Back pain is a common problem, but it can be debilitating and very difficult to treat. In addition to standard treatment option, such as painkillers, there are many alternative and complementary therapies available. Massage therapy, acupuncture and exercise can all be effective ways to treat persistent back pain.
Massage therapy involves applying pressure, with hands or with tools, to parts of the body. This treatment can relieve the inflammation, stiffness, and aches that accompanies back pain. Massage therapy works by increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body. This brings nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, helping to reduce muscle tension and pain. The treatment can also increase endorphin levels. Endorphins are mood enhancers which help to alleviate pain and which can reduce the anxiety and depression that worsen pain. There are many types of massage, such as Shiatsu or deep tissue massage. Swedish massage, which uses stroking, kneading and circular movements, is best for back pain.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that is often used for pain relief. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It is especially effective for nerve pain and muscle spasms. This treatment is thought to work by stimulating the central nervous system and the body’s electromagnetic points. This releases chemicals, such as endorphins and opioids, which reduce pain. It also alters the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, which affect nerve impulses and organ function. Acupuncture is thought to change the secretion of these chemicals in a way that reduces pain and helps immune functions, leading to a quicker recovery.
Exercise is an important part of managing back pain. While the first response to pain may be to rest, long-term inactivity can actually slow down healing. Exercise delivers nutrients to the back’s muscles, joints and ligaments and helps keep these parts healthy. It can also increase flexibility and strengthen core muscles, which gives support and alignment to the spine. An appropriate exercise routine will help ease back pain and will also reduce stiffness and weakness. Such an exercise routine should include both stretching and strengthening exercises as well as low-impact aerobic conditioning. Pilates, yoga and tai chi are all strengthening exercise which are gentle on the back.
CBD oil (Cannabidiol)
If you haven’t heard of CBD oil you’re not alone, as less than 10% of the public even knows what CBD is. CBD is short for Cannabidiol and it’s the concentrated cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, and studies show that it can help with a wide variety of common and serious ailments and that it is a great natural pain reliever as well. In fact, many people who use CBD oil say that it is a fantastic pain reliever, even getting them off of other pain medications with no negative side effects. But, if you can’t get medical marijuana CBD, or just don’t want to go through the hassles…. there is a better alternative that is completely legal in all 50 states and that’s CBD extracted from federally legal hemp. Because hemp does not contain THC, it is legal to use and also doesn’t have the same psychoactive effects of marijuana (the feeling of being “high”). CBD oil extracted from hemp is extremely potent and research shows it is just as effective, if not more, than medical marijuana CBD.
You can learn more about legal CBD from hemp and how it can help with pain relief, both mild and severely chronic, in an article we published HERE.
These treatments can be used on their own or together with more mainstream remedies. Your course of treatment will depend on the duration and severity of your pain, as well as your lifestyle. Be sure to speak to a doctor to determine what is best for you.