What Are the Different Alternative Treatments for Back Pain?

Lori Kilchermann

There are many forms of alternative treatments for back pain, from herbal medicine to acupuncture and massage. Other alternative treatments for back pain are cognitive behavioral therapy and progressive relaxation techniques. In many parts of the United States, another form of alternative medicine is the use of medical marijuana. While the use of marijuana could also be linked with herbal or natural medicine, the fact that marijuana is commonly illegal in most areas makes this a very alternative form of pain medication. Occasionally, alternative treatments for back pain, such as massage, are used in conjunction with conventional treatment methods to better serve the patient.

Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, can be used to relieve back pain.
Creams with capsaicin, a chemical that gives red peppers their heat, can be used to relieve back pain.

Back pain can be very difficult to combat using traditional pain medication. Many physicians have resorted to speaking with their patients concerning alternative treatments for back pain. By combining the traditional pain treatment with an alternative method, many patients are able to return to nearly normal lives. Some of the alternative treatments for back pain, like acupuncture, have been in existence for thousands of years. The treatment has been used as a cure for everything from headache to nausea and, now, back pain. Herbal treatments are also gaining in popularity among back pain sufferers. The anti-inflammatory properties of some herbs make them a good candidate for alternative treatments for back pain.

Relaxation techniques may help relieve back pain.
Relaxation techniques may help relieve back pain.

While many herbal remedies are taken orally, such as willow bark and devil's claw, others are mashed into a paste and applied topically, such as capsicum. The hands-on method of applying alternative treatments for back pain can be seen in the practice of chiropractic care. In many locations, back pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking the services of a chiropractor. The manipulation of the muscles and spine are responsible for the pain relief that many patients experience after a chiropractic session. The combination of chiropractic care and medicines, such as muscle relaxers, can often result in the reduction of pain for many patients.

Herbal remedies, acupuncture and massage are three alternative treatments for back pain.
Herbal remedies, acupuncture and massage are three alternative treatments for back pain.

Another alternative pain treatment that involves the hands-on approach is massage. This method of rubbing and relaxing the muscles can be used as a stand-alone treatment or combined with traditional medical treatment and used to provide relief for back pain sufferers. In some countries, such as the United States, many patients are being prescribed medical marijuana. The medical marijuana is used to provide pain relief as well as serve as a sleep aid for those patients who have difficulty getting comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Alternatives to medicine, such as massage and chiropractic care, may help reduce or eliminate back pain.
Alternatives to medicine, such as massage and chiropractic care, may help reduce or eliminate back pain.
One alternative treatment for back pain that's been used for thousands of years is acupuncture.
One alternative treatment for back pain that's been used for thousands of years is acupuncture.

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