If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone: More than 26 million Americans aged 20 to 64 experience chronic back pain, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics. While ibuprofen and rest offer some help, natural treatments may provide lasting relief from back pain. These three alternative therapies improve your quality of life.
Chiropractic care can alleviate your back pain as much as, if not more than, physical therapy, according to experts at the Duke University Medical Center. During an initial visit, a chiropractor will evaluate your spine and back muscles, make a diagnosis, and lay out a plan of care.
Treatments adjust your entire spine, realigning the spine to reduce inflammation, restore spinal length, and free trapped nerves.
Over the course of several visits, a chiropractor will make a series of spinal alignments using a combination of tools, props, and hands-on work. Many chiropractors will also suggest strengthening exercises that will help you return to full health.
Back pain is among the top reasons that people seek acupuncture, and there is hard evidence that this ancient Chinese medicine is effective at mitigating chronic back pain.
On a first visit, an acupuncturist will talk with you about your medical history, current complaints, lifestyle, and diet. Using principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the acupuncturist will then stick very thin, fine needles into so-called trigger points. Just because there are needles involved does not make acupuncture painful. Aside from a pinch when the needle goes in, many patients feel no pain.
Once you’re needled up, you will typically relax for anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. Needling promotes the release of endorphins, which block pain signals. Most patients find short-term relief after the visit and lasting relief with continued care.
Popular during the 1970s, the rough bodywork form of Rolfing is making a comeback. Named for its founder, Rolfing manipulates the body’s fascia — connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs — to lengthen, loosen, and restructure muscles.
Many describe the treatments as somewhat painful but effective at treating conditions including back pain. If you feel like you’ve tried everything to treat your back pain, you may want to try this technique, which has been endorsed by Dr. Oz.
Before seeking natural treatment for back pain, check to see whether your health insurance covers these therapies. Many insurance providers have some type of complementary care coverage, which can help you save on the care you need to curb back pain.