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Back Pain

Description: Back pain (also known "dorsalgia") is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. The pain may be have a sudden onset or it can be a chronic pain, it can be felt constantly or intermittently, stay in one place or refer or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may be felt in the neck (and might radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back, or in the low back, (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.

Back pain is one of humanity's most frequent complaints. In the U.S., acute low back pain (also called lumbago) is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.

Complementary therapies can be very beneficial. These include:

Managing Chronic Pain Holistically
Holistic or alternative medicine is often recommended in the cases of chronic back pain and chronic neck pain. Holistic therapies tend to have little, if any side effects, while being effective and cost effective.

Get a Back or Neck Massage
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for seeing a massage therapist. Many hospitals and chronic pain clinics consider massage therapy an integral tool for back pain relief.

Our muscles support and move in pairings across the body. Back pain relief comes as much from massaging the front muscles of the torso - especially the abdominals - to release the downward pull on the torso. If you were to attach rubber bands to the head and toes in front and in back, most of us have postures that pull forward, rounding the shoulders and moving the neck and head forward. Desk work, computers, driving all help create what can be called: flexion addition. To compensate your back muscles work overtime to keep the body upright, and they can get very tired and sore over time. Massage moves our bodies back into alignment, releasing the back muscles in the process to provide long lasting relief from chronic back pain.
-- Erica Bliss Winston, LMBT

Yoga for Back Pain
By its nature, yoga is well suited to address back problems such as scoliosis and kyphosis, among others. As a whole body movement system, yoga develops body awareness and places emphasis on alignment. Yoga works the abs and calms the mind, helping to restore peace and promote healing. Yoga is generally safe and is used by seniors, athletes, kids, and adults.

Chiropractic is an alternative medicine system that works with the nerves and spine to effect health. Chiropractic health care uses a form of treatment called the adjustment, to align the bones of the spine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine -TCM - and Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture are used very effectively for back and neck injuries and chronic pain.

Pain Management and Sound Therapy
Music may well be a key ingredient in pain management for post operative back surgery patients.

Guided Imagery
Guided imagery may provide relief for chronic tension headaches and neck pain.

Breath Work
Abdominal breathing, or breathing into the belly can be quite effective for pain management.

Feldenkrais has a good reputation for pain relief. Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement (ATM), and Functional Integration experiences are lessons on how to move efficiently.

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