to fart less, you can enjoy many health benefits to taking activated charcoal.

Low-FODMAP diet to reduce bloating and get rid of gas

Reduce the need to make yourself break wind by following the low-FODMAP diet for digestive health.

The way that the low-FODMAP diet helps to reduce abdominal bloating and gas is by restricting foods that aren’t absorbed well in the small intestine. This prevents foods fermenting and creating trapped gas that can be difficult to get rid of.

The International Journal of Clinical Practice reported that individuals who suffer from digestive issues can benefit from the low FODMAP diet. The study found that people with trapped gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea experienced fewer symptoms when following the low FODMAP diet.16

Questions About Making Yourself Fart

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about releasing trapped gas and making yourself fart.

Is it bad if I fart a lot?

No, it’s not. Farting is a natural process of the digestive system and indicates that food is getting broken in the digestive tract. Dr. Norton Greenberger from Harvard Medical Schools says that the average person breaks wind between 13 and 21 times a day.17

Why do my farts smell?

Farts smell because of bacteria that break down foods containing sulfur. Dr. Greenberger says that the most common culprits are leafy green vegetables, beans, or dairy products. These foods tend to produce gas that smells of rotten eggs. Certain fiber-rich foods also produce methane when bacteria break them down. However, most of the gas when you fart doesn’t smell.17

Should I hold in farts or make myself fart?

The answer depends on where you are when you need to fart. Obviously, you may not want to make yourself fart in a crowded elevator or in another public place. However, the gas in your stomach won’t disappear on its own. Sooner or later you will have to make yourself fart. So, maybe it’s best to find a private place or go to the bathroom to break wind there.

Do men fart more than women?

No. Women fart just as much as men do. Factors like diet and gastrointestinal conditions influence the frequency that you have to pass wind.

What can I do to prevent excessive farting?

You can prevent excessive farting throughout the day by making changes to your eating habits, diet and looking after your digestive health. Here are some tips that doctors from the American College of Gastroenterology provide:18

  • Eat slower to prevent swallowing too much air that can cause farting.
  • Reduce your intake of beans, cabbage, cauliflower, and carbonated drinks.
  • Choose wholegrain rice over wheat, potatoes, and other starchy foods.
  • Consume fewer dairy products (here are some great alternatives to dairy).

When to See a Doctor if You Have Gas Pain and Bloating

In some occasions, you should see a doctor if you have a lot of intestinal gas that causes you stomach gas pain.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that trapped gas isn’t usually a serious condition. However, if you think that you have to constantly make yourself fart, you have diarrhea, constipation, unexplained weight loss, or blood in your stool then you should see a doctor.18

It’s important to know that excess gas may also cause severe chest pains. Since there are many types of chest pain that you shouldn’t ignore, if you have unexplained pains in your chest, and especially if they spread to your left arm or jaw, you should contact a doctor immediately.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. NIDDK. Symptoms & causes of gas in the digestive tract.
  2. HopkinsMedicine. Gas in the digestive tract.
  3. Am J Gastroenterol. 101, 2552–2557 (2006)
  4. ISRN Gastroenterol. 2012; 2012: 721820.
  5. Pain Res Manag. 2006 Winter; 11(4): 217–224.
  6. GuysandThomas. Abdominal massage for constipation.
  7. PacificCollege. Massage for IBS and constipation.
  8. Gut. 2003 Jul; 52(7): 971–974.
  9. Gut. 2004 Nov; 53(11): 1577–1582.
  10. HerbalMedicine. The amazing and mighty ginger.
  11. J Clin Gastroenterol.2014 Jul;48(6):505-12.
  12. Int J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 June;39(6):530-536.
  13. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1; 3(6): 895–901.
  14. World J Gastroenterol.2015 Mar 14;21(10):3072-84.
  15. Am J Gastroenterol.1986 Jul;81(7):532-5.
  16. Int J Clin Prac. 2013 Sept;67(9):895-903.
  17. MerckManuals. Gas-related complaints.
  18. American College of Gastroenterology. Digestive Health Tips.

The post How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast appeared first on Healthy and Natural World.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast

How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast

Although breaking wind is generally frowned upon in public, there are occasions when you need to make yourself fart. A buildup of gas in your intestinal system can cause pain, bloating, and general abdominal discomfort. Usually, the only way to get rid of gas pain in your stomach is to make yourself fart and release the pressure.

If you need to break wind on command, there are some body yoga positions you can use to help relieve trapped gas. Also, walking, keeping physically active, and increasing dietary fiber intake are other great ways to help yourself break wind and get rid of flatus. Of course, you may want to make sure that you are in a private area when you need to make yourself fart as the gas can have a strong sulfur or methane smell, not to mention a loud noise!

Some health conditions and digestive issues are often to blame for a buildup of excessive intestinal gas. If this is the case, then there are many ways that you can prevent trapped gas causing you discomfort and embarrassment. For example, ginger, peppermint oil, avoiding certain foods, and probiotics can all help to improve your digestive health and reduce the frequency of having to fart.

In this article, you will learn how to make yourself fart when you need to. You will also learn things to avoid so that too much gas doesn’t get trapped in your intestinal system. I will also answer many frequently asked questions regarding passing wind.

Why Make Yourself Fart?

Because farting in public is generally frowned upon, why would you want to make yourself fart? It is completely normal for gas to build up in the digestive system and you have to release the gas in some way.

Gas, flatus, or abdominal wind is produced when foods break down in the gut. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that your large intestine holds bacteria that break down undigested food. This can result in vapors forming in the gut that may or may not have a distinct and offensive smell when you fart.1

Another reason for a buildup of gas causing you to fart more is swallowing air. This can happen because of eating too fast, drinking fizzy drinks, chewing gum, or smoking. The NIDDK says that any air not expelled through the mouth eventually has to be passed out as gas.

According to Johns Hopkins Medical, some of the related symptoms of trapped intestinal gas are bloating, abdominal pain and discomfort, and belching. Thankfully, having gas is not a life-threatening condition; however, being able to make yourself fart to release gas from your gut is usually the only way to get discomfort from the abdominal pain.2

Researchers from the NIDDK say that health conditions can increase gas and make you break wind more. They highlighted irritable bowel syndrome, overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or certain food intolerances can cause flatulence.1

How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get Rid of Gas Quickly

To get relief from trapped abdominal gas and make yourself fart when you need to, here are some of the best ways of breaking wind.

Exercise regularly to fart and expel gas

Regular exercise can help get your intestines working and help make yourself fart when you need to.

It doesn’t have to be intense physical activity that gets rid of excess gas from your rear end. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, mild physical activity is all you need to make a fart come out easier and get rid of abdominal pains caused by gas.3

In fact, the journal ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that walking to jogging is enough to help get rid of bloating caused by too much gas in the intestines. The study reported that people who exercise more suffer less from bloating.4

Did you know that walking can also transform your health, not just help make you fart easier? For some helpful ideas of easy exercises you can do at home to help get better health and prevent gas building up, please read my article on simple exercises to transform your body.

Yoga poses to make a fart come out

Many yoga poses help to put pressure on your abdomen and help you fart easier to release excess gas in your gut.

Some studies indicate that yoga can help to relieve some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. For example, the journal Pain and Research Management reported that yoga helped many people suffer less from flatulence (excess gas), bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea or constipation.5

In fact, there is even a yoga pose called “pawanmuktasana,” or the gas release pose.

How to use yoga to make yourself fart:

This is how to do the yoga gas release pose to help break wind naturally and ease pressure on your digestive system:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your arms by your side.
  2. Breathe slowly and raise your legs so that they are at a 90-degree angle and your toes are pointing to the ceiling.
  3. Bring both knees to your chest and hold your knees by holding opposite elbows with your hands.
  4. Bring your chin up to your knees and hold for a few seconds while continuing to breathe normally.
  5. Release the position by laying your head back on the floor, releasing your knees, straightening your legs so they are pointing to the ceiling, then gently lowering them to the floor.

yoga to release gas

The pressure on your abdomen helps to release trapped wind in your abdomen and will also improve blood circulation to your internal organs.

For other yoga exercises you can do at home please refer to my articles about yoga for complete beginners and simple yoga poses (Incl. Illustrations).

The “all-four” method to make yourself break wind quickly

If you have trouble breaking wind because of a digestive complaint, then standing on all fours can help you fart easier.

This method involves standing with your hands on the ground and your butt in the air. As with the yoga pose, this method aims to release gas by putting pressure on your abdomen to make it easier to fart.

How to break wind easily and naturally:

To use this easy way to get trapped gas out of your intestine and break wind when you need to, this is what you should do:

  1. Kneel down and put your hands in front of you on the floor.
  2. Lift your butt in the air so that your legs and arms are fully stretched.
  3. Slowly inhale deeply to flatten your chest.
  4. Hold for a few seconds to help push out trapped gas from your intestines.
  5. If necessary, give a little push to help make yourself break wind.

yoga to release gas

Abdominal massage to get rid of gas on command

An abdominal massage can help you fart on command and quickly get rid of trapped gas when you need to.

Having belly cramps because of trapped wind in your abdomen can be very painful and uncomfortable. Doctors from the National Health Service say that an abdominal massage can help to relieve flatus and ease abdominal cramping that it causes.6

According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, regular abdominal massages can help to improve gastrointestinal symptoms. The massage techniques help to relax abdominal muscles and get rid of bloating and can be used to prevent symptoms related to IBS.7

How to give yourself an abdominal massage to fart easier:

To massage your belly so that you can fart easier and free yourself from trapped gas in your intestines, this is what you should do:

  1. Lie on your back on a firm bed or mat.
  2. Lift up your shirt to expose your belly.
  3. Rub your hand together briskly to warm them up.
  4. From your navel, gently press your fingers to make a rubbing motion and slowly circle out from the navel clockwise.
  5. Keep making the circular massage motions for about 2 minutes in total to help release gas from your belly by making yourself fart.
  6. Repeat the abdominal massage for relieving gas 2 times a day – just after waking up and just before going to bed.

After completing the abdominal massage, you should find it easier to break wind and relieve discomfort from your belly.

Stay upright to make farting easier and quicker

Interestingly, staying in the upright position may make it easier to fart when you need to.

Although many people find that lying down helps to ease abdominal discomfort, staying upright may help to make yourself break wind easier. For example, a report published in the journal Gut reported that the upright position helps ease symptoms of flatulence and propel gas from your gut easier. Being upright, rather than lying on your back, also helps to get relief from bloating and gut distention.8

Increase dietary fiber to make yourself fart more often and relieve trapped gas

It is a well-known fact that fiber helps your digestive health and makes your fart more often.

Consuming more fiber can help to relieve constipation and make food pass through the intestines quicker. This can help to get rid of gas that has built up in the digestive tract because of irregular or infrequent bowel movements.

According to the journal Gut, a high-fiber diet can increase gaseous symptoms in the gut. But although fiber can increase the amount of gas in the intestines, it can also help a person suffering from IBS to control flatulence better and thus it should be easier to fart when you want to.9

Of course, if you have an underlying health condition like lactose intolerance, IBS, or inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), you should be careful with your diet. Too much fiber can increase intestinal gas and aggravate other digestive disorder symptoms.

How to Get Rid of Gas Pain or Get Rid of Trapped Gas Naturally

If you are having to make yourself fart constantly throughout the day to expel trapped gas, here are ways you can reduce gas in your gut and get rid of gas pains naturally.

Ginger for relief of trapped gas and gas pain

Ginger is a great natural product for getting rid of trapped gas and easing abdominal discomfort.

Ginger contains healthy properties that help to relax intestinal muscles and treat inflammation. In fact, ginger is one of the top foods to help beat bloating and get a flatter stomach.

A study of the beneficial properties of ginger has backed up claims about the effects of ginger on intestinal health. For example, ginger has a carminative effect on the intestines and can help relieving flatulence and get rid of intestinal gas.10

How to use ginger to prevent trapped gas:

To use ginger to relieve excess gas and prevent trapped gas, this is what you should do:

  1. Chop or grate a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon if using ground ginger).
  2. Put in a cup and pour over boiling water and cover.
  3. Leave to infuse for 2-6 minutes.
  4. Drink the ginger tea every day to help reduce gassy symptoms in your gut and boost your immune system naturally.

Peppermint oil to get rid of trapped gas

If you have to make yourself fart frequently throughout the day, then taking peppermint oil can help reduce trapped gas in your belly.

Peppermint oil capsules allow the healing properties of peppermint to get to your gut and prevent stomach irritation. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology reported that taking peppermint oil can help get rid of trapped gas. It was found that taking peppermint oil capsules regularly can help reduce flatulence and other symptoms related to IBS and other digestive conditions.11

Also, the International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that taking enteric-coated peppermint oil for 4 weeks significantly improved IBS symptoms.12

Chamomile tea to help prevent excessive farting

Chamomile tea is another great home remedy to prevent bloating and excessive farting thanks to its ability to calm the intestines.

The journal Molecular Medicine Reports says that chamomile is a natural digestive relaxant and will help to relieve excess gas. Chamomile is used to treat flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. Chamomile also helps to prevent gastrointestinal inflammation.13

How to use chamomile to relieve stomach gas pain:

It is very easy to make your own chamomile tea to help improve your digestive health and stop gas building up. This is what you should do:

  1. Put a chamomile bag in a cup (or 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers) and pour over boiling water.
  2. Cover the cup with a lid and let infuse for 5 minutes to extract the healing power of chamomile.
  3. Drink 2 times a day to help prevent gas build up in your digestive tract and other gaseous-related symptoms.

After you have finished with the chamomile tea bag, don’t throw it away, as used tea bags have many beneficial uses.

Probiotics to improve digestive health and reduce trapped gas

If a digestive issue makes you need to fart constantly, then try probiotics to help reduce trapped gas naturally.

Probiotics increase the good bacteria in your gut to improve your digestive health and get rid of flatulence. A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology reported that probiotics can help to get rid of flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, and distention. It was suggested that probiotics be used for their beneficial effects in treating the symptoms of IBS.14

To find out more about how probiotics can improve your gastrointestinal health, please read my article on the benefits of taking probiotics and why they are so good for you.

Activated charcoal for relief from gas pain

Activated charcoal can help reduce the amount of gas that you fart or belch due to stomach upset.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology reported that activated charcoal lowers levels of intestinal gas. This can help to reduce bloating, abdominal pain, and other symptoms of digestive upset. In fact, activated charcoal can also make your farts smell less. A study found that levels of hydrogen (the gas that makes farts smell of rotten eggs) were also reduced when taking activated charcoal.15

Apart from having to fart less, you can enjoy many health benefits to taking activated charcoal.

Low-FODMAP diet to reduce bloating and get rid of gas

Reduce the need to make yourself break wind by following the low-FODMAP diet for digestive health.

The way that the low-FODMAP diet helps to reduce abdominal bloating and gas is by restricting foods that aren’t absorbed well in the small intestine. This prevents foods fermenting and creating trapped gas that can be difficult to get rid of.

The International Journal of Clinical Practice reported that individuals who suffer from digestive issues can benefit from the low FODMAP diet. The study found that people with trapped gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea experienced fewer symptoms when following the low FODMAP diet.16

Questions About Making Yourself Fart

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about releasing trapped gas and making yourself fart.

Is it bad if I fart a lot?

No, it’s not. Farting is a natural process of the digestive system and indicates that food is getting broken in the digestive tract. Dr. Norton Greenberger from Harvard Medical Schools says that the average person breaks wind between 13 and 21 times a day.17

Why do my farts smell?

Farts smell because of bacteria that break down foods containing sulfur. Dr. Greenberger says that the most common culprits are leafy green vegetables, beans, or dairy products. These foods tend to produce gas that smells of rotten eggs. Certain fiber-rich foods also produce methane when bacteria break them down. However, most of the gas when you fart doesn’t smell.17

Should I hold in farts or make myself fart?

The answer depends on where you are when you need to fart. Obviously, you may not want to make yourself fart in a crowded elevator or in another public place. However, the gas in your stomach won’t disappear on its own. Sooner or later you will have to make yourself fart. So, maybe it’s best to find a private place or go to the bathroom to break wind there.

Do men fart more than women?

No. Women fart just as much as men do. Factors like diet and gastrointestinal conditions influence the frequency that you have to pass wind.

What can I do to prevent excessive farting?

You can prevent excessive farting throughout the day by making changes to your eating habits, diet and looking after your digestive health. Here are some tips that doctors from the American College of Gastroenterology provide:18

  • Eat slower to prevent swallowing too much air that can cause farting.
  • Reduce your intake of beans, cabbage, cauliflower, and carbonated drinks.
  • Choose wholegrain rice over wheat, potatoes, and other starchy foods.
  • Consume fewer dairy products (here are some great alternatives to dairy).

When to See a Doctor if You Have Gas Pain and Bloating

In some occasions, you should see a doctor if you have a lot of intestinal gas that causes you stomach gas pain.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that trapped gas isn’t usually a serious condition. However, if you think that you have to constantly make yourself fart, you have diarrhea, constipation, unexplained weight loss, or blood in your stool then you should see a doctor.18

It’s important to know that excess gas may also cause severe chest pains. Since there are many types of chest pain that you shouldn’t ignore, if you have unexplained pains in your chest, and especially if they spread to your left arm or jaw, you should contact a doctor immediately.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. NIDDK. Symptoms & causes of gas in the digestive tract.
  2. HopkinsMedicine. Gas in the digestive tract.
  3. Am J Gastroenterol. 101, 2552–2557 (2006)
  4. ISRN Gastroenterol. 2012; 2012: 721820.
  5. Pain Res Manag. 2006 Winter; 11(4): 217–224.
  6. GuysandThomas. Abdominal massage for constipation.
  7. PacificCollege. Massage for IBS and constipation.
  8. Gut. 2003 Jul; 52(7): 971–974.
  9. Gut. 2004 Nov; 53(11): 1577–1582.
  10. HerbalMedicine. The amazing and mighty ginger.
  11. J Clin Gastroenterol.2014 Jul;48(6):505-12.
  12. Int J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 June;39(6):530-536.
  13. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1; 3(6): 895–901.
  14. World J Gastroenterol.2015 Mar 14;21(10):3072-84.
  15. Am J Gastroenterol.1986 Jul;81(7):532-5.
  16. Int J Clin Prac. 2013 Sept;67(9):895-903.
  17. MerckManuals. Gas-related complaints.
  18. American College of Gastroenterology. Digestive Health Tips.

The post How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast appeared first on Healthy and Natural World.

Posted in Health | Comments Off on How to Make Yourself Fart: Learn How to Fart to Get rid of Gas Pain Fast

Lower Left Back Pain: Causes, Treatments and When to See a Doctor

Lower left back pain is a condition that affects many people – young and old. Very often, lower back pain affects just one side of your body and can cause discomfort ranging from mild aches to agonizing sharp pain. Lower back pain is also called lumbago because it causes discomfort in your lumbar region or lower back. This is the area in your lower back that is above your hips and below the bottom of your back rib cage. Muscle injury, nerve damage, or problems with internal organs can all result in pain in the lower left back side.

Lower left back pain may also cause other painful symptoms on the left-hand side of your body. For example, if pinched nerves are causing you pain in your lower left back, you might have a tingling sensation or shooting pains down your left leg. However, it can be difficult to diagnose the exact cause of lower back pain on the left side. Kidney infections and kidney stones can cause pain that radiates to your left lower back or right back. Also, many women experience back pain in their left lumbar region because of problems with their reproductive system.

In this article, you will learn about various causes of lower left back pain. You will also find out what to do if you suffer from aches and pains in your left back area below your ribcage.

Symptoms of Lower Left Back Pain

Conditions that result in back pain on your lower left side can also be associated with symptoms that can cause discomfort in other parts of your body.

Of course, if you have muscle problems or trapped nerves in your lower spine, it might be sore to stand in one place for a long time, bend over, or get up from a seating position. Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy on WebMD says that this type of pain can range from a dull ache to shooting back pains.1

Along with lower back pain, you might have pain that is felt in your groin or lower abdominal area.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, lower back pain that just affects one side of your back can be caused by infection or inflammation in your internal organs. This can cause the pain to be so severe that it is crippling.2 Along with the back pain, you might have a burning sensation when you urinate, lower abdominal cramping pain, and cloudy urine. You may also have signs of a fever and feel nauseous.

Many women experience more lower left back pain than men because of issues with their menstrual cycle. For example, pregnancy can put more strain on the lower back and cause pain on both the left side and right side of the back. Or conditions like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or uterine fibroids can result in mild to severe aches in the lower left back along with irregularities in the menstrual cycle and irregular vaginal bleeding.

Lower Left Back Pain Caused by Muscular and Spine Problems – Causes and Treatments

Let’s look at the various reasons why you can feel pain in your lower left back and what you can do to treat the back pain at home.

Injury to lower left back

Injury to the joint, ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your left lumbar area can cause lower back pain on the left-hand side. Your lower back plays an important role in helping to support your upper body and ensure smooth body movement so that you can walk or run properly.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that a traumatic injury or wear and tear are common reasons for lower back pain. Injury to the lower back can rupture a disc between the vertebrae in the spine and cause back pain that makes it difficult to walk or bend over. Depending on the nerve or muscle that was injured, lower back pain may radiate to your groin, abdomen, or down your leg.3

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD recommends using a cold pack for the initial back injury. You should place a cold pack on the sore area and hold for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. Continue applying the cold pack for the first 2 days after the injury to prevent swelling and bruising in your lower back.4

After 2 days of ice treatment, you should use a heat pack to speed up the healing process and ease pain in your lower left back. You can find instructions on how to use a heat back for back pain at the end of this article.

Muscle strain in lower left back

Muscles strain is another type of injury that can cause left-sided lower back pain and affect your daily activities. The resulting pain from the lower back injury can be mild to severe, depending on the extent of strain to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the lower back.

According to research published in the journal BMJ, low back strain and pain in the lumbar region is the leading cause of missed days at work and is becoming a global epidemic. Many medical professionals point to carrying heavy bags as a common reason for lower back pain at work.5

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that acute lower back pain on the left side can be lumbar strain caused by overuse of the back muscles, incorrectly lifting heavy items, or carrying heavy bags. This results in microscopic tears in the tissues in the lower back. This causes back pain in the lumbar region when walking, getting up from a chair or bending over.3

To treat acute and chronic back pain, you can find some useful ideas in my article on how to get rid of muscle soreness. You should also try to improve your posture to prevent back pain causing discomfort in your daily activities.

Sciatica

Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back area down the length of each leg. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of your body, so if your left sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched, you will have lower left back pain.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that sciatica can cause stabbing, shooting, or burning pains that you feel in your lower back, buttocks, backs of your legs, and feet. The back pain and leg pain may get worse when you move, cough, or sneeze. However, if your only symptom is lower left back pain or lower right back pain, then you probably don’t have sciatica.6

The best way to treat sciatica naturally is to do gentle exercises to help improve movement and reduce nerve irritation. You can also use heat packs to help get rid of the sciatic pain. For more helpful advice on treating sciatica naturally at home, please read my articles on yoga stretches for sciatic pain, how to use a foam roller for sciatica, and how to use a tennis ball for sciatic pain relief.

Herniated disc

You will experience severe sharp lower left back pain if a disc in your spine bulges or ruptures. Spinal discs are small jelly-like discs that help support your spine and act as shock absorbers. If a disc in your spine herniates it can irritate surrounding nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness. This can happen due to wear and tear or through injury.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that most herniated or ruptured disc occur in your lower back. The herniated disc will cause lower back pain as well as severe pain in your thigh, buttocks, and calf muscles.7

One way to prevent a disc in your back or neck rupturing is to regularly exercise to strengthen your back muscles. It is also important to keep a good posture, which can also be a cause of lower back pain on the left side.

Poor posture

Poor posture while sitting or standing can result in lower back pain that just affects one side of your body. Not standing correctly or sitting properly can put extra strain on your lower back and cause muscles and tendons to stiffen up and become sore.

According to medical professionals from the Victoria State Government, one of the most common symptoms of poor posture is lower back pain. Bad posture can also cause general body aches and pain, muscle fatigue, and affect muscle strength.8

There are many helpful exercises to improve posture by strengthening your neck muscles, relaxing your shoulders, and strengthening your core muscles.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition of the spine that can cause pain and stiffness in your lower back. The back pain that ankylosing spondylitis causes happens when vertebrae in your spine fuse together and restricts movement in your back.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the early symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are pain in the lower back and hips especially after periods of inactivity. The pain commonly affects the area at the base of your spine and vertebrae in your lower back.9

Ankylosing spondylitis is usually treated by relieving inflammation and pain in the affected area. Physical therapy is also useful in slowing the progression of the condition and help improve sleep patterns by reducing pain during the nighttime.

Arthritis

Arthritis that affects your lumbar region will usually cause varying degrees of lower back pain on the left side or right side, depending on where the arthritis is.

Dr. Jason Eck on eMedicineHealth says that lumbar spinal stenosis is an arthritic condition that can compress the nerves in the lower back. This can cause stabbing pains when walking as well as tingling and numbness in the legs.10

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Lower left back and groin pain can be severe when there are problems with your sacroiliac joint (SI joint). The sacroiliac joint is at the base of your spine and connects your spine to your pelvic bone. Inflammation, arthritis, or damage to your SI joint can all cause irritation and pain in your lumbar region.

According to Dr. Tyler Wheeler on WebMD, SI joint dysfunction causes mild to sharp pain in your lower left back or right back. These aches can spread to your upper back, thighs, and groin. Dr. Wheeler says that much of the time, you only feel pain on one side of your lower back.11

Heat treatment remedies are great to relieve pain on the left side of your lower back and can help to ease discomfort caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis that affects the left side of your back can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort in that area. Osteoporosis happens when bones structure and strength get reduced and causes bones to become brittle. This can cause bones to easily fracture and break and be one of the many reasons for pain in the lower back.

The Journal of the Japan Medical Association reported that weakened bone structure through osteoporosis is a cause of both acute lower back pain and chronic back pain under your ribs. The lumbar pain that occurs on the left side or right side can be caused by a bone fracture that results in acute sharp pain in the back. Another reason is that right sided or left sided lumbago can happen because weak bones result in damage to the spine’s vertebrae and cause pressure on nerves in the lower back.12

There are many ways to prevent osteoporosis naturally. For example, consuming foods that are rich in calcium can strengthen bones and make them stronger. Also, vitamin D is important to prevent brittle bones and many other health complications.

Lower Left Back Pain from Internal Organs – Causes and Treatments

Sometimes, dull aches or sharp pains in your lower left back can be caused by problems with organs in your abdominal area.

Kidney infection

Your kidneys are located in your middle back and an infection in your left kidney can be a cause of left-hand sided lower back pain. Kidney infections are caused when bacteria get into your urinary system and make their way to your kidneys. This results in inflammation and can make urination painful.

According to doctors from the National Health Service, kidney infections can cause pain in your back as well as flank pain. Other painful signs of a kidney infection include persistent pain in the pelvic area or abdomen.13

However, according to Dr. William Shiel on MedicineNet, kidney infection will cause back pain just under the ribs and will feel deeper than general back pain from muscle strain. The pain can sometimes be felt on both sides of your back, whereas, other times the deep aching just affects one side of your back.14

In order to look after the health of your kidneys, you should avoid these common habits that damage your kidneys and drink plenty of fluids to flush out toxins from your kidneys and urinary system.

Kidney stones

Another problem with your kidneys that can cause flank pain or lower back pain on one side of your body is kidney stones. These are small deposits of minerals and salts that build up to form tiny stones. Even though the stones can be tiny, they can cause excruciating pain that travels from your middle back to one side on your lower back and then to your groin.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic describe what the pain of kidney stones feels like. The pain can come and go in waves starting from your back or side just below your ribs. When the kidney stone moves, it can cause pain in the groin and lower abdomen and you may notice that it is painful to pee.

Researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke say that generally, the pain of kidneys stones affects only your left back or right back at a time.2

Drinking apple cider vinegar is an effective way to dissolve kidney stones naturally and stop them from causing back pain and pelvic pain.

Pancreatitis

Your pancreas is found on the left side of your abdomen and inflammation in the small organ can be a cause of lower left back pain. Your pancreas is essential for keeping your digestive system healthy. If for some reason your pancreas becomes inflamed you may also have upper abdominal pain that radiates to your back and possibly nausea and vomiting with a fever.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that pain pancreatitis causes can be severe and debilitating. Acute pancreatitis pain may come on suddenly whereas chronic pain from an inflamed pancreas may cause a constant pain in the upper abdomen and back.15

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Among the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, Dr. Trina Pagano on WebMD says that you can feel lower back pain. However, the general symptoms of a UTI are painful urination that looks cloudy and has a bad smell to it. You may also have an increased need to pee more frequently.16

There are some natural ways to help treat the first symptoms of a urinary tract infection. For example, drinking baking soda water can be helpful to neutralize the acid in your urine and reduce irritation in your urinary tract.

Gastrointestinal Causes of Lower Left Back Pain – How to Treat Them Naturally

Sometimes lower back pain that affects your left side can be a result of digestive upset or a chronic digestive condition.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory digestive condition that can cause lower left back pain. It is not known what causes ulcerative colitis, but a sufferer will have inflammation in small areas of the colon that causes diarrhea after eating and possibly blood in stools.

Researchers from say that some forms of back pain and arthritis are associated with ulcerative colitis.17 According to doctors on WebMD, treating ulcerative colitis depends on the severity of your condition and usually includes medicines and changes in diet.26

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

As well as causing lower abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome can also be to blame for backaches. However, IBS usually causes digestive upset like diarrhea, constipation, and greasy stools.

IBS is a difficult gastrointestinal condition to manage. However, some natural remedies for IBS include taking peppermint capsules to calm your lower intestines, following the FODMAP diet, and trying to eliminate stress as much as you can.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition where small pocket in the colon become infected and cause irritation and pain. Severe pain that comes on suddenly in your lower back can be a serious complication of diverticulitis. However, according to Dr. Subodh Lal on MedlinePlus, diverticulitis usually causes lower left abdominal pain along with a feeling of bloating and nausea.18

To help manage the painful discomfort that diverticulitis causes, eating a high fiber diet and drinking warm water, as well as taking digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements can treat the symptoms of diverticulitis.

Causes and Treatments of Lower Left Back Pain in Women

Many women experience pain in the left side of their back as part of their regular menstrual cycle or due to one or more conditions of the reproductive organs.

Ovarian cyst

Sometimes ovarian cysts can cause left-sided lower back pain. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, ovarian cysts can cause low back pain. If you have a cyst on the left ovary you will most likely feel pain in your lower left back.3

Other signs of cysts on your ovaries include spotting before your period, abdominal and pelvic cramping that isn’t connected with your period, and irregular monthly cycles.

Pregnancy

Most women who are pregnant experience some kind of lower back pain on their left side or right side. According to Dr. Trina Pagano on WebMD, lower back pain usually starts during the second trimester. Usually, low back pain that affects pregnant women is caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.19

Other causes of lower left back pain during pregnancy include stress, weight gain, and pain in the abdominal muscles can also cause pelvic pain in women. To get rid of back pain during pregnancy, Dr. Pagano recommends heat treatment on the lower back area to help ease discomfort and make moving around easier.

Endometriosis

Ongoing lower back pain on your left or right side and pelvic discomfort in women could be one of the signs of endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on the fallopian tubes. According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, this results in cramping and aches just before your period and during your period and also pain during bowel movements.20

Usually, a heat pad can help to relieve cramping in abdomen and pain in the lower back that endometriosis causes.

Uterine fibroids

Although it’s quite rare, a sign of uterine fibroids can be aches in your lower left back. Researchers from the University of California San Franciso say that abnormal growths on your reproductive organs can cause low back pain. Doctors say that because uterine fibroids are a rare cause of back pain just above the waistline, you should first of all look for other causes of back pain.21

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a bacterial infection of the reproductive organs that can cause low back pain. However, according to Dr. Louise Newson on Patient.info, the main symptom of PID is cramping pelvic pain that can be severe, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain during sex and high fever..22

Other Causes of Lower Left Back Pain and How to Treat Them at Home

Apart from the many causes of back pain that affects the lower left part of your back, there are some other reasons for the discomfort.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain in the body. Fibromyalgia suffers can experience acute pain in their lower back that only lasts a short time or the back pain can be chronic and affect their quality of life.

Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD says that fibromyalgia can cause unending back pain as well as pain in joints. If the pain is felt in the joint of the left side of the lower spine, then you can have severe lower back pain caused by fibromyalgia.23

Some essential oils are great for easing muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia and can also reduce inflammation. You can also find helpful information in my article on managing chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia naturally with this natural supplement.

Shingles

Shingles affects the nerves in your body and can cause lower left back pain if your left back has been affected by this viral infection.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that shingles usually just causes pain and other symptoms on one side of the body. The back pain usually starts off as a burning or tingling sensation before becoming more severe. A rash will then develop in the area of the body where the varicella-zoster virus has affected the nerves.24

You can treat lower left back pain caused by shingle using Manuka and clover honey, or try these essential oils.

How to Treat Lower Left Back Pain

One of the best ways to treat lower left back pain or pain on the right side of your lower back is to apply a heat pad. Heat helps to increase blood circulation to the sore muscles and ligaments to speed up the healing process. This type of pain-relief treatment for lower left back pain can be used to relieve back pain caused by strained muscles, inflammation of internal organs, or back pain associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle.

For information on when to use cold or heat pack for muscle strain and injury, please read my article on using cold and heat therapy for muscle pain and stiff joints.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that heat packs are great ways for relieving lower back pain, upper back pain, muscle spasms, abdominal cramping, fibromyalgia, stiff joints, and easing reduced joint movement in the lower back.25

How to Use:

This is how to make your own heat pack at home to ease lower left back pain:

  1. Fill a clean sock with rice or another dry grain leaving enough room to tie it at the top.
  2. Place the sock in a microwave and heat for 2 minutes on full power.
  3. Dip a clean washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess.
  4. Wrap the heat pad in the warm moist towel as that will help the heat penetrate your skin easier.
  5. Place on the left side of your lower back and hold there for 20 minutes to help ease the pain and reduce muscle and joint stiffness.
  6. Repeat 3-4 times a day until all signs of pain in your lower left back have gone.

When to See a Doctor for Pain in Lower Left Back

Diagnosing the underlying cause of lower left back pain can be a challenge. Therefore, if you have back pain that lasts for more than 2 days and you can’t get relief from using home remedies for back pain, you should see a doctor.

According to Dr. Louise Chang on WebMD, some of the warning signs of lower left back pain that means you should see a doctor include the following:26

  • Lower back pain or middle back pain accompanied by a fever.
  • Trauma to your back that causes pain that lasts for more than a few days and doesn’t get better.
  • Numbness in your legs or constant tingling feeling down one or both legs.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function as a result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or fracture to the spine.
  • Lower back pain on either side of your body that interferes with your daily activities or sleep.
  • Lower back pain that becomes chronic and last for longer than 6 weeks.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. WebMD. A visual guide to low back pain.
  2. NINDS. Low back pain fact sheet.
  3. MedicineNet. Lower back pain.
  4. WebMD. Muscle strain treatment.
  5. BMJ. Global burden of low back pain.
  6. NHS. Sciatica.
  7. MayoClinic. Herniated disk.
  8. BetterHealth. Posture.
  9. MayoClinic. Ankylosing spondylitis.
  10. eMedicineHealth. Spinal stenosis symptoms.
  11. WebMD. Is your SI joint giving you back pain?
  12. JMAJ. 46(10): 445–451, 2003
  13. NHS. Kidney infection.
  14. MayoClinic. Kidney stones.
  15. MayoClinic. What is pancreatitis?
  16. WebMD. What are the symptoms of UITs?
  17. BCM. Ulcerative colitis.
  18. MedlinePlus. Diverticulitis.
  19. WebMD. Back pain during pregnancy.
  20. WebMD. Endometriosis.
  21. UCSFHealth. Fibroids signs and symptoms.
  22. PatientInfo. Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  23. WebMD. Fibromyalgia pain.
  24. MedicineNet. Shingles pain.
  25. WebMD. Try heat or ice.
  26. WebMD. When to see a doctor for back pain.
  27. WebMD. Ulcerative Colitis – Treatment Overview

The post Lower Left Back Pain: Causes, Treatments and When to See a Doctor appeared first on Healthy and Natural World.

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Lower Left Back Pain: Causes, Treatments and When to See a Doctor

Lower left back pain is a condition that affects many people – young and old. Very often, lower back pain affects just one side of your body and can cause discomfort ranging from mild aches to agonizing sharp pain. Lower back pain is also called lumbago because it causes discomfort in your lumbar region or lower back. This is the area in your lower back that is above your hips and below the bottom of your back rib cage. Muscle injury, nerve damage, or problems with internal organs can all result in pain in the lower left back side.

Lower left back pain may also cause other painful symptoms on the left-hand side of your body. For example, if pinched nerves are causing you pain in your lower left back, you might have a tingling sensation or shooting pains down your left leg. However, it can be difficult to diagnose the exact cause of lower back pain on the left side. Kidney infections and kidney stones can cause pain that radiates to your left lower back or right back. Also, many women experience back pain in their left lumbar region because of problems with their reproductive system.

In this article, you will learn about various causes of lower left back pain. You will also find out what to do if you suffer from aches and pains in your left back area below your ribcage.

Symptoms of Lower Left Back Pain

Conditions that result in back pain on your lower left side can also be associated with symptoms that can cause discomfort in other parts of your body.

Of course, if you have muscle problems or trapped nerves in your lower spine, it might be sore to stand in one place for a long time, bend over, or get up from a seating position. Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy on WebMD says that this type of pain can range from a dull ache to shooting back pains.1

Along with lower back pain, you might have pain that is felt in your groin or lower abdominal area.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, lower back pain that just affects one side of your back can be caused by infection or inflammation in your internal organs. This can cause the pain to be so severe that it is crippling.2 Along with the back pain, you might have a burning sensation when you urinate, lower abdominal cramping pain, and cloudy urine. You may also have signs of a fever and feel nauseous.

Many women experience more lower left back pain than men because of issues with their menstrual cycle. For example, pregnancy can put more strain on the lower back and cause pain on both the left side and right side of the back. Or conditions like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or uterine fibroids can result in mild to severe aches in the lower left back along with irregularities in the menstrual cycle and irregular vaginal bleeding.

Lower Left Back Pain Caused by Muscular and Spine Problems – Causes and Treatments

Let’s look at the various reasons why you can feel pain in your lower left back and what you can do to treat the back pain at home.

Injury to lower left back

Injury to the joint, ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your left lumbar area can cause lower back pain on the left-hand side. Your lower back plays an important role in helping to support your upper body and ensure smooth body movement so that you can walk or run properly.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that a traumatic injury or wear and tear are common reasons for lower back pain. Injury to the lower back can rupture a disc between the vertebrae in the spine and cause back pain that makes it difficult to walk or bend over. Depending on the nerve or muscle that was injured, lower back pain may radiate to your groin, abdomen, or down your leg.3

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD recommends using a cold pack for the initial back injury. You should place a cold pack on the sore area and hold for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. Continue applying the cold pack for the first 2 days after the injury to prevent swelling and bruising in your lower back.4

After 2 days of ice treatment, you should use a heat pack to speed up the healing process and ease pain in your lower left back. You can find instructions on how to use a heat back for back pain at the end of this article.

Muscle strain in lower left back

Muscles strain is another type of injury that can cause left-sided lower back pain and affect your daily activities. The resulting pain from the lower back injury can be mild to severe, depending on the extent of strain to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the lower back.

According to research published in the journal BMJ, low back strain and pain in the lumbar region is the leading cause of missed days at work and is becoming a global epidemic. Many medical professionals point to carrying heavy bags as a common reason for lower back pain at work.5

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that acute lower back pain on the left side can be lumbar strain caused by overuse of the back muscles, incorrectly lifting heavy items, or carrying heavy bags. This results in microscopic tears in the tissues in the lower back. This causes back pain in the lumbar region when walking, getting up from a chair or bending over.3

To treat acute and chronic back pain, you can find some useful ideas in my article on how to get rid of muscle soreness. You should also try to improve your posture to prevent back pain causing discomfort in your daily activities.

Sciatica

Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back area down the length of each leg. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of your body, so if your left sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched, you will have lower left back pain.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that sciatica can cause stabbing, shooting, or burning pains that you feel in your lower back, buttocks, backs of your legs, and feet. The back pain and leg pain may get worse when you move, cough, or sneeze. However, if your only symptom is lower left back pain or lower right back pain, then you probably don’t have sciatica.6

The best way to treat sciatica naturally is to do gentle exercises to help improve movement and reduce nerve irritation. You can also use heat packs to help get rid of the sciatic pain. For more helpful advice on treating sciatica naturally at home, please read my articles on yoga stretches for sciatic pain, how to use a foam roller for sciatica, and how to use a tennis ball for sciatic pain relief.

Herniated disc

You will experience severe sharp lower left back pain if a disc in your spine bulges or ruptures. Spinal discs are small jelly-like discs that help support your spine and act as shock absorbers. If a disc in your spine herniates it can irritate surrounding nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness. This can happen due to wear and tear or through injury.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that most herniated or ruptured disc occur in your lower back. The herniated disc will cause lower back pain as well as severe pain in your thigh, buttocks, and calf muscles.7

One way to prevent a disc in your back or neck rupturing is to regularly exercise to strengthen your back muscles. It is also important to keep a good posture, which can also be a cause of lower back pain on the left side.

Poor posture

Poor posture while sitting or standing can result in lower back pain that just affects one side of your body. Not standing correctly or sitting properly can put extra strain on your lower back and cause muscles and tendons to stiffen up and become sore.

According to medical professionals from the Victoria State Government, one of the most common symptoms of poor posture is lower back pain. Bad posture can also cause general body aches and pain, muscle fatigue, and affect muscle strength.8

There are many helpful exercises to improve posture by strengthening your neck muscles, relaxing your shoulders, and strengthening your core muscles.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition of the spine that can cause pain and stiffness in your lower back. The back pain that ankylosing spondylitis causes happens when vertebrae in your spine fuse together and restricts movement in your back.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the early symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are pain in the lower back and hips especially after periods of inactivity. The pain commonly affects the area at the base of your spine and vertebrae in your lower back.9

Ankylosing spondylitis is usually treated by relieving inflammation and pain in the affected area. Physical therapy is also useful in slowing the progression of the condition and help improve sleep patterns by reducing pain during the nighttime.

Arthritis

Arthritis that affects your lumbar region will usually cause varying degrees of lower back pain on the left side or right side, depending on where the arthritis is.

Dr. Jason Eck on eMedicineHealth says that lumbar spinal stenosis is an arthritic condition that can compress the nerves in the lower back. This can cause stabbing pains when walking as well as tingling and numbness in the legs.10

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Lower left back and groin pain can be severe when there are problems with your sacroiliac joint (SI joint). The sacroiliac joint is at the base of your spine and connects your spine to your pelvic bone. Inflammation, arthritis, or damage to your SI joint can all cause irritation and pain in your lumbar region.

According to Dr. Tyler Wheeler on WebMD, SI joint dysfunction causes mild to sharp pain in your lower left back or right back. These aches can spread to your upper back, thighs, and groin. Dr. Wheeler says that much of the time, you only feel pain on one side of your lower back.11

Heat treatment remedies are great to relieve pain on the left side of your lower back and can help to ease discomfort caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis that affects the left side of your back can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort in that area. Osteoporosis happens when bones structure and strength get reduced and causes bones to become brittle. This can cause bones to easily fracture and break and be one of the many reasons for pain in the lower back.

The Journal of the Japan Medical Association reported that weakened bone structure through osteoporosis is a cause of both acute lower back pain and chronic back pain under your ribs. The lumbar pain that occurs on the left side or right side can be caused by a bone fracture that results in acute sharp pain in the back. Another reason is that right sided or left sided lumbago can happen because weak bones result in damage to the spine’s vertebrae and cause pressure on nerves in the lower back.12

There are many ways to prevent osteoporosis naturally. For example, consuming foods that are rich in calcium can strengthen bones and make them stronger. Also, vitamin D is important to prevent brittle bones and many other health complications.

Lower Left Back Pain from Internal Organs – Causes and Treatments

Sometimes, dull aches or sharp pains in your lower left back can be caused by problems with organs in your abdominal area.

Kidney infection

Your kidneys are located in your middle back and an infection in your left kidney can be a cause of left-hand sided lower back pain. Kidney infections are caused when bacteria get into your urinary system and make their way to your kidneys. This results in inflammation and can make urination painful.

According to doctors from the National Health Service, kidney infections can cause pain in your back as well as flank pain. Other painful signs of a kidney infection include persistent pain in the pelvic area or abdomen.13

However, according to Dr. William Shiel on MedicineNet, kidney infection will cause back pain just under the ribs and will feel deeper than general back pain from muscle strain. The pain can sometimes be felt on both sides of your back, whereas, other times the deep aching just affects one side of your back.14

In order to look after the health of your kidneys, you should avoid these common habits that damage your kidneys and drink plenty of fluids to flush out toxins from your kidneys and urinary system.

Kidney stones

Another problem with your kidneys that can cause flank pain or lower back pain on one side of your body is kidney stones. These are small deposits of minerals and salts that build up to form tiny stones. Even though the stones can be tiny, they can cause excruciating pain that travels from your middle back to one side on your lower back and then to your groin.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic describe what the pain of kidney stones feels like. The pain can come and go in waves starting from your back or side just below your ribs. When the kidney stone moves, it can cause pain in the groin and lower abdomen and you may notice that it is painful to pee.

Researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke say that generally, the pain of kidneys stones affects only your left back or right back at a time.2

Drinking apple cider vinegar is an effective way to dissolve kidney stones naturally and stop them from causing back pain and pelvic pain.

Pancreatitis

Your pancreas is found on the left side of your abdomen and inflammation in the small organ can be a cause of lower left back pain. Your pancreas is essential for keeping your digestive system healthy. If for some reason your pancreas becomes inflamed you may also have upper abdominal pain that radiates to your back and possibly nausea and vomiting with a fever.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that pain pancreatitis causes can be severe and debilitating. Acute pancreatitis pain may come on suddenly whereas chronic pain from an inflamed pancreas may cause a constant pain in the upper abdomen and back.15

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Among the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, Dr. Trina Pagano on WebMD says that you can feel lower back pain. However, the general symptoms of a UTI are painful urination that looks cloudy and has a bad smell to it. You may also have an increased need to pee more frequently.16

There are some natural ways to help treat the first symptoms of a urinary tract infection. For example, drinking baking soda water can be helpful to neutralize the acid in your urine and reduce irritation in your urinary tract.

Gastrointestinal Causes of Lower Left Back Pain – How to Treat Them Naturally

Sometimes lower back pain that affects your left side can be a result of digestive upset or a chronic digestive condition.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory digestive condition that can cause lower left back pain. It is not known what causes ulcerative colitis, but a sufferer will have inflammation in small areas of the colon that causes diarrhea after eating and possibly blood in stools.

Researchers from say that some forms of back pain and arthritis are associated with ulcerative colitis.17 According to doctors on WebMD, treating ulcerative colitis depends on the severity of your condition and usually includes medicines and changes in diet.26

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

As well as causing lower abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome can also be to blame for backaches. However, IBS usually causes digestive upset like diarrhea, constipation, and greasy stools.

IBS is a difficult gastrointestinal condition to manage. However, some natural remedies for IBS include taking peppermint capsules to calm your lower intestines, following the FODMAP diet, and trying to eliminate stress as much as you can.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition where small pocket in the colon become infected and cause irritation and pain. Severe pain that comes on suddenly in your lower back can be a serious complication of diverticulitis. However, according to Dr. Subodh Lal on MedlinePlus, diverticulitis usually causes lower left abdominal pain along with a feeling of bloating and nausea.18

To help manage the painful discomfort that diverticulitis causes, eating a high fiber diet and drinking warm water, as well as taking digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements can treat the symptoms of diverticulitis.

Causes and Treatments of Lower Left Back Pain in Women

Many women experience pain in the left side of their back as part of their regular menstrual cycle or due to one or more conditions of the reproductive organs.

Ovarian cyst

Sometimes ovarian cysts can cause left-sided lower back pain. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, ovarian cysts can cause low back pain. If you have a cyst on the left ovary you will most likely feel pain in your lower left back.3

Other signs of cysts on your ovaries include spotting before your period, abdominal and pelvic cramping that isn’t connected with your period, and irregular monthly cycles.

Pregnancy

Most women who are pregnant experience some kind of lower back pain on their left side or right side. According to Dr. Trina Pagano on WebMD, lower back pain usually starts during the second trimester. Usually, low back pain that affects pregnant women is caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.19

Other causes of lower left back pain during pregnancy include stress, weight gain, and pain in the abdominal muscles can also cause pelvic pain in women. To get rid of back pain during pregnancy, Dr. Pagano recommends heat treatment on the lower back area to help ease discomfort and make moving around easier.

Endometriosis

Ongoing lower back pain on your left or right side and pelvic discomfort in women could be one of the signs of endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on the fallopian tubes. According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, this results in cramping and aches just before your period and during your period and also pain during bowel movements.20

Usually, a heat pad can help to relieve cramping in abdomen and pain in the lower back that endometriosis causes.

Uterine fibroids

Although it’s quite rare, a sign of uterine fibroids can be aches in your lower left back. Researchers from the University of California San Franciso say that abnormal growths on your reproductive organs can cause low back pain. Doctors say that because uterine fibroids are a rare cause of back pain just above the waistline, you should first of all look for other causes of back pain.21

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a bacterial infection of the reproductive organs that can cause low back pain. However, according to Dr. Louise Newson on Patient.info, the main symptom of PID is cramping pelvic pain that can be severe, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain during sex and high fever..22

Other Causes of Lower Left Back Pain and How to Treat Them at Home

Apart from the many causes of back pain that affects the lower left part of your back, there are some other reasons for the discomfort.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain in the body. Fibromyalgia suffers can experience acute pain in their lower back that only lasts a short time or the back pain can be chronic and affect their quality of life.

Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD says that fibromyalgia can cause unending back pain as well as pain in joints. If the pain is felt in the joint of the left side of the lower spine, then you can have severe lower back pain caused by fibromyalgia.23

Some essential oils are great for easing muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia and can also reduce inflammation. You can also find helpful information in my article on managing chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia naturally with this natural supplement.

Shingles

Shingles affects the nerves in your body and can cause lower left back pain if your left back has been affected by this viral infection.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that shingles usually just causes pain and other symptoms on one side of the body. The back pain usually starts off as a burning or tingling sensation before becoming more severe. A rash will then develop in the area of the body where the varicella-zoster virus has affected the nerves.24

You can treat lower left back pain caused by shingle using Manuka and clover honey, or try these essential oils.

How to Treat Lower Left Back Pain

One of the best ways to treat lower left back pain or pain on the right side of your lower back is to apply a heat pad. Heat helps to increase blood circulation to the sore muscles and ligaments to speed up the healing process. This type of pain-relief treatment for lower left back pain can be used to relieve back pain caused by strained muscles, inflammation of internal organs, or back pain associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle.

For information on when to use cold or heat pack for muscle strain and injury, please read my article on using cold and heat therapy for muscle pain and stiff joints.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that heat packs are great ways for relieving lower back pain, upper back pain, muscle spasms, abdominal cramping, fibromyalgia, stiff joints, and easing reduced joint movement in the lower back.25

How to Use:

This is how to make your own heat pack at home to ease lower left back pain:

  1. Fill a clean sock with rice or another dry grain leaving enough room to tie it at the top.
  2. Place the sock in a microwave and heat for 2 minutes on full power.
  3. Dip a clean washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess.
  4. Wrap the heat pad in the warm moist towel as that will help the heat penetrate your skin easier.
  5. Place on the left side of your lower back and hold there for 20 minutes to help ease the pain and reduce muscle and joint stiffness.
  6. Repeat 3-4 times a day until all signs of pain in your lower left back have gone.

When to See a Doctor for Pain in Lower Left Back

Diagnosing the underlying cause of lower left back pain can be a challenge. Therefore, if you have back pain that lasts for more than 2 days and you can’t get relief from using home remedies for back pain, you should see a doctor.

According to Dr. Louise Chang on WebMD, some of the warning signs of lower left back pain that means you should see a doctor include the following:26

  • Lower back pain or middle back pain accompanied by a fever.
  • Trauma to your back that causes pain that lasts for more than a few days and doesn’t get better.
  • Numbness in your legs or constant tingling feeling down one or both legs.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function as a result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or fracture to the spine.
  • Lower back pain on either side of your body that interferes with your daily activities or sleep.
  • Lower back pain that becomes chronic and last for longer than 6 weeks.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. WebMD. A visual guide to low back pain.
  2. NINDS. Low back pain fact sheet.
  3. MedicineNet. Lower back pain.
  4. WebMD. Muscle strain treatment.
  5. BMJ. Global burden of low back pain.
  6. NHS. Sciatica.
  7. MayoClinic. Herniated disk.
  8. BetterHealth. Posture.
  9. MayoClinic. Ankylosing spondylitis.
  10. eMedicineHealth. Spinal stenosis symptoms.
  11. WebMD. Is your SI joint giving you back pain?
  12. JMAJ. 46(10): 445–451, 2003
  13. NHS. Kidney infection.
  14. MayoClinic. Kidney stones.
  15. MayoClinic. What is pancreatitis?
  16. WebMD. What are the symptoms of UITs?
  17. BCM. Ulcerative colitis.
  18. MedlinePlus. Diverticulitis.
  19. WebMD. Back pain during pregnancy.
  20. WebMD. Endometriosis.
  21. UCSFHealth. Fibroids signs and symptoms.
  22. PatientInfo. Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  23. WebMD. Fibromyalgia pain.
  24. MedicineNet. Shingles pain.
  25. WebMD. Try heat or ice.
  26. WebMD. When to see a doctor for back pain.
  27. WebMD. Ulcerative Colitis – Treatment Overview

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Today is National Food Day

National Food DayDid you know today is National Food Day?

Perfect! Today is National Food Day…right up my alley, as they say.  I didn’t used to be a foodie.  Eating was necessary, but I didn’t really eat with enthusiasm.  I didn’t realize I just didn’t like the foods I was raised on.  Steak, white rice and potatoes and vegetables boiled until they were gray…  My mom was a terrific baker, but the cultural background and the food she and my father were raised on in very waspy cultures just didn’t work for me.

I admit to being a strange kid food-wise.  Hated steak and peanut butter and loved liver and spinach…go figure…

Today, with how I cook for our Thin Strong Healthy eating style is very different, and I love how we eat.  Now I look forward to cooking and eating and have to be mindful of the portions I consume!

If I had to nail down how we eat as a cultural style, I would say it’s mostly Mediterranean.  Lots of fresh vegetables; when they are cooked, they are baked, broiled or lightly sautéed.  Mostly we eat a pescatarean diet.  I’ve never liked meat.  I missed a lot of Walt Disney on Sunday evenings because I wouldn’t eat my steak.  Later on I would take my portion and put it back in a skillet and cook it until it was unrecognizable as meat.

Condiments played a big part in my diet then.  Ham meant tons of mustard; lamb was accompanied by ketchup as were steak and pork; pot roast was for horse radish.  You get the picture.   I ate poultry until about 4 years ago when the factory farming issues just put me off, and even eating the humanely raised poultry didn’t work for me anymore.

I’ve tried eating a strictly vegetarian diet, which I enjoy, but I know I wasn’t doing it quite right to get the necessary protein.  I may revisit that in the future and try again.

I’m not saying you’re wrong if you like to eat meat, just saying I never did.  Not the flavor, nor the texture…and as I became aware of animal welfare, it really put me off.

I hope you’ll visit http://ThinStrongHealthy.com and check out the recipes there.   I’m always adding more, and they’re there for you to copy.

I’ll begin teaching a course, “8 Weeks New You” based on my food and eating philosophy beginning in November.  If you’d like to take a look, visit my new website for it,  http://TheHealthyEatingClub.com

What I’d like to see is not just Nation Food Day; I’d like to see a National Healthy Food Day!  Maybe I’ll put that one up on their calendar.  Watch for it…

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

 

 

 

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Pulled Abdominal Muscles or Hernia: 7 Important Differences

Knowing the difference between a pulled abdominal muscle and a hernia can be a challenge. Both hernia and pulled muscles in your abdomen can cause some pain and abdominal discomfort. However, it is important to tell the difference between the symptoms of a strained, stretched or pulled muscle and a hernia because treating the conditions are slightly different.

Your abs comprise of a group of muscles in the stomach area just above the pelvis and below your chest. Your abdominal muscles form part of your core and are important when it comes to body movement and supporting your back. Pulled abdominal muscles can happen by overusing, injuring, or straining your muscles. This can cause varying degrees of pain depending on the severity of the muscle pull.

Hernia occurs when fatty tissue or an organ pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle wall. Hernia usually occurs in the abdomen or groin area and can cause a noticeable bulge or lump around your stomach area in your pelvic region. The area may be tender to touch and you might have pain and a burning sensation near the bulge.

This article will help you tell apart the different symptoms of a pulled abdominal muscle and hernia. This will help you know how best to treat the pain and discomfort that both of these conditions cause and when you should see a doctor.

Pulled Abdominal Muscle vs. Hernia – 7 Ways to Tell the Difference

First, let’s look at the differences between abdominal muscle strain and having a hernia.

1. Bulge

One of the easiest ways to tell if your pain is caused by a hernia or pulled stomach muscle is if you have a bulge or not. A hernia will usually cause a distinct bulge where the tissue or organ pushes through the muscle wall. Abdominal muscle strains don’t cause a bulge or visible lump.

2. Pain

A pulled abdominal muscle will cause varying degrees of pain that gets worse when you move. Not all hernias are painful and may just be sore when you move. However, a pulled abdominal muscle feels more like a stabbing pain in the area where the strain happened whereas a hernia causes a burning-like sensation that is more like a dull ache or a feeling of fullness.

3. Abdominal cramping

One way to tell the difference between hernia and pulled abdominal muscles is that hernia doesn’t cause any abdominal cramping. In fact, you may only realize you have a hernia when you see a bulge in your stomach or groin. Stomach muscle pain can be “crampy” when caused by exercising or overuse.

4. Muscle stiffness and spasms

Hernia doesn’t cause muscle stiffness or other spasms around the bulge. If you have been exercising, working out, or lifting heavy items, you may experience stiff abdominal muscles or stomach spasms after strenuous physical activity.

5. Bruising

Hernia doesn’t cause bruising but will look like a skin-colored bulge that may be red because of inflammation. For example, a hernia around your navel will look like an “outie” belly button. However, abdominal pain may show signs of bruising if it was caused by a severe muscle strain or injury to your stomach.

6. Gastrointestinal problems

Abdominal pain doesn’t usually cause nausea and vomiting or other gastrointestinal issues. Some types of hernias can cause nausea and vomiting. This can happen because the hernia in your abdominal region pushes on your colon or bowel and causes an obstruction. Because of this, hernias can also make it difficult to have a bowel movement.

7. Causes

Some types of physical activity can cause both pulled abdominal muscle pain and hernia. For example, hernia generally isn’t caused by intense exercising or sudden movements. However, straining during a bowel movement if you have constipation, not lifting heavy items properly, or chronic coughing or sneezing can all result in strained abdominal muscles and/or a hernia.

Pulled Abdominal Muscle: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Let’s look in more detail at what can cause pain in your abdominal region that is the result of pulling, straining, or tearing an abdominal muscle.

Your abdominal core muscles include the following muscles:

  • Rectus abdominis
  • Transverse abdominis
  • Internal obliques
  • External obliques

According to a sports injury website, pulling or tearing an abdominal muscle can happen when lifting heavy objects or quickly changing direction when running. Usually, it’s the rectus abdominis muscle that is affected when pulling a muscle, and this causes sudden sharp pain in your stomach area. However, any of your abdominal muscles can suffer injury.1

Symptoms of pulled abdominal muscles

You know if you’ve pulled or strained an abdominal muscle because you will experience a sharp, shooting pain in the area above your pelvis and below your chest.

According to doctors on WebMD, a torn abdominal muscle can also cause tenderness, stiffness, or deep aches in your abdominal region. The abdominal pain may intensify if your bend over, and even sneezing, laughing, or coughing can cause stabbing pain in your stomach area.2

The degrees of pain caused by pulled abdominal muscles can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Grade I ab muscle strain. This results from a mild abdominal muscle pull and will generally only cause mild discomfort.
  • Grade II ab muscle strain. An abdominal muscle that gets completely torn will cause more severe pain and you may have to restrict body movements until the torn ab muscle heals.
  • Grade III muscle strain. The most severe kind of injury from pulling an abdominal muscle that usually requires surgery.

A pulled abdominal muscle may also result in a hernia and you might notice a new bulge in your stomach.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that pulled muscles can also cause bruising, weakness in the muscle, and muscle pain when resting.3 There are also many other reasons why women suffer from lower abdominal pain.

Causes of pulled abdominal muscles

Most of the reasons for stomach muscle pain involve stretching, pulling, or tearing a muscle in your abdomen.

Doctors from the Summit Medical Group say that pulled abdominal muscles are commonly the result of over-straining your abs when incorrectly lifting heavy objects or twisting awkwardly. However, hard coughing or sneezing have also been known to result in mild abdominal muscle strain.4

How to treat pulled abdominal muscles

There are various ways to treat abdominal muscles, and if you have pain from a pulled ab muscle, you will need to rest the muscles until they heal properly.

Cold treatment for initial injury

As soon as you can after the initial injury, you should ice the affected area. According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, applying a cold pack just after straining or pulling an abdominal muscle helps to control bleeding and reduce swelling.3

This is how to make your own ice pack to speed up recovery from a pulled abdominal muscle:

  1. Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and seal it to prevent water escaping.
  2. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel and apply to the sore muscles.
  3. Hold the cold pack on the stomach area where you strained muscle for 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat every hour.

An ice pack, frozen gel pack, or even a bag of frozen peas can be used on the muscle strain and applied every hour or so for up to 2 days. This first-aid treatment for muscle strains helps to keep swelling down and prevent bruising. Please remember, never to apply ice directly to your skin.

Heat treatment for pulled abdominal muscles

If you still have sore abdominal muscles after 2 days and you no longer have swelling around the injury site, you can apply a heat pack to help the muscle heal quickly.

According to Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD, heat helps pulled or strained muscles heal quicker. Heat pads are also good for treating muscle spasms and helping muscles to relax.4 Physiotherapists say that sometimes moist heat helps the warmth to penetrate the muscles easier and helps muscle strains recover faster.5

To use heat to treat a pulled abdominal muscle that is sore, you can make a moist heat pad this way:

  1. Fill an old, clean sock with rice almost to the top. Tie the sock closed.
  2. Microwave the rice-filled sock for 2 minutes.
  3. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess water.
  4. Wrap the heat pack in the damp warm towel.
  5. Place on your abdomen where you feel pain and keep for 20 minutes to help increase blood flow to the damaged muscles.
  6. Repeat 3-4 times a day until you no longer have any pain from the strained abdominal muscle.

Essential oils for pain relief

There are many essential oils that provide relief from muscle pain and strain. Essential oils penetrate the skin and help to relax sore muscles. Also, an abdominal massage has tremendous health benefits as well as helping to increase blood flow to accelerate healing of a pulled muscle.

Here is one way that you can make your own muscle pain-relieving essential oil treatment:

  1. Mix 10-12 drops of peppermint oil, lavender oil, or chamomile oil in 1 oz. (30 ml) of carrier oil.
  2. Massage the pain relief oil into your sore abdominal muscles 2 times a day.
  3. Use daily until the muscle pain in your stomach has gone.

You can also use the essential oil pain-relief method in conjunction with a moist heating pad.

In my article on how to get rid of muscle soreness quickly using home remedies you can find other methods to get rid of muscle soreness, such as the R.I.C.E method, Epsom salt bath, consuming certain nutrients, warming up before exercising and more.

How to prevent pulling abdominal muscles

The best way to avoid pulling an abdominal muscle is to strengthen your core. Doctors recommend keeping your abs flexible and strong to decrease the risk of injury when lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous physical activity.3

For example, you can try plank exercises to help strengthen your core and prevent abdominal muscle injuries. There are also many easy exercises you can do at home to improve stomach tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Hernia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

A hernia feels like a round lump that bulges from your stomach or groin.

According to Dr. Benjamin Wedro on MedicineNet, hernia often occurs around the abdominal region when tissue pushes through stomach muscles. However, hernia can also appear in the pelvic area on either side of your genitals, in your diaphragm, or around your belly button.7

The most common types of hernias are:

  • Inguinal hernia. This hernia occurs in men more than women and will cause a painful bulge in the groin or scrotum.
  • Femoral hernia. A femoral hernia occurs in the floor of the abdomen near the upper leg. They occur more often in women.
  • Umbilical hernia. A bulge near the belly button is usually a sign of an umbilical hernia. They are often present at birth.
  • Hiatal hernia. When part of the stomach pushes into the esophagus, this can cause a hiatal hernia and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Symptoms of a hernia

You know that you have a hernia because you will more than likely have a bulge in your abdominal area or pelvis.

According to Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD, inguinal, femoral, umbilical, and incisional hernias will cause a bulge that may disappear when you lie down. The symptoms of a hernia include a heavy, pressing feeling in the abdomen and you may have constipation or blood in your stool.8

Not all hernias cause pain. Some are completely painless or just cause a mild ache. However, hernia isn’t tender to touch and you may be able to push the lump back into your stomach.

Abdominal hernia of the diaphragm like hiatal hernia can cause symptoms like heartburn or pain in your upper abdominal area. This type of hernia doesn’t cause a bulge but will be observable if a doctor checks your esophagus with an endoscope.

Causes of hernias

Hernias are generally caused by excess pressure in your abdominal cavity. Dr. Jerry Balentine on eMedicnineNet says that hernias can run in families and increase your risk of developing a hernia. Any weakness in the walls of your stomach muscles or abdominal cavity can cause a tissue mass to break through and create a bulge on your stomach.9

Dr. Balentine says that other contributing factors that can cause hernias are:

  • being overweight
  • lifting heavy objects
  • persistent coughing or sneezing
  • straining excessively during a bowel movement
  • chronic lung disease
  • fluid in the abdominal cavity

How to treat a hernia

According to Dr. Balentine, most doctors recommend a “wait and see” approach and may recommend some support trusses or supporting belts. However, all hernias should be repaired surgically to prevent further complications. Even if the hernia can be pushed back into the abdominal cavity, there is always the risk that it will reappear.10

How to prevent a hernia

Dr. Gregory Thompson on WebMD says that most hernias can’t be prevented. However, there are many steps that you can take to reduce your risk of a hernia. For example, losing weight, enjoying a healthy diet with plenty of fiber, stopping smoking, and making sure to lift heavy items properly.11

Abdominal Pain – When to See a Doctor

You should never ignore any abdominal pain that lasts for longer than 2 days or comes on suddenly and is severe. Many vital organs are located in your abdominal cavity and what you think may be a pulled ab muscle could be a painful symptom of a medical condition.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that you should visit a doctor promptly for a suspected pulled abdominal muscle in the following circumstances:12

  • You still have severe pain for 3 days after an injury to your abdomen.
  • There is severe tenderness and/or swelling of your abdomen.
  • You pass bloody stools.
  • You have nausea and vomiting that doesn’t go away.

If you have a suspected hernia and notice a bulge in your groin or abdomen, doctors from the National Health Service advise visiting a doctor in the following circumstances:13

  • The hernia suddenly becomes very sore and painful.
  • You have difficulty passing a bowel movement.
  • The hernia becomes firm or tender and won’t move when you try to push it back in.
  • You have nausea and vomiting.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. SpotsInjuryClinic. Abdominal strain.
  2. WebMD. Strengthen your core, prevent injury.
  3. WebMD. Muscle strain.
  4. SumitMedicalGroup. Abdominal muscle strain.
  5. WebMD. Try heat or ice.
  6. Spine-health. How to apply heat therapy.
  7. MedicineNet. Hernia.
  8. WebMD. Understanding hernia – symptoms.
  9. eMedicineNet. Hernia.
  10. eMedicineNet. Hernia.
  11. WebMD. Inguinal hernia – prevention.
  12. MayoClinic. Abdominal pain.
  13. NHS. Hernia.

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