In any given year, around 40% of people in the US suffer from low back pain and more often than not, the pain will last a day or so. Unfortunately, almost 15% of all who suffer from back pain complain of pain that endures for days, weeks, months, or even years.
Decades ago, people see a physician in order to resolve the lower back symptoms. The doctor will usually prescribe an analgesic, traction, and plenty of bed rest. But during the 1980’s and 1990’s, studies began to reveal that back pain actually gets worse with traction and bed rest. Moreover, prescription medications seem to work only in the short term, and worse, they all come with adverse side effects such as dizziness, headaches, stomach pain, and even addiction.
A growing number of people have lately decided to look for unconventional forms of treatment for their low back pain. the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and American Medical Association conducted surveys just a few years back that show that as many as 70% of people plan to try complementary and alternative treatments to rectify their back pain.
Because of the growing knowledge of the potential dangers that comes with using Western conventional treatments, consumers are now voting with their wallet. They do not like what their medical doctors are offering them and they are seeking for safe and truly effective solutions elsewhere. So the question medical doctors and researchers are now asking is:
Do Alternative Treatments Really Work For Low Back Pain?
The short answer to that is YES. A lot of alternative health approaches come with scientific evidence that they treat and even cure pain in the back. The two most popular low back pain alternative treatments is acupuncture and physiotherapy or massage therapy. So, we’ll talk about these two in this article.
Spine, a relatively popular medical journal and other research journal have published quite a number of peer-reviewed studies that strongly demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture and massage therapy in the treatment of low back pain. This is particularly obvious in cases known as “chronic nonspecific low back pain.” The term may be intimidating but all it really means is long term back pain that has no known cause. The proof is crystal clear: both acupuncture and massage can help resolve low back pain.
Acupuncture and Massage are actually even more potent when education and regular exercise is thrown into the treatment plan. Knowing how to care for yourself and how to optimize movement may aid in the maintenance of a pain free back. Evidence seems to show that acupuncture provides much better benefits than massage although more proof of this needs to be gathered.
Is Chiropractic An Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain?
The use of chiropractic has been around for more than a century and today, there are tens of thousands of licensed chiropractors in the US, alone. This type of alternative medicine has thrived these past few decades despite virulent attacks from the medical community. However, scientific research seems to take an arbitrary attitude towards it since studies have consistently shown the therapy’s effect on low back pain to be debatable.
It is very important to note, however, that the studies just demonstrate that chiropractic is not as effective as the other conventional modalities. The opinion of researchers is that chiropractic is not as effective as educational approaches, drugs, and physical therapy. Research efforts have yet to prove that chiropractic is a harmful treatment. And lots of people actually have reported that it cures back pain.
What Should You Do about Your Lower Back Pain?
It is important to maintain some type of light-exercise schedule and stay active if you’re suffering from low back pain. The pain will only get worse if stay in in bed. Consider taking an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen or aspirin If you need to take medication. If symptoms persist, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider or doctor.
For body pain, the best treatment option is one that is the least invasive. For low back pain, surgery is rarely an option but if the physician says you need surgery, be sure to get a second opinion and ask him or her to recommend at least one non-drug and one non-surgical treatment. Other treatments should be taken into account since there is just too many evidence they work.
Keep your stomach muscles and back flexible and strong and keep taking care of yourself once you have reduced or gotten rid of your pain. Massage and exercise can all help with this. It’s important to maintain a balanced and flexible posture, learn the safest way to lift heavy objects, and learn to manage everyday stress. All these tips will help keep those symptoms at bay.