Here we will give a brief overview of some of the most popular alternative medical techniques for back pain.
You might have heard tales of ancient yogis who reduced their blood pressure and heart rate by meditation. This is true. They can do it and so can you. Everybody has the ability to control some physiological responses. Through biofeedback, you watch see it happen before your very eyes.
A biofeedback machine calculates physiological states including body temperature, blood pressure, and electrical activity of muscles. Small pads with electrodes are positioned on the body and then fed into a machine. A monitor displays the results instantly through blinking lights and/or beeping sounds. If electrodes are placed onto back muscles which are tense, the lights blink quicker. As you perform relaxation techniques, the blinks and beeps slow down, showing you how your thoughts have changed your physiological responses, pretty cool.
When it comes to back pain, particularly chronic conditions, it’s important to address the source of the structural problems (such as facet-joint disease and disc degeneration). CAM treatments can be a part of an overall approach to back care rather than a stand-alone approach.
You’ll often have a biofeedback therapist (who could be a nurse or physical therapist) who will be happy to assist you with the machine and teach you relaxation techniques. The final goal of biofeedback is to wean you off the machine and to do these techniques when you’re feeling particularly stressed or when back pain increases. It usually takes a number of sessions to learn how to get a very good control. You are basically learning a new behaviour, and changing behaviour requires time. The instant feedback of the machine, however, can speed along the change process, particularly for those who “have to see it to believe it.” You can also find home versions of these machines.