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How to Relieve Back Pain and Muscle Tension Naturally

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How to Relieve Back Pain and Muscle Tension Naturally

We’ve all had back pain at one time or another, due to sitting long time on the computer, poor posture, working hard in the garden or starting a new excessive program. Backache is one of the most common physical complaints, and many people suffer from it chronically. So what can you do to relieve back pain and muscle tension?

Epsom salt

If you suffer from muscle tension, stiffness soreness, then the first step is a hot bath with 2-3 cups of Epsom salts added to the water. It can relieve back pain and swelling of muscle tension. Follow this with the application below, and you might feel a dramatic relief.

If your pain worsens, see your physician or chiropractor.


Read here more about the great uses for Epsom salt.

Apply heat or ice

According to webmd website there is some evidence that heat can help decrease low back pain and treat pain in your latissimus dorsi muscle, or rhomboid muscle.

Although there is little proof that cold will help, some people do find that heat or cold help them: apply heat, such as hot packs, baths and showers for 15-20 minutes at a time to get rid of soreness.

Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions such as arthritis. You may also want to try switching between heat and cold. Use heat for 15-20 minutes, then a few hours later use ice for 10 to 15 minutes.

Visit a good chiropractor

Visiting a trusted chiropractor is very effective for acute back or neck pain, the type of sudden injury that results from moving furniture or getting tackled or doing a wrong movement.

Chiropractic treatments are also used as a pain relief alternative for muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, and is sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.

I had in the past several issues with joint movements that pinched a nerve and caused me acute back pain in which I could barely move. Visiting my chiropractor was the first step I did in these cases, and it helped me tremendously.


Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine. In some cases, these treatments enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.

The manipulation done by the chiropractor is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. The treatment plan may involve one or more manual adjustments in which the chiropractor manipulates the joints, using a controlled, sudden force to improve range and quality of motion. Many chiropractors also include exercise/rehabilitation into the treatment plan.


According to WebMD, back pain is the No. 1 reported reason for seeking acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of the traditional Chinese medicine and involves inserting thin needles at certain points on the body.

When done by an experienced and trained acupuncturist, this procedure is generally safe. What’s good about acupuncture is that chronic low back pain is one of the conditions that research suggests acupuncture may be an effective tool for treating. Acupuncture can provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility and improves the outcome when added to conventional treatments such as rehabilitation exercises.

Physical Therapy

The aim of physical therapy is to decrease pain, increase function and provide a maintenance program to prevent further back problems.


Usually a physical therapy program for back pain has two components: passive physical therapy that is done to the patient to help reduce the patient’s pain to a more manageable level, and active exercises done by the patient himself to rehabilitate the spine. These usually include stretching, strengthening exercises and low-impact aerobic exercise.

Read my article on how to use tennis ball to relieve back pain and sciatic pain.

You can also try these simple exercises to treat a stiff neck.


A lot of studies have shown the power of the ancient practice of yoga, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back pain and improve back function.

People who practice yoga or doing specific back stretches are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.


A three-year study funded by the US National Institutes of Health studied people with chronic lower back problems and found that those who practiced yoga were better at overcoming pain and depression than those who followed conventional treatments for lower back pain on the left side or the right side.

You can watch this video demonstrating stretches for back pain.

Essential Oils

There are certain essential oils that are particularly good to treat back pain naturally. These essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties and they help to relieve tension and muscle spasms.

Chamomile, lavender, clary sage and frankincense essential oils are soothing and help to control muscle spasms and have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary and peppermint essential oils have also antispasmodic properties and improve blood circulation and thus helps in relieving back pain.

Other good essential oils are ginger essential oil that can ease back pain and improve mobility and yarrow that has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties.

For massaging your back you can use any of these oils on their own, or you can blend two or more essential oils together. The essential oils need to be blended first with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil. Use about 10 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil.

Have another person massage this oil blend into your back, or any other body part where your muscles are sore. Using this blend on skin that is warm from a bath or shower will encourage penetration. Use 1-2 times a day.

You can also take an aromatherapy bath as an effective method to soothe aching muscles by adding 10 drops of the above essential oils directly to warm bath water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Find more information in my previous article about the top 20 essential oils to relieve pain and how to use them.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

Read my other related articles:
1. Lower Back and Stomach Pain: Possible Causes and Treatments
2. Foam Roller Exercises for Sciatic and Back Pain
3. Top 13 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back and Reduce Back Pain
4. Iliac Crest Pain: Causes and Home Remedies

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23 Responses to How to Relieve Back Pain and Muscle Tension Naturally

  1. Judy smith says:

    Excellent information! Thx for sharing!

  2. Khoreisha Pillay says:

    Thanks for all the info, will certainly use it.

  3. erlinda flores says:

    I am really interested in essential oils since I love massaging my back. I sometimes have back pain since I am dancing so many hours. I have tried wintergreen since thats the only oil I know but now that I have gotten to your post here I think I will try to find it in stores. Lavander and chamomylle seems interesting to me. Thanks <3 so much for giving me this info and hope we'll get more of this.

  4. Goldy says:

    hi jenny,i have back pain since 6 months when i do to work or sit down or when i bend it then i feel lot of pain …..can u tell me some exercise for reduse backpain..

  5. JoAnne. says:

    I am a Janitor for a living requires a lot of bending and lifting. I come home exhausted and sore. I do a lot of cleaning toilets and mopping floors. If I sit down after my shower my back locks up and starts to spasam when I get up. What can I do to help stop this from happening all the time.

    • Jenny says:

      You can do gentle stretching exercises once inflammation has been reduced and the back spasm eases. Stretching the back muscle can help it relax and further soothe the back spasm. You can also visit a physiotherapist or a chiropractor. They should provide exercises to increase flexibility and strengthen back muscles, which can prevent pain from recurring. Also use good lifting technique to prevent further injuries (bend at the waist and knees and try not to round out your spine). Some people have reported improvement of chronic back spasms after acupuncture. Find a licensed, reputable acupuncture practitioner who has experience in relieving back spasms.

  6. peaceful moe says:

    hi,fri.I’m very thankful for your suggestions.I sometimes have back pain due to the sitting long time on the computer.could u tell me some postures to relieve this pain and how to behave while sitting long time.

    • Jenny says:

      I’m going to post this weekend an article about the best exercises to strengthen your back and relieve back pain.

  7. Jo Fipps says:

    I injured my back in an automobile accident and a fall on ice. Then I started chemo for cancer for some reason my back got worse I have degenerative disk disease and problems with the sacroiliac(misspelled I know)but anyway now when I get up it is locked and I have to lean over to one side or the other and it locks back in place. But only till I sit or lean even a little and it pops right back out sending major pain up and down my back and legs. Would a chiropractor be able to help. I have to get help.

    • Jenny says:

      I would go to a chiropractor to see what he/she can offer. Go to the best chiropractor you can find with a lot of experience and recommendations.

  8. Betty Joned says:

    Question Is glycerin or camphor helpful in a strain or tight muscles/ ligament or cramps?

  9. Aaradhna says:

    My neck is in pain when i am in stress especially.
    It seems to swell as well. Pls give me a remedy

  10. Aditya Sharma says:

    I have got low back pain,it is nerve related problem,i have tried a lot of type of yoga and exercises but little and temporary relief was sometimes there …but it was almost 70% got cured when i started taking vitamin B12..TABS..

  11. yogesh tiwari says:


  12. JO says:

    can i make a salve using all the essential oils(the 20 best ) you suggest for treating pain and inflammation of muscular or joint pain?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      It will cost you a lot of money. There is no need to mix all of them. You can use just a few of them.

  13. Barbara j Scarberry says:

    I have a slipped and bulging disc in my lower back. Also, my ribs have been going out of place. I used to do yoga regularly, but lately I can only do a few stretches. Are these exercises safe for me to do?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      I’m not really sure. I suggest that you consult with a good physiotherapist about exercises that are safe for your specific condition.

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