The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
Chiropractic are is often prescribed to help resolve back pain issues. Oftentimes, the chiropractor will perform spinal adjustments, which usually involves (although different chiropractors may use other venues) twisting and "cracking" of the back -- which is a popping sound made during the procedures as a gas bubble is released from between two joints that have been coaxed into alignment. This particular treatment is uncomfortable and can be painful to varying degrees. Not everybody can tolerate the pain. Also, particularly neck adjustments have resulted in strocks and some back injuries have also been attributed to this kind of adjustment.
This all being said, a study published in 2002 found that patients with low back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement after one month than those treated by physicians.
The needles used in acupuncture may work by stimulating the nerve fibers that transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, which then release hormones (Endorphins) that make us feel less pain.
Just as is the case with acupuncture, endorphins are also released during a massage, and these endorphins prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals.
Not everybody likes the idea of acupuncture or has the funds for regular professional massages. However, there are a wide range of home-use massage tools and devices that replicate the healing action of acupuncture and give you access to a healing massage whenever you need relief in the comfort of your home. w
Please click here for information on the benefits of massage.
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Stretching for only a few minutes a day will also make a great impact on back health and alleviate pain. For example, hanging on a "Monkey Bar" will naturally help realign a spine as well as painful chiropractic treatments, if undertaken regularly and often enough.
Dr. James Dowd, leading rheumatologist and researcher at the Arthritis Institute of Michigan and the author of the Vitamin D Cure, featured to the right - has been prescribing vitamin D to people suffering from chronic disorders, such as arthritis, back pain and headaches. Dr. Dowd claims that he can see significant improvements in his patients' symptoms. We make most vitamin D when our skin is exposed to fairly strong sunlight, and we can get more from oily fish (please refer to fish oil or click here to find the best and the worst fish to eat) and a few other fortified foods or supplements (i.e. Cod Liver Oil - some lemon-flavored cod liver oils are pleasant to take).
In this book, The Vitamin D Cure, Dr. Dowd lists a number of success stories using his approach. Dr. James Dowd reveals the causes of vitamin D deficiency and offers a simple, easy-to-follow five-step program that can eliminate or alleviate a host of seemingly incurable conditions, such as arthritis, in as little as six weeks. He states that by staying on the program, you can enjoy robust health and improved fitness for the rest of your life. For more info on the book and reviews, please click here.
Click here for information on Vitamin D's role in cancer prevention / treatment.
According to D. Stewart B. Leavitt, Ph.D. - editor of the Web site Pain Treatment Topics (http://pain-topics.org/) - most people are functionally deficient in vitamin D. The body manufactures vitamin D from sunlight exposure or gets it from food sources such as salmon, tuna, eggs and fortified dairy foods. Often though, this is not enough for optimal health. Insufficient levels of this nutrient affect the body's ability to absorb calcium from foods. This, in turn, can negatively affect bones, muscles and nerve function, leading to back pain among other problems. In reviewing 22 clinical investigations for his peer-reviewed report, "Vitamin D -- A Neglected ‘Analgesic' for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain," Dr. Leavitt found that people with chronic body aches and back pain usually had low levels of vitamin D.
The good news is that once they began getting enough of this nutrient, aches and pains diminished or even disappeared. By restoring calcium balance throughout the body, extra vitamin D helps maintain healthier bones and muscle strength. Vitamin D also acts as a hormone, necessary for the health of many tissues and organs in the body. Because it addresses the underlying cause of pain rather than the pain itself, it may take weeks or even months before there is noticeable improvement.
Dr. Leavitt states that the amount of vitamin D (400 to 800 IU) in regular multivitamins is insufficient. Experts believe the body requires at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily and that people with chronic musculoskeletal pain need even more -- 2,000 or more IU daily. (Note: Supplemental vitamin D should only be taken under physician oversight.)
Vitamin D comes in two forms -- D-2 and D-3. Dr. Leavitt favors D-3, which is also known as cholecalciferol. Even though Vitamin D has its value, it's not a miracle worker. It may not replace other medications for people suffering from chronic pain, but it may decrease your discomfort and reduce your need for pain medications. It's important to consult your doctor for further advice about your specific level of need.
Source(s): Stewart B. Leavitt, PhD, editor of Pain Treatment Topics (www.pain-topics.org). Pain Treatment Topics provides access to news, information, research and education for a better understanding of evidence-based pain-management practices. It is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Covidien/Mallinckrodt Inc., a manufacturer of generic opioid analgesic products. Neither the author nor sponsor has a vested interest in nutritional supplements or offers vitamin D prescribing advice for individual patients.
Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.
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