Alternative Therapies for Neck and Back Pain Relief
Many people with back or neck pain seek alternative and complementary treatments—such as massage, spinal manipulation, or yoga—in addition to standard medical treatments. Here are some of the best alternative treatments to try for your neck or back pain. Check with your doctor and try a few to see what might work best for you.
When you’re experiencing neck and back pain, no doubt the first thing on your mind is how to find relief. While it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe and beneficial for you, many times alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief may be effective.
To help you with some ideas, today we’re looking at how to relieve neck and back pain with a few simple techniques and practices.
Simple Methods for Neck and Back Pain Relief
Finding alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief doesn’t mean practicing pseudoscience or having to do anything extreme. Sometimes these alternatives can be as simple as getting a massage or even sitting down in the right types of chairs! Since upwards of 30-50% of adults experience neck pain at some time in their lives and roughly 80% report the same for back pain, you’re certainly not alone in your discomfort. To help you get back to feeling your best, it can be beneficial to learn which techniques for neck and back pain relief work for you.
Some of our favorite natural remedies for neck and back pain relief include:
- Getting a massage
- The benefits of heat therapy
- Using a zero gravity chair
- Experiencing the Alexander Technique
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation for stress relief
Getting a Massage for Neck and Back Pain Relief
Who doesn’t love a good massage? They feel incredible and help you feel relaxed. Did you know that they may be effective alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief, too? Studies have shown that moderate-intensity massage can provide neck and back pain relief effectively. How, though?
When massage is used to manipulate the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue in your body, it helps improve blood circulation and treat muscle tension. Whether your pain is in your neck or your back, they’re interconnected so taking care of one will inevitably help benefit the other.
Regular visits to a massage therapist may keep you feeling loose and relaxed while also enhancing how the body heals itself. Different types of massage are ideal for different circumstances, however, so consider your needs and which is best for you. For neck and back pain relief, you might try a deep tissue massage or Swedish massage, for instance.
If regular massage therapist visits are hard to fit into your schedule or simply add up to be too costly, there are other alternatives like zero gravity chairs with massage features that you might consider instead. These tools may use vibration massage or air pressure massage (depending on the model you choose) to give you the opportunity to experience a massage from the comfort of home and on your schedule.
The Benefits of Heat Therapy for Neck and Back Pain Relief
Another alternative therapy for neck and back pain relief is heat therapy. This form of treatment for neck and back pain may be effective as heat therapy works to increase blood flow throughout the body. This increased circulation helps muscle and soft tissue heal more quickly, can work as a home remedy for swelling or inflammation, and has been shown to be effective for pain relief.
There are two main types of heat therapy: dry heat therapy and moist heat therapy. Dry heat options include more common tools you may consider like heating pads. You might also combine alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief using a zero gravity chair with both heat therapy and massage features to really enhance your healing experience. Moist heat options are activities such as using a steamed towel across the affected area or taking a hot bath.
Neck and Back Pain Relief Using Zero Gravity Chairs
Next up in our exploration of alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief comes zero gravity chairs. We’ve already mentioned some of the bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners that may enhance pain relief, however the function of these tools themselves may noticeably help, as well.
What is a zero gravity chair? These are chairs that recline into the zero gravity position. No, you won’t be floating around in your living room (though that would be super cool!). Instead, the zero gravity position refers to the reclining position of your chair which was designed based on observations by NASA of the relaxed body position of astronauts in space.
In the zero gravity position, the legs are elevated above the heart level and your weight is distributed along your body. This makes an enormous difference when choosing between a zero gravity chair or recliner as pressure is drastically reduced along the lower back and pelvic areas. In traditional recliners, pressure is actually focused in this area, making them part of the problem when it comes to neck and back pain.
As pressure is reduced on the lower back, muscles can relax more and blood flows more efficiently. These results are some of the major contributing factors for how zero gravity chairs may help neck and back pain treatment at home.
Bonus Tip: The zero gravity position also makes zero gravity chairs popular for sciatica treatment at home!
Neck and Back Pain Relief Using the Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique may be an alternative therapy for neck and back pain relief you’ve not heard of before. In fact, while studies have shown its potential effectiveness for pain relief, it’s still commonly overlooked or unheard of altogether by pain sufferers.
Developed originally as a method for protecting vocal health for actors, the Alexander Technique has found other uses, like neck and back pain relief, as well! This alternative therapy focuses on relieving tension that causes neck and back pain. Sometimes it’s referred to as “inner-ergonomics” as the Alexander Technique also looks to improve posture without overcorrecting (which can inadvertently cause issues, as well).
The Alexander Technique is a light touch neck and back pain relief method. Though a hands-on therapy technique, the gentleness of it helps minimize risk of injury. During the technique, relief is meant to begin in the neck region then continue along your entire body.
How Mindfulness and Meditation Helps Neck and Back Pain Relief
Last up in our exploration of alternative therapies to learn how to relieve neck and back pain is practicing mindfulness and meditation. These techniques are meant to provide greater stress relief and stress management. While some stress can actually be beneficial to our systems, too much stress going unmanaged is one of the most commonly overlooked causes of back pain and neck pain.
As an ancient practice, there are many different types of meditation you may want to try to see which works best for you. One of the easiest methods to start with is mindfulness meditation. This technique is not about completely clearing your mind, but instead allowing your thoughts to come and go without judgment. It’s a great way to center yourself and manage stress levels. Meditating doesn’t have to be an all-day event, either. Even making 5 to 10 minutes each day for meditating can make a noticeable difference.
Other meditative techniques may include breathing techniques or pain movement. Pain movement involves concentrating on the area you’re experiencing pain (such as your neck or back) then envisioning that pain moving along your body to an extremity and eventually out of your body altogether. While we can’t truly force injury from our bodies, this type of meditative process may help with the mental side of how to relieve neck and back pain.
We hope these alternative therapies for neck and back pain relief have given you some new methods to try. As always, consult a medical professional before beginning any home treatments to ensure it’s safe to do so. Once you’ve got the green light, you can try them out and see which may work best for you! Whether you’re meditating, getting a massage, trying the Alexander Technique, or choosing a zero gravity chair for home you’ll thank yourself for making the effort and experience the difference these techniques may make.