Alternative back pain therapies available

February 1, 2012 4:50:37 PM PST
Does your back hurt? Chances are it does, because eight in 10 Americans deal with it. If you haven't been able to find relief, don't be discouraged. Take a look at back pain treatments you likely haven't tried.

Have you tried everything for your back pain? What about this: tiny electrical shocks? It's called muscle stimulation.

"The muscles have to be relaxed before you can actually get the back to relax too," said Dr. Sherman Yeager with the West University Wellness Center.

Dr. Yeager uses muscle stimulation on Eve Ruhlman who has scoliosis. She chose it instead of surgery.

"I feel a really good tingling sensation," Ruhlman said.

Dr. Yeager, a Red Cross-certified back specialist, also uses ultrasound for back pain.

"Sometimes with the friction, you feel the warmth but that's about all with ultrasound you feel," Dr. Yeager said.

The heat goes into the muscles to reduce inflammation and pain.

"Reducing inflammation can help take pressure off those nerves," Dr. Yeager said.

Many in pain feel a difference right away. For some with chronic back pain, it may take longer.

Ultrasound isn't the only new idea for treating back pain.

Nicole Lombardo gets what's called a stimulator. And have you tried tape? Dr. Yeager uses flexible kinesio tape to support back muscles.

"It will take pressure off the back helping relieve some of the pain that she has," Dr. Yeager said.

"It actually works quite well and it stays on two to three days," Lombardo said.

Dr. Yeager also adjusts Lombardo's spine to relieve the pressure on the nerves.

If nothing else helps, you can always try acupuncture. Nicole gets six needles in the lower back.

"It actually helps a lot and you cannot feel the needles at all," she said.

For people hunched over a computer, here's a technique for pain relief from massage therapist Erika Vogt.

"As you sit at your desk and do this, all this gets stretched this way," Vogt said.

But when a therapist releases the tightness in the pecks, it puts the shoulder back in the right place, which is yet another way to spell relief for back pain without medicine.