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Holistic Approaches for Back Pain Relief

If you have found that standard medical treatment has done little to relieve your back pain, maybe it’s time to try some alternative methods.  The holistic approach can be quite effective.  The holistic approach involves the whole person, by evaluating the patient’s posture, habits and lifestyle.  The treatments include strengthening the muscles and tissues located in your back.  Repositioning of the disks and correcting the damage done to the tissues usually has long lasting results.  What are these holistic treatments for back pain?

Holistic Approaches

  • Homeopathy– this involves homeopathic medicines which help in relieving back pain. Medicines like Ruta, Hypericum, Arnica help in addressing the root cause of the pain. Typically homeopathic medicine consists of plant or mineral substances diluted in water or alcohol.
  • Chiropractic care– Doctors of Chiropractic care use spine manipulation to restore joint mobility.  This spine manipulation seems to reduce the symptoms and improve the joint and muscle function in patients with chronic low back pain, acute low back pain and sub-acute low back pain. A Chiropractor manually applies controlled force to the joints that have become stiff and restricted by muscle injuries, strain, inflammation and pain.  This manipulation is said to relieve the stiffness and encourage healing.
  • Acupuncture– People who practice acupuncture believe it helps relieve pain by unblocking the energy along the energy pathways of the body.  Acupuncture needles are inserted along these pathways releasing natural pain-relievers send signals to the sympathetic nervous system and release neurochemicals and hormones.  The treatments usually take several weeks for lasting pain relief with two to three treatments per week.
  • Massage therapy– Nurses and massage therapists have provided back massages for the relief of pain and to improve the circulation of the blood and assist in relaxation, for centuries.  Massage relaxes muscles and releases lactic acid which accumulates in the muscles during exercise.  Massage also improves the flow of the blood and lymphatic system, stretch joints, relieve pain and congestion.  Massage is thought to release toxin and stimulate the immune system to combat illness.  Just relaxing the muscle’s helps to relieve the pain and to relieve stress-which can contribute to the pain.
  • Herbal Medicine– Herbal medicine is the use of plants which have medicinal properties used for the prevention of and treatment of illness or pain.  For back pain you would use a herb which has anti-inflammatory agents effective in giving pain relief.  White Willow Bark has pain relieving properties similar to aspirin.  The substance called salicin is converted in the body to salicylic acid, just as aspirin is also converted into salicylic acid in the body.  Devil’s claw also has these anti-inflammatory agents called harpagodsides.  Currently there are clinical studies being done to determine the safety and effectiveness of the use of herbal medicines.
  • Yoga– Yoga creates balance in the body through the use of different poses that develop flexibility and strength.  Studies have shown that there is some evidence yoga has some benefits that may help relieve back pain.  Yoga assists in stretching stiff joints, muscles and ligaments, besides providing stress relief.
  • Hypnotherapy– Known as hypnosis is a mind-body technique which alters your state of consciousness in which a person’s concentration is focused and distraction is minimized.  Hypnosis can be used to control pain, alter body functions and change lifestyle habits. One of the most commonly used method is suppression, in which a person’s awareness of pain is blocked and they are distracted from it.

Always discuss the benefits and risks associated with holistic medicine and treatments with your medical professional before trying them.

Barbara Lucore

I have been a nurse for 15+ years and as a nurse I understand how to prevent back strain and pain. The correct ways to lift objects, the causes of back pain, treatments available, the exercises to reduce or prevent back pain and the proper ways to move without strain or injury to your back.