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Back-pain can take many forms and relief is not a one-size fits all process.There are many other approaches available for back pain relief than those found in a bottle of pills. We’re becoming more aware that the use of opioids as a treatment for non-malignant chronic pain can lead to addiction, misuse, overuse, and abuse.

Back-pain can be debilitating, interfering with the ability to work, sleep and to enjoy life. It can aggravate other health conditions and lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety . Many people find it useful to develop a management strategy, choose from a menu of natural pain treatments and remedies, and combine them in a regimen that fits their lifestyles. Acupuncture, biofeedback, topical treatments, electrical nerve stimulation and yoga are just a few of the many options available. Here is a look at the 5 mentioned:

Acupuncture

A 3,000 year-old healing technique of Chinese Traditional Medicine, acupuncture promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites by inserting fine, sterile needles into the skin. The frequency and number of treatments vary from person to person. In 1998, the National Institute of Health (NIH) stated that acupuncture had beneficial pain-relieving qualities and could be useful as a treatment for back-pain. Acupuncture works by stimulating and releasing the body’s natural pain relievers, including endorphins.  This helps to relieve inflammation and to help bring restore normal function.

Biofeedback

Learning how to change your brain’s response to pain could help ease your back-pain. The goal of biofeedback is to identify a pattern in your response to the pain and then learn a new response. With sensors attached to monitor breathing, temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, you learn to relax, clear your mind and to consciously control these body functions that are normally unconscious. Identifying tight muscles and relaxing them helps relieve and control the pain.

Topical treatments

There are many choices of patches, foams, sticks, sprays and roll-on relievers (known as topicals) for back-pain. Common ingredients include menthol, camphor, capsaicin (found in chili peppers), and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen). Many have a heating or cooling effect and  the active ingredient works to stimulate the nerves to create a sensation that distracts from the pain.

Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Typically this is a treatment using low voltage electric current. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can decrease pain by delivering a tiny electrical current to key points on a nerve pathway. The current, delivered through electrodes taped to your skin, isn’t painful or harmful, These treatments are worth a try for people who have not gotten adequate relief from other more established treatments.

Yoga

The back has three movements: stretching upwards, twisting, and moving forward and backward.  Many of the postures in yoga gently strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen,  essential components of the spinal network. When these muscles are well conditioned, back pain can be greatly reduced.

The strategy for managing back-pain naturally, means finding ways to make it tolerable so that you can enjoy life. Even if you may not get rid of back-pain completely, there are treatments and regimens that you can incorporate into your life routine to achieve relief.

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