Features January, 2012 Issue

Alternative Approaches May Help Ease Back Pain

Massage therapy, for which there is ample evidence of short-term benefit, works best when administered on a regular basis.

Alternative Approaches May Help Ease Back Pain

Non-conventional therapies often can help, but they shouldn’t replace standard care for your aching back.

By some estimates, more than one-third of Americans with back pain have tried some form of complementary or alternative therapy. Although some of these treatments are supported by substantial scientific evidence, others remain largely unproven. The thing to remember, according to a Cleveland Clinic expert, is that these therapies are intended to complement, not replace, traditional medical therapies. “These alternative treatments are adjuncts and aren’t necessarily the primary line of treatment, which for most people is a well conceived, active exercise therapy program, sound activity advice, and fitness advice,” says Daniel Mazanec, MD, associate director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health.

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