Alternative Medicine for Back Pain

Healthy Livingon May 18, 2017Leave a Comment

As surgery rates soar for chronic back pain sufferers, holistic approaches offer hope.
We all know the phrase “Oh my aching back “ and “What a pain in the neck.” They have been round for years, they have been ingrained as lighthearted cliches.But the increasing number of American whose chronic spinal problems cause then to lose sleep, miss work, miss or stop a work out or sacrifice their favorite sport or hobbies.
Studies show that as many as two-thirds of adults will suffer chronic or recurring back pain at some pint, making it second only to the common cold as the most reason to visit a doctor.Back pain accounts for a staggering $75 billion annually in medical expenses, lost productivity and disability claims and constitute the No. 1 reason for inactivity in people under the age of 45.
Those looking beyond conventional medicine for solutions to their back pain typically make the chiropractor, acupuncturist or message therapist their first stop. All three approaches have been shown in clinical trial to be effective than placebo- and sometimes superior to medical intervention and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Back to the Basic for Chronic Back pain:

  • Stand comfortably– one foot slightly in front of the other and knees slightly bent
  • Sit up straight
  • Use an exercise ball as a chair part of the day- Sitting less sedentary forces the body maintain its core strength.
  • Sleep smart- sleeping on your back puts too much pressure on your back muscles. Try using a pillow under your knees or sleeping on your side.
  • Proper lifting and bending– Lift from the hips, not the waist and with your legs, not your back.
  • Keep you weight under control- As few as 10 extra pounds can put unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles.
  • Exercise– Back friendly exercise like yoga promote hip flexibility and spine stability. Pilates promotes core strengthening.
  • Wear supportive shoes– If your feet aren’t healthy, it transfers to your knees, hips and back. Skip the heels!
  • Quit smoking-Nicotine restricts the flow of blood to the disc that cushion your vertebrae.

A number of alternative treatments are available that may help ease symptoms of back pain. Always discuss the benefits and risks with your family doctor before starting any new alternative therapy.
Herbal treatments:

Some herbal supplements with anti-inflammatory properties may ease back pain. Although more research is needed to reliably determine their safety and efficacy, some studies suggest that the following herbs may be helpful:

  • Willow bark (Salix alba), taken orally
  • Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), taken orally
  • Capsicum (Capsicum frutescens), applied as a topical plaster

Hands-on therapies:
Chiropractic care. Back pain is one of the most common reasons that people see a chiropractor. If you’re considering chiropractic care, talk to your doctor about the most appropriate specialist for your type of problem. In addition to chiropractors, many osteopathic doctors and some physical therapists have t. By manipulating the vertebrae manually to prompt movement in stiff joints, chiropractors aim to restore mobility to the spine.
Acupuncture. Some people with low back pain report that acupuncture helps relieve their symptoms. The National Institutes of Health has found that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for some types of chronic pain. In acupuncture, the practitioner inserts sterilized stainless steel needles into the skin at specific points on the body.
Massage. If your back pain is caused by tense or overworked muscles, massage therapy may help loosen knotted muscles and promote relaxation.

Mind-body techniques:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Chronic back pain is commonly associated with emotional stress and mental health conditions, such as depression. In cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn to identify and change negative thought patterns that have a damaging impact on your mental and physical health. Research has found that this type of therapy may significantly relieve chronic low back pain.
  • Progressive relaxation. This relaxation technique involves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. Progressive muscle relaxation boosts your ability to recognize and counteract muscle tension as soon as it starts. Evidence suggests this technique helps ease back pain.

In addition, a type of yoga called Viniyoga — which emphasizes both postures and breathing exercises — may help ease back pain and reduce the need for pain medications.

About drheather
I have been practicing alongside my husband, Dr. Ralph S. Cardin, for the past 12 years and have worked in the health care environment for over 29 years. Besides being a passionate practitioner, I am a proud mother of four beautiful boys. I am active in my church and my children’s school and enjoy cooking and exercising.

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