Many people in the United States suffer with back pain. It's estimated that 31 million Americans suffer with pain in their lower back. Back pain is caused by a number of reasons including injuries, accidents, or certain medical conditions. No matter what causes your back pain, you may have tried taking over-the-counter pain relievers or even prescription drugs to help relieve it. Unfortunately, both of these remedies can have adverse side effects.
If you would rather find natural ways to treat your back pain, here are three effective types of treatment.
1. Physical Therapy
There are two types of physical therapy that help to treat back pain. One is called passive physical therapy, which includes modalities such as heat and ice, ultrasound therapy, and using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit.
The other type is called active physical therapy and consists of stretching and strengthening exercises along with some low impact aerobic conditioning. To effectively treat back pain, a physical therapist usually uses a combination of both active and passive physical therapy.
2. Chiropractic Care
Depending on the cause of back pain, chiropractic care is an effective form of treatment. This is especially true if your back pain is caused by one of the following types of spinal conditions:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
Even if you have strained your back, chiropractic care can help with this as well. Chiropractors treat pain by either doing a manual manipulation, which is also called a chiropractic adjustment, or by using a chiropractic mobilization technique.
Some chiropractors may also recommend making certain lifestyle changes, such as improving your posture, in order to alleviate back pain. They may also advise you to do therapeutic exercises and stretches.
3. Massage Therapy
A back massage will not only help you to relax, but it can also relieve your back pain. Massage therapy helps to improve circulation, decrease muscle tension, and increase endorphin levels, all of which alleviate back pain.
There are certain medical conditions that are known to cause back pain, and when these conditions are treated with massage therapy, pain levels in the back are often reduced. Some of these conditions include:
- Muscle strain in the upper or lower back
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
If you are a woman whose back hurts due to pregnancy, massage therapy can help decrease that kind of back pain as well.
There are many different types of massage, but the ones that are effective for back pain include deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and trigger point massage.