Long term or chronic neck and back pain can be difficult to deal with and hard for doctors to treat. But it is possible to treat neck pain and back pain without surgery or medications. Many people who suffer from back or neck pain pursue alternative and complementary options for treatment, including spinal manipulation, yoga or massage – often in combination with standard medical treatments.
Spinal manipulation is the most common type of professional to deliver spinal manipulation and mobilization, although an osteopathic physician may also perform spinal manipulation. This form of treatment involves the use of the hands to adjust the spine and other joints in the body to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Spinal manipulation is applied with a high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust, which is often associated with a cracking sound. Many people erroneously think this sound is made by the bones of the joint but in reality, it is the air that is released from within the joints that makes the popping sound associated with chiropractic treatments.
Spinal mobilization is another form of spinal therapy, which involves firm but slow movements of the joints in the spine through their entire range of motion.
Studies have found spinal manipulation and mobilization to be helpful in reducing pain and increasing function. It may work well in conjunction with other treatment avenues, such as physical therapy.
Massage therapy is a treatment method that involves the hands of a masseuse that are used to manipulate soft tissues, tendons and muscles around the joints in the body.
Different types of massage can help with relieving neck or back pain. Deep tissue massage, Swedish massage and Shiatsu massage are each excellent options.
Massage therapy can be concentrated around one area of the body or you can have a whole body massage. Typically, massage therapy will cover the back, shoulders and neck though as they are linked together.
The level of touch during a massage makes a difference. A massage that is moderate in intensity has been proven to deliver more pain relief in comparison to a light touch massage.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga is an ancient practice that has exploded in popularity across the globe. Yoga tends to focus on placing the body in various poses while incorporating breath control and meditation. There are different forms of Yoga but they all typically entail these features.
Practicing yoga can help to improve one’s back strength as well as flexibility, which can lead to a reduction in back and neck pain. Furthermore, it can help to calm and relax, which can contribute to a reduction in lower back and neck pain.
Pilates is another similar exercise that may be beneficial in the reduction of back and neck pain. Always start out slowly and don’t push yourself when trying to treat neck or back pain. If a movement increases your pain level, stop.