Are there alternative treatments for spinal pain?

Staying fit, weight loss, and physical therapy can be alternative treatment options for spinal issues.

Dr. Kyle True, DC
Chiropractic Medicine Specialist

Yes, there are numerous complementary and alternative treatments for spinal pain. Chiropractic therapy is cost effective and has been proven to be effective in relieving spinal pain. Chiropractic therapy aims at re-aligning the vertebral column that makes up your spine. This will help reduce stress and irritation on certain vertebrae or joints in the spine that may be contributing to your spinal pain. Chiropractic therapy aims at allowing the nervous system to function properly or as designed, allowing for the message from your brain to every cell to be received without interruption. This allows the body to self regulate and heal itself. Therefore, making you feel better and function at the body’s maximum ability.

Acupuncture, massage therapy and stretching programs have been shown to be effective in treating certain types of spinal pain as well.

Consult with your doctor of chiropractic if you are feeling symptoms of spinal related pain. They will be able to help you find the correct and proper way to alleviate your spinal pain.

There are quite a few alternative or complementary treatments that can be used to treat some kinds of chronic spinal or back pain. Many alternative treatments are used to address the pain itself, not the underlying causes of the pain. If you are considering using an alternative treatment for your spinal pain, you should discuss your plans with your doctor. Acupuncture, acupressure and massage are examples of alternative treatments that are frequently used to treat all kinds of pain, including spinal pain. Chiropractic adjustments are commonly used to treat certain types of spinal pain. Some herbs, such as willow bark and devil's claw, have anti-inflammatory effects that may be helpful for some types of spinal pain.

Dr. William Pawluk, MD
Preventive Medicine Specialist

Most of the time the fundamental conventional treatments are going to be physical therapy, medications and maybe chiropractic. Relaxing the back muscles is critical, since muscles that are contracted or in spasm pull the discs closer together, aggravating the problem. Degenerative discs are caused by dehydration of the disc and wear and tear.

PEMFs help degenerative disc problems by reducing muscle spasm, relieving pain, reducing inflammation of the nerve being compressed by the disc, and improving circulation to the area. PEMFs allow for daily treatment in the home setting, reducing the need for medications, physical therapy and chiropractic. With some patients the need for these services are completely eliminated. They also tend to reduce or eliminate the need for steroid injections into the back, which only provide temporary relief, anyway.

Because of the frequency with which this problem happens, and the fact that it basically is lifetime, PEMFs can be recommended to all people with back pain problems. They can be helpful in concurrence with chairopractic, tai chi, massage or yoga as well.

Also note that PEMFs are not FDA approved and are not a replacement for traditional medicine. Doctors should be consulted before any change to any medical treatments.

Dr. Stephen Wechsler
Chiropractic Medicine Specialist

There are many ways to deal with spinal pain. First, does it make sense why you have the pain. If it makes sense, then first do no harm, find therapies and therapist that natural and non-invasive. There are many therapies in nature that have to do with heat, cold, touch, elements of light and herbs. Find a friend who had had a similar condition and ask where they received help and ask for a referral.

As a chiropractor, I refer people to massage therapists, acupuncturists and other healers based on their needs. Chiropractic is a great place to start. Get a full exam to see where the problem is coming from. If you choose a treatment, stick with the program until you give it a full attempt. Also look into your diet for causes of inflammation, and your lifestyle for irritation. From the shoes you wear, to the chair you sit in, to the bed you sleep in, all could equal up to your spinal pain. Exercise can be a cause or a cure, keep in tune with your pain and see what increases it or decreases it.

Dr. Denise Chranowski, DC
Integrative Medicine Specialist

Traditional treatment is over the counter medication, prescription medication and physical therapy. As a chiropractor, we focus on spinal movement, core strength and flexibility, great posture and teaching our patients all they can do outside of the office to promote good spinal health and reduce pain. So to answer your question . . . yes. Of course spinal surgery is still a common procedure in the USA and still has not been shown to have a great return on investment. So put into practice what you would for good health overall, maintain your BMI below 30, do 30 minutes of exercise each day, each a healthy diet of fruit, veggies, lean protein and good fats, and your chance of spinal pain is will continue to decrease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.