Saturday, February 24, 2018 6:01

Physical Health Recommendations for Chronic Low Back Pain

Posted by on Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 12:50
This news item was posted in Chronic Pain category and has 0 Comments so far.

Holistic treatment follows a comprehensive medical history including the mental, emotional, and social status of the patient.

It would also include the same thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests that would be performed conventionally.

Less testing might be done if the practitioner is more comfortable with a structural examination.

Bodywork and Body Movement

Maintaining the structural alignment of the muscles, tendons, joints, bones, and fascia (the lining of muscle) is an essential component of the holistic treatment for chronic back pain. Several treatments by an osteopathic physician, chiropractor, or other trained or certified practitioner may be needed.

Lasting benefit is most likely to be obtained with the more indirect  of treatments, such as myofascial release or craniosacral osteopathy. The more direct or high velocity thrusting techniques, which force areas that are out of alignment back into alignment, are usually more helpful with acute injuries than with chronic back pain.

However, other forms of osteopathic or chiropractic treatments, which usually consist of gender techniques, can be helpful in some cases of chronic pain. But if these modalities or any other form of therapy do not offer noticeable improvement after three to six treatments, it is important to evaluate whether to continue.

Physical therapy performed by a highly skilled therapist using a variety of modalities, such as heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, is often helpful. However, these are adjunct therapies and are not substitutes for structural treatment. They are unlikely to provide lasting relief with chronic pain when used alone. Standard physical therapy often utilizes strengthening exercises to overcome areas of weakness or misalignment. A holistic treatment program is designed to help the body to realign itself, thus healing the weakness and directly treating the cause of the problem.

There are several other forms of bodywork or body movement therapies that may be helpful in treating chronic low back pain. These therapies utilize methods to retrain the nervous system to improve posture, alignment, balance, coordination, and self awareness. They can help you to move more efficiently and to be more aware of your body and how it works. Some of the more common body based therapies include Trager psychophysical integration, Feldenkrais awareness through movement, the Alexander technique.

These approaches often involve both hands-on treatments and instruction from the practitioner for exercises to be done by the patient at home. These exercises can directly address the cause of the back pain by helping the body to integrate its functions and resolve areas of dysfunction. These practitioners are becoming much easier to find. You can either evaluate them on your own or you can obtain a referral from a holistic physician.


Yoga has demonstrated remarkable success in both treating and preventing chronic low back pain. Find a teacher, a class, or a videotape, and start out veiy gradually. Remember DON’T PUSH YOURSELF. If you keep it slow and steady, practicing every day, you might very well end up with a healthier back than you had prior to the onset of your back pain.

If you do not practice yoga, you should at least do several stretching exercises every day. A physical therapist can teach you, or you can refer to the book Stretching by Bob Anderson.

Brisk walking, swimming, or any other gentle form of aerobic exercise is recommended for treatment and prevention of chronic backache.


Acupuncture may be helpful both for both acute and chronic back pain. It may offer substantial and long lasting relieve and it often works wells in combination with structural approaches. The sooner the problem is addressed with acupuncture, the better the chance that it will work.


Hot baths with mineral salts (Epsom salt) and/or the following essential oils:

chamomile, marjoram, lavender, or a combination of wintergreen, camphor, and eucalyptus. These same oils can also be applied as a hot compress or massaged into the back. There are also exercises that can be performed in a hot shower or bath.

Sleep support

Be sure your bed provides good support. Waterbeds and soft mattresses should be avoided.

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