If you have chronic backache and are looking for alternatives to conventional medication and surgery, the good news is that you have a lot of options. Alternative pain treatments that doctors once frowned upon have now become the standard in many pain centers, blurring the line between alternative pain treatments and mainstream treatment.
Not all alternative pain treatments work, however, with some even risky. Some of them can help with pain from headaches, osteoarthritis and bad backs, but have no effect on chronic pain from diabetic nerve damage or fibromyalgia. It helps to do your homework if you are considering alternative treatments for chronic backache. Ensure that you are trying one that will likely work on your case, and to first discuss this with your health care provider. Below are some of the most commonly used natural ways for chronic backache.
- Acupuncture. One seen as a bizarre treatment, acupuncture is fast becoming a mainstream treatment for pain. Studies have shown that it works for pain caused by back injuries, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. We are not exactly sure how it works, but it is believed to release pain-numbing chemicals in the body or block pain signals from the nerves.
- Marijuana. Marijuana has shown to have medicinal properties to help with some types of chronic pain. There is also strong evidence that marijuana has a significant effect on certain types of nerve pain. It relieves nausea and many of the unpleasant effects of chemotherapy. Because its use is not yet widely accepted, make sure to check the laws regarding its use in your state.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity offers big benefits for people with various painful conditions, including back pain. Studies have shown that physical activity can relieve chronic pain, and boost mood and energy. If you have chronic backache, make sure to check in with you doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have any health conditions.
- Chiropractic manipulation. Traditionally, mainstream medicine has regarded spinal manipulation with some suspicions. Today, though, it is fast becoming a more accepted form of treatment. Experts say it works reasonably well for lower back pain with studies showing that it is comparable to other approaches.
- Vitamins and supplements. Evidence say that certain supplements and vitamins can help with certain kinds of pain. Fish oil, topical capsaicin, vitamin B6, ginkgo biloba and glucosamine can help relieve moderate to severe pain. However, experts warn that supplements can cause harm when used improperly. It is important to treat them like you would any drug. Always check with your doctor if you have any intention to take them for your chronic backache.
- Therapy. People with chronic pain are skeptical of the idea of seeing a therapist, but studies have shown that chronic pain and depression usually go together. Chronic pain can cause depression, and depression can lower a person’s pain tolerance. Good results have been reported following cognitive behavioral therapy, helping people identify and change their thought and behavior patterns that contribute to their unhappiness.
- Stress-reduction techniques. Reducing stress is very important in pain management. There are several approaches that you can try, including yoga, relaxation therapy, hypnosis, guided imagery, music therapy, biofeedback, and massage.
If you are living with chronic backache, considering natural treatments make a lot of sense. Remember, though, that even if a treatment is alternative, it needs to be integrated with your overall pain management plan. Never try the above techniques on your own without informing your doctor. Talk with them over the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches, the treatment that will most likely work for you and if there is one that can complement your current treatments.