Back is one of the most common areas of our body to experience twinges and tension, according to the NHS. “Individuals with back pain may feel a range of unpleasant sensations, from muscle aches and shooting or stabbing pains to uncomfortable tension when bending, lifting, sitting or standing and sometimes a pain radiating down the legs,” explains sports therapist, Tom Austin. “There are many root causes to these, including lifting more than one can handle, or with a poor technique which results in added stress to that area. Discs, (which act as cushions between the bones in spine) can be damaged, putting pressure on the nerves running down the spine.” Tom emphasizes that back problems become more likely as people get older, often starting in our 30s and 40s. “Also, those who are overweight, or not exercising regularly enough, will have weak muscles and will likely struggle to support their skeleton properly due to the excess strain in this area,” Tom adds.
Remedies for Back pain
“Exercise can strengthen the muscles around back and abdomen, supporting spine effectively and preventing aches from occurring in the first place,” advises Tom. “Regular stretching can achieve this on a day-to-day basis. You should also consider getting regular sports massages as these ensure muscles are kept healthy by increasing the blood low and nutrients within the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems. In other words, they help to flush away toxins that may be blocking pathways within the body. Next time when back pain is experienced, see a sports therapist for a deep tissue massage or, try some passive stretching to alleviate it.” It’s also important to remember to maintain a good posture to improve back pain. Try not to slouch, hold head straight and tuck your chin in. Stand with your shoulders back, knees straight, and belly pulled in.
Joint pain is another complaint commonly associated with getting older. Any damage to joints from disease or injury can interfere with movement and cause a lot of pain in different parts of the body, including your knees, ankles, hips and shoulders, as well as fingers and wrists. According to The Joint Health of the Nation Report 2019, 17 million people in the UK have a joint and musculoskeletal condition and, five times more people in the UK have joint health problems than diabetes.
Remedies for Joint pain:
Pilates stretches can be a great remedy for joint pain. “The shell stretch mobilizes the hips, ankles, knees, spine and shoulders,” says Pilates teacher, Lyndsay Hirst. “Start on all fours. From this position, direct hips back to sit as far back onto heels as one can, keeping hands where they are. Keep elbows lifted. Once in this position, take some deep breaths in and out. As you exhale, try to allow oneself to sink a little deeper into the stretch. Hold for five to six breaths and perform daily.”
“Recurring headaches can be caused by many factors such as dehydration, stress and even the environment (air pressure or temperature),” says Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist, Pareena Patel. “Some people are more prone to headaches than others and there are some common lifestyle factors which may play a part in contributing to them. Not getting enough fresh air during the day, or skipping screen breaks if one work in an office are some examples. Also, not staying hydrated or exercising regularly can result in poor circulation, where varying blood low is thought to be one of the causes of migraines and headaches.”
Remedies for headache:
“While having headache, make sure to drink enough water and take time to rest in a dark room to help ease the symptoms,” advises Pareena. “Also try supplementing with magnesium as there are wealth of studies which link the natural mineral with the prevention of headaches. Often referred to as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, magnesium has relaxing qualities and induces calm feelings, which certainly helps if headaches are stress-induced. Not only that, but a study published in the journal, Headache, found that when treated with intravenous magnesium sulphate, migraine pain disappeared in 86.6 percent of patients.”
“There are many causes of stomach ache and they are usually nothing to be concerned about. Some of the most common causes can be trapped wind, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea or food poisoning. In some cases, persistent stomach ache can be as a result of a longer-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or a stomach ulcer. Looking to diet is a good starting point to remedy these aches. “If tummy troubles are the result of bloating or trapped wind, one should try to cut out fizzy sweets and drinks. Other common culprits include: consumption of beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower. On the other hand, if constipation is causing stomach issues, try being a little more active, stay hydrated by drinking two liters of water a day and ensure to get adequate fiber in diet. In some cases, stomach aches can be as a result of food intolerances; therefore start by keeping a food diary to identify triggers. Most people suffer intolerances with gluten, or dairy based products.”
Remedies for stomach ache:
Gentle stretches and yoga can help relieve trapped wind and ease bloating. The downward dog yoga pose is one position which can ease discomfort. Lyndsay explains how to do a downward dog: “Start on all fours with toes curled under. Lift knees from the floor and continue to straighten knees as hips lift towards the ceiling. Try to push the chest towards thighs (as though one is trying to push hands and feet away from each other) drop heels as close to the floor as one can. If the position is uncomfortable, take each stage slowly and only to the point when one feel a light stretch. Hold for five breaths and release.” If suspected food intolerance, consult the doctor for best course of action.
Among people aged over 50 and those who are overweight, leg ache can be a widespread cause of suffering. “Discomfort anywhere in the leg can range from a dull ache to an intense stabbing sensation,” says Pareena. “Most leg pain results from irritation, inflammation, overuse, or injuries in the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in lower back. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation.”
Remedies for Leg ache
“Leg pain can be treated at home if it’s due to cramps or a minor injury,” says Pareena. “Try resting leg as much as possible, and elevate it with pillows. For minor sprains and strains, try a common technique called the PRICE therapy method, which stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. However, in some cases, a serious medical condition could be causing the pain, so please see the doctor if experiencing severe or persistent leg pain.”