Low back pain is an all too common problem. Lower back pain can be chronic, causing aches and pains on a daily basis. Or it can seemingly come and go with the weather — causing intense pain one day and then disappearing with the next.
Many seek medical attention to try to deal with this nagging condition and are prescribed drugs. Acetaminophen, for example, is considered a safe but not always effective treatment for low back pain. NSAIDs may effectively relieve pain, but they can also cause prescription side effects in the form of stomach and heart problems. And opioids and muscle relaxers can provide relief for those with severe pain, but their potential benefits and risks need to be weighed carefully.
What if you don’t want to take medication because of the potential side effects? Here’s something to try: a new study recently published by researchers at the Copenhagen Research Hospital in Denmark says that an alternative remedy for low back pain — the McKenzie method — may be just the ticket to get relief from painful symptoms.
The McKenzie method is a treatment for patients suffering from neck pain and/or back pain that teaches patients how to heal themselves and manage their own pain for life using exercise and other strategies.
For the study, the Danish research team compared the effects of the McKenzie method performed by certified therapists to spinal manipulation performed by chiropractors. A total of 350 patients suffering from low back pain participated in the treatments. The researchers found that at two months’ follow-up, the McKenzie treatment was superior to manipulation with respect to the number of patients who reported improved symptoms. In particular, the McKenzie group showed improvements in levels of disability compared to the manipulation group.
The researchers concluded that, in patients with low back pain lasting for more than six weeks, the McKenzie method was found to be more effective than manipulation of the spine.
Other alternative cures for back pain include yoga and good posture. Keeping the back relaxed and flexible is often the best line of defense.
Another trick for easing low back pain is to make sure that the chair you use most often has arm rests. Arm rests help to take pressure off your spine. When you are sleeping, make sure that your neck and back are properly supported.
Shoes are very important as well when it comes to easing chronic low back pain. They must support your foot in all the right places so that your spine is balanced when you are standing or moving.