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Alternative Pain Therapies

4 Ways Yoga Relieves Low Back Pain

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Yoga is one of the nondrug, nonsurgical therapies that has been shown to benefit back pain. Through gentle stretching, yoga can strengthen the back and lessen pain. Treatment guidelines recommend massage, Viniyoga (a gentle, therapeutic yoga style), acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for persistent back pain.   Read More




How the Mind Controls Pain

Science is beginning to understand the brain's complex relationship to pain
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Science is beginning to investigate and support the role of therapies such as biofeedback and meditation in pain control. The idea that the mind has power over the body may be especially useful to chronic pain patients who often find themselves without satisfactory medical treatments.   Read More

ONLINE RESOURCES

Best Websites for Alternative Pain Treatments

  • Site: University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Who it's for: People who want to learn about the mind-body connection
  • Why we like it: UMass’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society advocates an approach called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a series of techniques (including meditation) that help cultivate self-awareness in order to reduce stress and pain. The center’s website contains information and research about MBSR, as well as a searchable directory of MBSR programs across the United States and around the world.

3 Ways Biofeedback Helps Patients Control Chronic Pain

How this complementary therapy enables patients to change their response to pain
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Biofeedback, a technique in which patients use their mind to control bodily functions that normally occur automatically, can give patients the skills to lessen their pain at home. Migraine sufferer Amanda, 39, of Manchester, N.H., found success the first time she tried biofeedback.  Read More

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Expert Answers on Complementary Therapies for Chronic Pain

Q: How many people with chronic pain use complementary remedies?

A: Surveys show that 40% or more of chronic pain patients use some level of complementary therapies. The number is high because pain is becoming epidemic. More people are experiencing pain, so you are going to have people who don’t get immediate relief and start searching for other options. According to several large surveys done by the National Institutes of Health, the needs of the pain patient aren’t always being met. So it makes sense that pain patients will ask, "What else is out there?"

The most common treatments are manual therapies, such as massage or chiropractic, as well as herbal medicine, dietary supplements, acupuncture, and mind/body therapies (a catchall phrase for techniques like biofeedback, guided imagery, and meditation).
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Video: Perspectives on Alternative Pain Therapies

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