Because there is no intelligent medicine which can work selectively or topically just on headache or spine ache, in some cases doctors recommend other therapies accompanying painkillers, or in place of them completely. Alternative treatments for back pain include;

1) Cryotherapy (also known as cold treatment)

Cryotherapy may be applied topically or generally. In cases involving topical therapy nitrogen at a temperature of -130° C, or Carbon Dioxide at a temperature of -75°C is applied. In cases involving full body treatment, a cryochamber or cryosauna is used with temperatures ranging from -130°C to -160°C. Treatment in which liquid nitrogen is used lasts from 1-3 minutes. Under low temperatures, blood vessels in the skin and under-skin tissue shrink, blood flows slower, and metabolism at a cellular level slows down. However, the organism quickly turns on its regulation mechanisms – blood vessels expand and the skin becomes pink as a result of temporary tissue congestion. Cryotherapy eases the pain, decreases the activity of the inflammation process, decreases tension within skeletal muscles and increases muscle strength, reduces swelling, speeds up the healing of injuries, and relaxes and improves mood. It is recommended for rheumatological pain, muscle pain, spinal pain, and neuralgia.

Acupuncture back pain

2) Acupuncture

Ancient Chinese treatment based on inserting special needles into points along meridians (according to Chinese traditions these are energy channels through which human life-energy flows) and professional manipulation of the needles. For sharp pain the best effects are achieved by using local acupuncture points (in the location of the pain), as well as distal acupuncture points (far from the pain location). To decrease the intensity in cases involving chronic pain, or even to eradicate it, usually a greater amount of treatment is required. Acupuncture used in the treatment of chronic back pain results in a decrease in pain intensity, better sleep, and daily functioning of the patient. Applying acupuncture often allows patients to resign from, or limit, the usage of painkillers and sleeping tablets. Acupuncture is increasingly popular thanks to its effectiveness in sharp and chronic back pain treatment. The key condition to applying acupuncture is correct diagnosis made by a doctor of Eastern medicine, and excluding any other conditions which would require a different form of intervention (such as surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy).

3) Yoga

Yoga originated in India as a complex treatment system including the body, mind and soul. In Sanskrit the word ‘yoga’ means combine, integrate, and merge. Yoga helps to remove back pain because all asanas (exercises) strengthen back muscles and stretch vertebrae. Most of the asanas were created solely to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the back and spine. It has a justification in physiology because the spine is attached to the nerves responsible for the function of internal organs, digestion, and circulation. A healthy spine has a positive influence on our body and mood. Indisputably, one of the biggest advantages of yoga is that everyone can practice it, either in class or at home.

4) Massage

Massage is one of the best alternative treatments for back pain. Healing massages are prescribed by a doctor based on diagnosis and the general condition of the patient. This allows the therapist to choose the correct massage technique in order to achieve the expected results. Back massages which last around 20 minutes (the first sessions may be shorter) cover the back, buttocks, and shoulders. Back massages are performed in line with vein circulation, which means from the heart. Massages are conducted using classical techniques (from weakest to strongest) in the following order: stroking (improves breathing, raises skin temperature, decreases pain, and improves surface circulation), pounding (fragments and moves inflammatory effusions, hematomas, and concretions to the circulatory system, reduces swelling, and decreases muscle tension), kneading (enlivens circulation, and loosens tensed muscles), patting (improves circulation, enlivens muscles), vibration (speeds up cellular metabolism)

5) Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a different state of mind induced without any physical interference or using any substances. A hypnotic state is a specific state of relaxation and susceptibility to suggestions from other people, or, in the case of auto-hypnosis, from yourself. Hypnosis therapy is based on relaxation combined with deep concentration, which is supposed to foster suggestions expressed by therapists. A hypnotic trance can lead to changes viewed as improvements in general mood and in health condition. Hypnosis is an alternative treatment for back pain: therapists influencing patients’ subconscious are able to create a conviction that the pain is weaker. Because hypnosis can be learnt be almost anyone, but not everyone knows how to use it properly, when deciding on hypnotherapy it is crucial to make sure that it is conducted by a specialist (doctor or psychologist).

6) Pilates

The main premise of this exercise system, originating in the 20th Century, was to stretch and increase the flexibility of all the muscles in the body. Nowadays Pilates is successfully performed by people suffering from back pain, moreover, physiotherapists describe this method as the safest physical activity form. Performing Pilates increases the muscle strength, especially in the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks. It improves spine stability, loosens up shoulders, the neck, and the upper back. Exercises are also a safe rehabilitation form for joint and spinal injuries. Even though Pilates is a fully safe exercise method, in some cases patients should contact a doctor before taking up this activity. This group includes pregnant women, people over the age of 40, patients with circulatory diseases, muscle-skeletal system disorders, and overweight/obese patients. Before we choose our alternative treatment for back pain we need to remember that proper back pain diagnostics are crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.