Dealing With Back Pain? Complementary Treatments Like Yoga May Be Best Option

Acute back pain can be one of the most agonizing conditions there is, and unfortunately, also one of the most common. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor’s office.  When it comes to back pain, however, doctors have little to offer other than pain killers and surgery.

An increasingly common form of surgery to deal with back pain is spinal fusion, which has increased by six times in the last 20 years. More than 465,000 spinal fusions were carried out in 2011 in the United States, and spinal fusion is now a more common procedure than hip replacements.

However, a new study urges patients to be cautious when before opting for aggressive treatments like spinal fusion surgery. The study, completed in October 2013 by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that worker’s compensation patients who underwent spinal fusion (or sometimes a series of those operations) often suffered higher rates of permanent disability than others who had approached their pain in alternative ways.

The study also found that doctors owning the equipment needed for spinal fusion surgery, were more likely to be biased towards performing surgery than other doctors.

Without a doubt, there will be cases where spinal fusion is the only solution. However, many cases of back pain resolve over time or respond positively to conservative treatments like yoga, chiropractic, or physical therapy. Yoga is gaining increasing recognition from medical providers, and a sequence of gentle yoga poses can offer gradual, but effective improvement by facilitating the body’s own healing responses. Yoga stretches for back pain increases blood flow, in the muscles of the back, sending fresh nutrients and reducing pain. 

When in pain, work with an experienced yoga therapist specializing in back pain to make sure you learn the best yoga postures for your condition.  

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