Lighten the Load – Alternative Methods to Relieve Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of disorders concerning the nervous system. It is usually caused by a condition in the muscles or spine. It can be experienced by anyone at any age, but older people are more vulnerable to this condition due to changes in the body that accompanies aging. It usually impairs their ability to move around freely and the pain can even interfere with their sleep at night. People who work in offices and spend most of their time sitting in front of the computer or their desk also have higher risk to suffer from back pain. Most manual workers who do heavy jobs can be victims of this condition as well. Back pain is caused by a lot of factors other than disorders in the nervous system. Poor posture, laborious activities, stress, prolonged time spent with an uncomfortable position, obesity and fatigue. There are also certain disorders concerning other organs which can pose as back pain initially such as problems with kidneys and heart. Back pain can be mild to severe, sharp or dull, and may be felt constantly or only when triggered by the factors mentioned above.
The most common treatment for back pain is the use of pain medications. These may be over the counter or prescription drugs that you doctor recommended you. For over the counter medications, the popular drugs are non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, mefenamic acid and ibuprofen. For severe pain, prescription medications such as opioids may be given. However, it is recommended to submit yourself to diagnostic tests first before taking in these medications since they can mask the real severity of pain and it may be hard to have a precise diagnosis when it happens. Aside from medications, there are alternative treatments for this condition.
Acupuncture and acupressure have been practiced in ancient China in healing different kinds of conditions. Practitioners of these healing arts believe that the body needs to have a balanced flow of energy in order for the person to be healthy. A disruption in the flow of energy will lead to the manifestation of symptoms such as back pain. The treatment aims to stimulate the meridians in the body, which are believed to be connected with body organs, to regain the balance of energy flow. Acupuncturists insert thin and sterile needles through the skin to reach the meridians in the body. When done correctly, the procedure will not cause any pain. Acupressure also uses the stimulation of meridians with hands only. It is similar to a massage and may be done by anyone who has been taught to do acupressure. Though scientific evidence is not available, there are people who have found relief from back pain through these treatments.
Breathing techniques have also been found to be effective with back pain. This technique has been proven to be effective in reducing pain and is even taught in patients who have undergone operative procedures. The scientific explanation is that concentrating on your breathing distracts your attention from pain. It increases your awareness regarding your body’s response to pain. This is a very convenient way of an alternative method since it can be done anywhere.
If you have tried alternatives to relieve yourself from pain yet the pain you feel has not been reduced or has worsen, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor so that tests may be done to pinpoint what is causing your back pain. It is very important to undergo tests so that precise treatments can be given immediately.