For many patients who deal with chronic back pain, there may come a point at which they feel that the standard available treatments are not adequately treating their pain. Back pain can at times be difficult to diagnose, which can mean that the process of finding relief can be long and complicated. This can be frustrating for patients who feel as though they need relief to their back pain right away. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, Dr. Sol Kamson, founder of the Spine Institute Northwest, encourages you to see a back specialist in order to find the root cause of your pain.
For less intense back pain, however, lifestyle changes may help to improve your spinal health. Here are some of the common alternative treatments that can help ease minor or infrequent back pain.
Yoga has not only taken off as a hugely popular form of exercise, it’s also become a popular option for relieving chronic back pain. Yoga is a form of exercise that emphasizes flexibility and muscle toning. This can be incredibly beneficial for individuals dealing with back pain, as weakness in the muscles that support the spine can exacerbate pain. Sometimes something as simple as targeted stretches can offer significant relief for back pain; however, it’s important that you work with an instructor who has experience with gentle yoga and who understands your limitations. In addition, yoga is a great way for people who don’t exercise regularly to pick up the habit. Lack of exercise is a common problem in individuals who complain of back pain, and yoga is a very gentle way to ease into it.
A poor diet is often linked to chronic pain problems. You may have been able to eat whatever you liked when you were younger, but as you age it doesn’t take long before bad nutritional habits start to negatively impact your health. Being overweight puts extra strain on their muscles and bones, and as muscles become weaker, they are more likely to experience pain and cramping. This often leads people to avoid exercise, which only exacerbates the problem. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet can help improve your overall health, including your back health. Additionally, there are certain foods that are especially beneficial for back health that you can learn about when consulting a dietitian.
Massage can be very helpful for people who have already identified the underlying cause of their pain and need temporary pain relief. When the problem results from muscle overuse or underuse, massage can help isolate and relieve the particular areas of the back where you are experiencing pain. For some people, it will be necessary to get regular massage treatments, as the relief from massage is usually temporary.
Similar to massage, acupuncture works by targeting the specific muscles or groups of muscles that are causing you pain. For most people, depending on the cause of your pain, you are most likely to feel the strain most in certain parts of your back. Acupuncture can be a good way to treat these specific spots. As with massage, it may be necessary to repeat this therapy regularly.