When it comes to treating back pain there are more treatment methods than pain killers and a heating pad. In fact there are plenty of alternative treatments for back pain that target different aspects of the pain. Some treatments simply focus on relieving the pain while others focus on relaxing the muscles, which is a common cause of back pain.
There are several very common alternative treatments that have proven very effective to alleviate back pain including massage, acupuncture and chiropractic methods. Although these back pain treatments can be done on their own, most people find greater relief when the methods are combined to attack the cause of the pain as well as the pain itself.
Treating back pain is not something you should do on your own. Talk to your physician or chiropractor about what methods will work best to treat your particular type of back pain.
Massage is perhaps the most popular alternative treatment for localized or chronic back pain. The appeal of massage for many back pain sufferers is that it relieves the pain and reduces muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles. That tightness in the back, whether caused by physical or emotional stress, is a common cause of back pain and massage helps relieve that stress and tensions thereby alleviating the back pain.
Unfortunately massages, regardless of the type, only provide pain relief for a few hours after the massage has ended. They can also be quite costly and often not covered by medical insurance. The temporary nature of massages for pain relief however, make them an ideal alternative treatment for athletes in need of fast pain relief.
An alternative treatment that has gained more acceptance over the years is acupuncture. It has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to relieve aches and pains by using pressure points all over the body, and now many Western medicine practitioners are recommending acupuncture for back pain relief. Whether you have found other alternative treatments ineffective or your goal is find relief without medicine, acupuncture can help. Some find that acupuncture is the perfect alternative for injuries to the spine which make chiropractic and massage therapies dangerous.
Many claim the effectiveness of acupuncture for back pain relief is due to the placebo effect, however centuries of medicine prove otherwise.
For most people suffering from back pain, the chiropractor is the first stop when over the counter or prescription pain medications have proven ineffective. Chiropractic treatments have proven the most effective over time of all alternative treatments, but these treatments can be costly over time as there are no quick fixes. Most chiropractic treatments require several sessions per week, every week for continued back pain relief.
Before seeking chiropractic care you should make sure you have had an x-ray to make sure you have no injuries or hindrances to the spine. Failure to do this can result in continued or worsening back pain with every visit. If you have any neurological complications related to your back pain an MRI or brain scan may be advised before you get a referral to a chiropractor to avoid further neurological problems. Pre-existing conditions such as these are why it is always recommended that back pain sufferers seek the advice of a primary care doctor before seeking the help of a chiropractor.
The methods listed above are just the most common alternative back pain treatments, but with further research you can find others. Get as much information as you can by conducting your own research and speaking with your primary physician before deciding on a treatment plan. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, which should be taken into consideration before a final decision is reached.
Traditional medicine often focuses on the quickest method of relief such as pain killers, but it is our position that natural methods such as massage, chiropractic therapy and acupuncture are less invasive and can be more effective in providing pain relief.
Written By: Updated: June 23,2011