According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Whether it’s because pain medications are ineffective, addictive, or just too expensive, more Americans are turning to alternative therapies for chronic pain management than ever before. The term “alternative therapy” is typically used to describe a medical treatment that is used in place of conventional medicine. Read on to learn about the top 4 alternative pain management options.
Chiropractic treatment is the most common type of alternative therapy used in the treatment of chronic pain. San Diego chiropractors manually manipulate or adjust the spine in order to achieve proper alignment and pain relief. This type of alternative medical treatment is most commonly used to treat back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, and certain arm and leg conditions.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that uses long, ultra-fine needles to stimulate the body’s meridians, or energy-carrying channels, and correct imbalances causing pain or illnesses. Acupuncture is thought to relieve pain by stimulating the release of hormones that block pain, called endorphins. This alternative pain management option is commonly used in the treatment of low back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative medicine designed to increase mobility and reduce pain through exercise, stretching, and muscle strengthening. This alternative therapy is commonly used in conjunction with traditional medicine to rehabilitate injuries. Physical therapists use many different techniques including biofeedback, ultrasound, TENS therapy, hydrotherapy, and massage therapy to help relieve many different types of chronic pain.
Massage therapy is one of the most popular alternative pain management options because it provides both physical and psychological benefits to individuals that deal with chronic pain. Massage therapy helps relieve pain by increasing circulation and blood flow, decreasing muscle tension, improving range of motion, and increasing endorphin levels in the brain. This type of alternative therapy has been found to be particularly effective in the treatment of chronic lower back pain.