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What is Alternative Medicine?

Alternative medicine differs from standard medical treatments and is meant to compliment or accompany medical treatments. This medicine is drug-free and non-invasive, which means it has very few side effects. Alternative therapies generally focus on the importance of holistic healing and mind and body connection. Find out which alternative therapies are most beneficial for treating back pain and neck pain.

1. Chiropractic therapy

A chiropractor adjusting a patient's neck.

Chiropractic therapy is a hands-on manipulation that works to achieve the proper alignment of the spine and musculoskeletal structure. "Chiro" is used as a form of pain relief for the muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues. If you're experiencing back pain or neck pain, a doctor of chiropractic can work with your body to restore your spine to proper function. An appointment with a chiropractor can even alleviate tension headaches by relieving pressure from the neck and skull.

2. Acupuncture

A woman with acupuncture needles in her head.

Acupuncture therapy is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. This form of therapy is built on the belief that the body has natural energy points called "meridians". This energy is thought to be blocked when you are experiencing pain or illness. Acupuncture places needles into the skin to influence the energy flow. No, it doesn't hurt! For neck pain and back pain, the needles would be placed in specific energy points in the upper body to rid you of pain.

3. Acupressure

A doctor pointing to acupuncture points on a dummy.

Acupressure therapy is similar to acupuncture in promoting relaxation and wellness. Acupressure is like acupuncture without needles. This is a traditional Asian therapy and form of Chinese medicine where practitioners use their fingers, palms, or elbows to apply pressure to the body's meridians. Acupressure targets these areas to release painful symptoms as you achieve balance and healing.

4. Supplements

Spoons full of pills.

Supplements can nourish your body in order to provide you with the proper nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that your body needs for functioning. If you are in pain, you could be lacking a few key vitamins. There are specific supplements and multivitamins that can be especially helpful for neck and back pain. A few of these include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • Bromelain

There are also a number of herbs that can help with neck and back pain. A few of these include:

  • Devil's claw
  • Willow bark
  • Capsaicin cream

5. TENS Therapy -The Pain Therapy System

A man with DR-HO'S TENS pads on his neck and upper back.

TENS therapy is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, a form of therapy that uses a low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain. If you're experiencing back or neck pain and you place these gel pads in the painful area you will feel a gentle pulsing or massage sensation. These electrical impulses block pain signals from reaching your brain. As a result, your back and neck pain can immediately diminish as you use TENS therapy.

6. Massage Therapy

A woman receiving a massage.

Massage therapy is a practice used to improve an individual's health by manipulating the body's tissues. This manipulation relieves tension, promotes relaxation, and provides pain relief. If you experience back pain and neck pain the muscles in these areas may be tense and there may be "knots", small patches of clenched muscle fibres that ache. Massage can work away from this tension and relieve back pain, beck pain, and tension headaches.

Benefits of Alternative Therapy

If you suffer from pain in your back and in your neck it's important to speak with your doctor before trying a new form of therapy. Alternative therapy is often used to complement, rather than replace other medical treatments. There are several benefits associated with alternative therapeutic practices. A few of these include:

  • Non-invasive
  • Drug-free
  • Cost-effective
  • Addresses mental health and well-being
  • Fewer side-effects

Get More Information

Dr. Michael Ho, the founder of DR-HO'S is a doctor of chiropractic and acupuncture. Dr. Ho values alternative therapy and its ability to relieve pain. This is why Dr. Ho developed The Pain Therapy System and The Pain Therapy System Pro. For more information check out the article TENS Machine: This is Everything You Need to Know.


More Information About Back Pain

Learn more about Neck Pain with the following resources:

Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Stretches to Beat "Tech Neck"

Help Prevent Neck Pain During Sleep By Adjusting These Five Things

Text Neck: Modern Day Neck Pain and How to Treat It

The 6 Most Common Causes of Neck Pain

Techniques that Help Relieve Neck Pain

How to Relieve Neck Pain in 7 Steps

The Best Alternative Therapy for Back and Neck Pain

7 Tips to Ease Chronic Neck Pain

5 Common Causes of a Stiff Neck

Everyday tips for managing your chronic neck pain

How To Relieve Neck Pain During a Long Car Trip

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