Do you have chronic spine pain? Have you had pain that has lasted more than a couple months or have cycles of pain that regularly come and go for years? Have you approached your pain with different treatments and modalities but feel frustrated overall? In this blog, I will outline an effective way to manage and reduce chronic spine pain whether you suffer from an injury, post-surgery pain, arthritis, autoimmune disease, unexplained or from some other reason.
An Integrative Approach to Chronic Spine Pain
Suffice to say, there are hundreds if not thousands of research studies on acupuncture and spine pain. It is one of the most studied maladies with acupuncture – so, I won’t belabor the ‘point’ here. If you’re curious there is a vast internet of information on this! Proper acupuncture treatment for spine pain is one of the single best approaches to reducing and managing chronic pain. Acupuncture treatment not only reduces pain but, in some cases, can help the issue heal and recover. Even the American College of Physicians just updated guidelines for low back pain to include acupuncture as first line of treatment. You can read more here.
How can nutrition and diet help spine pain? Depending on the type of inflammation and pain you have, diet can play an important role. Following an anti-inflammatory diet or a healthy diet can improve the overall health of your spine and reduce overall inflammation. Depending on your diagnosis, specific nutrients can be helpful. For example: if you have arthritis or degenerative disc disease, supplementing your diet with bone minerals can be very helpful. Some common supplements that have been shown to have complementary affects for spine pain are: turmeric, fish oil, vitamin D, glucosamine and chondroitin.
Custom Chinese herb formulas are especially unique as they can be customized to fit each person’s specific diagnosis. Chinese herb formulas use an eloquent system that has been developed over thousands of years. In fact, many pharmaceuticals have been derived from Chinese herbs. Because of this, combinations of herbs help treat many different types of spinal issues and pain syndromes.
One of the biggest frustrations with chronic spine pain is figuring out what types of exercises you can do without exacerbating your pain. Generally, slow moving exercises that increase the mobility and flexibility of the spine while at the same time strengthening your ‘core’ can be the most beneficial exercises. Slow moving exercises include practices such as: pilates, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Once you have managed your spine pain and have regained mobility and strength, it is easier to try other exercises that are more rigorous. Then you’re your best ‘guinea pig’ as you try different exercises. If an exercise or activity exacerbates your pain without relief unless you completely stop – then, generally it isn’t an exercise that will benefit you.
One of my personal favorites is proper pilates. What I mean by ‘proper’ is working with a trained professional. A proper pilates session is more like a physical therapy session where you work with someone one-to-one with all these crazy looking machines. Once you have regained strength and mobility and know how to do the movements and exercises in the right way its a lot easier to do exercises on your own or join a class. A good trainer can also help you develop your home routine as well.
Integrating care with primary care physicians, orthopedic physicians, physical therapist, rheumatologists and chiropractors are also very important in long term care. Doctors of Osteopathy are trained to view the body and its diseases more holistically and are trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) which can be especially beneficial for spinal issues.
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The views and nutritional/herbal advice expressed by Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Purchasing a product, program or wellness coaching does not establish a practitioner patient relationship with Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. We suggest that you continue to work with qualified medical professionals as you engage in our material, products and services. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Tansy Briggs, DOM. L.OM or Integrative Health Link products and services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.