Conservative, noninvasive therapies -- those that don't require surgeries or injections -- are appropriate for 95 percent of all people with neck and back pain. Therefore, these treatments are the wise and prudent place to begin any therapy program. There is a wide selection of conservative options for neck or lower back pain, with the best known being medication, physical therapy, chiropractic, physiatry, massage therapy, acupuncture, back schools, sports medicine, and yoga. They employ tools such as diathermy, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, exercise machines, manipulation, needles, general exercise, stretching, ice, and heat. From there the list goes on to unconventional treatments, including tai chi, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and prayer. What makes these choices so interesting is that there is one for every lifestyle, and yet they all achieve about the same results. Until now, there has been no clear-cut or definitive guidance as to what constitutes effective treatment and what you should expect from the people who are treating you.
More Answers from Gerald M. Silverman