According to a Mayo Clinic study in 2013, more people in the U.S. make annual visits to the doctor for back pain than any other medical condition. It is also understood that when you experience back pain, all other areas of life including mood/depression as well as total functionality can be affected. When back pain is felt it becomes the main focus of existence and the medical community has made a wide variety of over the counter and prescription medications to address the pain. In a majority of cases, these medications may temporarily reduce the pain, but they also contain ingredients that can be detrimental to other parts of the body. It only makes sense that people are now actively looking to natural remedies for back pain for the reduction and removal of the problem(s) that are causing the pain.
According to a British study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients that took at least one yoga class per week for a period of three months experienced great improvements in functionality as compared to those that received only standard care such as physical therapy or medications. The same study also released information on those that practiced ‘stretching’ as an alternative to reduce back pain. A fifty two minute stretching class consisting of fifteen exercise stretches involving all of the major muscle groups was just as effective as yoga.
Weekly massage therapy for those suffering from chronic low back pain resulted in the report in the same study in the reduction of pain within a ten week period. Many massage therapists are now making use of naturally sourced topical creams and lotions that contain nature’s anti-inflammatory ingredients. Inflammation has been associated with pain and these topical solutions address both the massage therapy while allowing the natural products to be absorbed by the skin.
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment that has been used for thousands of years. Designed by the Chinese to address and realign the natural energies or chi (qi) which is believed to be imbalanced and therefore causing the pain. The British study demonstrated that those who received acupuncture treatments experienced a reduction in back pain as compared to those that received mainstream medical care.
Physical therapy and osteopathic therapy through the use of chiropractic techniques within the first two weeks of the onset of back pain was associated with a reduced risk of additional medical care as well as lowered health costs associated with the pain. Those that visited an osteopathic professional for a twelve week period experienced a thirty percent reduction in the levels of their pain.
Stress may be a natural way for the body to create a ‘fight or flight’ response, but long term stress can cause tightened muscles and elevated conditions within the body that can be physically dangerous. Stress reduction techniques, including a positive attitude, can reduce anxiety and the high stress condition of the body’s muscles. A European study showed that those that are more prone to anxiety and negative thoughts have a higher level of tendencies towards back pain.
Prior to instituting any new treatment, always consult with your primary care physician to ensure that your medical and physical condition can tolerate the therapy techniques that you are interested in pursuing.