Alternative Treatments for Back, Neck & Shoulder Pain
If you are enduring back, neck or shoulder pain, before you turn to your medicine cabinet you should consider traditional methods for pain relief such as massage or indeed pain relief gels and cushions. Sometimes, an aching back or other areas of the body can hinder us getting on with day to day life not to mention special occasions when we want to be pain free to really enjoy ourselves! So let’s see what can help.
There are plenty of alternatives to explore before you really feel the need to use anti-inflammatories – which we all know now with prolonged use can have severe side effects. You could consider ancient Chinese acupuncture which is particularly beneficial if you find yourself suffering with arthritis, neck, back and shoulder pain and it also works well for migraine sufferers too. As it is non-invasive it is perceived as safe and it doesn’t act by numbing the pain – rather getting to the root of the pain source and giving good relief as well as promoting all over health and wellbeing.
Similar to acupuncture in that it comes from the Far East and has been practised for thousands of years is reflexology. It is another excellent tried and tested method for alleviating pain and giving good relief. It works by encouraging the brain to release chemicals to decrease pain. The therapist concentrates on the pressure points in the foot spending time massaging these reflex points which connect with the area of back, neck or shoulder pain source and subsequently releases the tension. It is particularly successful for osteoarthritis sufferers.
Massage therapy is a good alternative to standard medical treatment for back pain and in a research study headed up by Daniel Cherikin at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle it was proven that massage works as well as anti-inflammatories. The study carried out was on 401 people who experienced back pain for over 3 months and did not have a specific reason for their pain. They were given 3 massage treatments over almost 3 months, results showed all reported decreases in pain and improved ability to get on with their day to day life.
A great form of massage is shiatsu, another Far Eastern (Japanese) method practised for thousands of years. The word shiatsu means finger pressure and it is not only great for back, neck and shoulder pain sufferers but also for cancer patients. Rather like reflexology and acupuncture it releases tension through unblocking energy paths in the body. A shiatsu specialist will press on various pressure points in the body which run along energy lines leading to the pain. Shiatsu stimulates blood circulation and releases the toxins and tensions from muscles – promoting that all-important healing. In cancer patients it is an excellent feel-good treatment and helps alleviate the stress and pain associated with cancer enabling a feeling of calm. Various researches into the effects of shiatsu have been carried out and in 2008 there was a European study on 948 people who indulged in shiatsu massage. The results examined effects of treatment between 4 and 6 days afterwards and again after 3 months and then 6 months. The study concluded that patients did report an improvement in their symptoms over 6 months, not needing to turn to conventional medication. Shiatsu lovers or those who would like to try this type of massage may well benefit from the NoMeds Shiatsu Massage Cushion which is compact enough to take with you wherever you go. It is designed to alleviate stiff, uncomfortable, tense muscles by using gentle circular movements with some comforting heat. The results are a calm, relaxing feeling which spreads over the body.
Of course, there are various anti-inflammatory gels that can be purchased to reduce pain in the back, neck and shoulders but before you rush out to the chemist you may want to consider the alternatives which are packed full of nutrients and natural ingredients all designed to alleviate your discomfort. Glucosamine Gold Gel, available from NoMeds is applied directly onto the area of concern and is free from parabens. It contains Indian Frankincense, a substance used for thousands of years as a natural anti-inflammatory and used in clinical medicine too. This gel will lubricate joints, reducing pain and improving mobility, superb for arthritis sufferers. Similarly Nomeds stocks Opti5 which has been lab tested by UK Joint Gel Scientists. Containing 5 natural ingredients (including glucosamine) it has an analgesic effect which begins its work as soon as it is applied and because it contains menthol, it is designed to soothe as well as reduce pain.
So don’t raid your bathroom medicine cabinet yet! You may want to book a series of alternative massage therapies and purchase some of Nomeds tried and tested complimentary gels and cushions to reduce your back, neck and shoulder pain.