by Mikki Baloy
Injuries to the back and spine can turn everyday tasks into painful struggles. Depending on the nature of the injury and severity of symptoms, patients are usually referred to standard allopathic treatments, including physical therapy, and can recover well.
But for those who have “tried everything” and still ache for relief, or who seek a holistic approach, here are some outside-the-box suggestions for back care. Of course, always ask questions, work with qualified practitioners, follow your doctor’s advice, and use your best judgement and discernment about what’s right for you.
Helpful for pain management, increasing energy flow, and decreasing inflammation, acupuncture treatments may also include the use of moxabustion, a form of heat therapy, or cupping, which is said to draw toxins and stagnant energies from the body. Acupuncture was first developed in China 2500 years ago and remains one of the most prevalent complementary modalities in the United States.
While scientific studies are few, anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabidiol products may be very helpful for pain management. CBD may limit inflammation and neuropathy symptoms and decrease anxiety, without a “high” effect. Because the FDA does not currently regulate cannabidiol, it’s best to ask your doctor before use, especially if you already take other medications. CBD may be an alternative to opioid pain-killers or long-term use of NSAIDs.
Licensed chiropractors can manipulate the spine or joints, as well as perform soft tissue therapies and some corrective exercises for posture and strength. When chiropractic adjustments are incorporated into treatments plans, many patients recover more quickly and with less pain and expense than with allopathic care alone.
Rooted in ancestral traditions from around the world, shamanic healing is the oldest known healing modality. Practitioners are able to make changes to the invisible or energetic aspects of a client’s body, mind, or environment. Shamanic healing often explores and addresses the emotional or spiritual dimensions of an injury or illness (including anxiety, trauma, or habitual beliefs and patterns) and thus can create a deep and long-lasting sense of overall well-being.
While it may not be advisable for those in acute pain to participate in a general yoga class, the yogic principles of mindfulness and body-awareness can be helpful for everyone. Chair yoga, postures modified for limited range of motion, and meditation techniques may all support long-term recovery from back injuries. Benefits of yoga practice include greater flexibility and strength, as well as deeper knowledge and acceptance of one’s body. Be sure to inform your instructor of your limitations at the start of any practice and remember to work within your threshold—yoga should not hurt.
With cold weather and snow-shoveling approaching, remember to take excellent care of yourself and your back. Wherever you are in your healing journey, be encouraged that there are always more options and resources to support good health and resilience.
What are your favorite modalities? You can list your favorite methods and local practitioners in the comments below.
- Why You Might Need A Shaman, 11/11/2018
- How to Prevent and Cope with Back Pain, 12/17/2017
- The Ankle Heal: Sprained Ankles 101, 8/20/2017
- Antibiotics For Flu?, 11/19/2017