stretching

  1. Cure back pain with natural anti-inflammatories

    Natural relief for back pain

    So you've tried everything and still can't get any relief for your back pain. That's the story I hear nearly every day.

    And if you're like most of my first-time patients, "everything" includes a whole lot of drugs and injections... but none of the real natural solutions like natural anti-inflammatories that have proven to work time and again.

    Ask a conventional medicine doctor about them, and he'll sniff and call them "unproven" or even "ineffective," without even a shred of irony. After all, this is coming from a guy who keeps prescribing drugs that don't work.

    So ignore his dismissals and try something that'll work for a change.

    I suggest starting with natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, MSM and bromelain. That conventional medicine doctor who won't even talk about these options will also admit they work -- indirectly. After all, the treatments he's pushing all attack or attempt to attack inflammation.

    With natural anti-inflammatories, you're attacking the same cause -- but these options are much safer, and far more effective.

    In addition to natural anti-inflammatories, try some of the non-drug treatments and therapies that can work wonders for back pain. Natural injections utilizing your own growth factors (known as platelet rich plasma) or ozone can have some amazing benefits. I've also seen great results with cold laser treatments on the area of the injury.

    And everyone loves a good massage, right? In one study, 10 weeks of regular massage not only helped bring more relief than "usual care," but those benefits lasted for a full four months after the massages ended.

    Both chiropractic and acupuncture have also proven in studies to help reduce or even eliminate the pain. In some cases, they will require multiple sessions before the benefit kicks in, so be sure to stay with them.

    And finally, don't forget the power of a good stretch. You'll find some stretching exercises online you can do on your own at home.

    On their own, each of these treatments could limit or end the pain. But many people may find better results by mixing and matching these treatments. It may take a little time before you find what works best for you, but it's worth the effort.

  2. Yoga can beat back pain -- and that's no stretch

    I know plenty of people who won't try yoga because, well, it's yoga -- and they think they'd feel ridiculous doing it.

    But if you're battling back pain, do yourself a favor: Open your mind before you open another jar of pills -- because yoga can help beat your pain, and two new studies prove it.

    One of those studies even finds that yoga can beat conventional care for back pain -- but let's face it here, that's not saying much. "Conventional care" has been a complete failure that's succeeded only in creating millions of painkiller addicts.

    Clearly, it's time to throw "conventional" out the window and try something a little UNconventional -- like yoga, because the study on more than 300 back pain patients in Britain found that 12 weeks of the famous stretching classes led to real reductions in pain and increases in function over standard care.

    Those who did yoga were able to walk more quickly, get dressed without needing help and even stand for longer periods of time -- and if you've battled back pain, you know what a big deal that last one is.

    All told, the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that yoga can help get you back on your feet and doing stuff again -- and there's nothing ridiculous about that.

    Heck, you might not even have to do actual yoga to get the benefits: In another new study, both yoga classes and regular stretching classes easily beat a control group in which patients were given a 200-page book on pain management and told to read it.

    You know how that is -- 20 percent of them later admitted they never even cracked the spine on that thing.

    Overall, 50 percent of the patients in the classes felt either much better or completely better -- versus just 20 percent of those who got the book (and I can't help but wonder if that was the same 20 percent that didn't bother to read it).

    In other words, the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows it doesn't really matter what kind of stretching you pick -- just pick one and stick to it.

    It's not ridiculous if it works.

  3. X-rays rarely uncover back pain source

    The simple reality is that these images will almost never uncover the real source of your problem--but they're pretty good at spotting a source of income for your orthopedist, because a new study shows how they often lead to surgeries that don't actually end the pain.

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