Alternative Treatments for Low Back Pain Recommended by Doctors

Low back pain is a condition so common, about 80% of all adults experience it at some point. Way too often it becomes chronic, and the risk of this unfortunate change increases with the patient’s age. Women are more prone to this problem than men, but it’s equally torturous for both genders. The worst thing about chronic low back pain is that it has no 100% effective treatment. Unless caused by an underlying curable condition, this problem requires systematic management and alternative medicine has proven to be more effective for this than drugs. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends healthcare professionals to prescribe massage, yoga, exercise, and acupuncture for the management and treatment of low back pain.

Alternative Treatment for Low Back Pain That Works

Massage and Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation by experienced chiropractors has proven to be as effective (and sometimes more so) as surgery for the problems of chronic low back pain (Dartmouth). It is also a much safer practice than an invasive surgical treatment. However, patients need to understand that some types of spinal problems may require long-term repeated sessions to achieve any progress.

Unlike chiropractic spinal manipulations, massage only deals with the soft tissues. Therefore, it’s effective for the patients, whose pain is caused by spasms and similar issues. In any case, improved circulation and deep muscle relaxation achieved through skillful massage offers some relief from the pain and helps managing even untreatable cases of low back pain. That’s one of the reasons why massage is used as a prescribed part of physiotherapy after injuries and surgeries.

Exercise and Yoga

Physical exercise is beneficial for both prevention and treatment of low back pain. Any form of exercise is good for prevention as it strengthens your muscles, bones, and joints. However, professional athletes who often overwork their bodies must be aware that such exertions increase their risks of developing chronic back pain as well as arthritis.

For those already suffering from low back pain, walking and swimming will be good choices of regular physical activity as they strengthen the muscles without overstraining the joints. For a more effective treatment approach one should practice clinical Pilates. This form of exercise is fir for any level of fitness training and often used as a part of a physiotherapy treatment due to its high efficiency yet low strain on the body in general.

Yoga has also proven to be most beneficial for the treatment of low back pain. Combining this practice with mindfulness meditation can achieve outstanding results in pain management. Yoga increases flexibility and stamina as well as improves blood flow. This helps restore the movement in parts of the body ‘cramped’ because of the chronic pain. Note that it’s essential to practice yoga under a guidance of a trained professional. Incorrect positioning during such practice does not only reduce the efficiency of the exercise but also poses a risk of injury.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that has proven to be reasonably effective in low back pain treatment and chronic pain management. It is sometimes prescribed by doctors as an alternative to surgery and medication or as a complementary treatment.

In essence, acupuncture practice revolves around exerting pressure at certain points in the body to improve the flow of ‘Qi’ (life energy). These principles are often applied in massage therapy when the masseur influences those special points with their fingers instead of needles. Both practices can be combined for a more effective chronic low back pain treatment.

 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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