Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical care today and seems to be one of the most difficult things for modern medicine to effectively treat. Despite treatments such as pain relievers, injections, and even surgery, many people have difficulty finding relief from their pain and must deal with unwanted side effects.
If you regularly seek care from alternative medical providers, you will know that the brain, emotional landscape and lifestyle factors play a much bigger role in the presence of pain than was originally thought. This is because of something called nervous system sensitization. The concept of nervous system sensitization means that once the body experiences pain, the pain signals can get stronger over time even if there is no active injury in that area of the body. The longer the pain signals are present, the more ingrained the pain signaling pathway becomes. The pain pathways are also strongly affected by emotions, stress and lifestyle factors. High levels of stress, anxiety or depression can worsen symptoms of pain. That’s why mindfulness-based therapies and treatments that improve a person’s overall sense of well-being can have such a positive impact on back pain.
The good news is there are plenty of alternative therapies that can effectively treat back pain, and they're gaining traction in the conventional medical world. New guidelines from the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention along with the American College of Physicians have encouraged doctors to advise patients to try "non-drug therapies" such as:
Dr. Molly is a Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist practicing in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about food, medicine and wellness. This blog is meant to educate others on various health topics and inspire change and innovation in the field of healthcare.