Spine, muscle and nervous system pain has many causes including physical trauma, poor posture, repetitive motion, overuse, and wear and tear. The pain may be so disruptive that it keeps you from falling asleep, leaving you fatigued and unable to focus on simple tasks, or interferes with your daily activities, either at home or work.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce spine, muscle and nervous system pain:
Exercise: Physical activity—which helps to increase strength, flexibility, and joint mobility—is an important aspect of overall health and can help reduce your pain.1 Exercise lubricates the joints by encouraging fluid to circulate, which may allow you to move with more ease. Exercise also increases blood flow, which means more nutrients are being delivered to body tissues, aiding the healing process. Non-weight bearing exercises (such as swimming) are especially recommended to manage arthritic pain. Be sure to ask your chiropractor for recommended exercises and stretches. You can also check out our Straighten Up Canada app to follow an easy-to-perform posture program video series.
Spinal Manipulation: Recent studies have shown that spinal manipulation can reduce back pain and increase function.2,3. Many patients experience improved range of motion and report immediate pain relief from manual therapy. Talk to your chiropractor to see if spinal manipulation is right for you.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to be clinically effective in treating pain, particularly including low back and shoulder pain, to name a few.3. This is one modality that many chiropractors incorporate into their practice to offer more complete care to patients.
Behavioural therapy: Cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing long-term1 muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate by teaching the patient relaxation and coping techniques. Reducing your level of stress can also be helpful. Talk to a mental health professional to see if behavioural therapy is right for you or request a referral from your trusted healthcare provider.
Medication: Some medications have been shown to be beneficial in the management of chronic pain1 and may be used to help reduce pain enough to allow you to engage in active care or physical activity. However, with some types of medication, there is a risk of addiction. Starting treatment plans that don’t involve the use of medications—like any of the first four mentioned above—are a good first step to managing pain before beginning any sort of pharmaceutical treatment. If you are considering medication, talk to your family doctor to find out more.
Chronic pain can be managed many different ways beyond the five listed above. It’s important to consider all avenues before approaching treatment with medication. If you have any questions, visit your local chiropractor to see what option works best for you.
2. John P, Revord M. Noninvasive Pain Management Techniques. Spine-health. 2017. Available at: https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/pain-management/noninvasive-pain-management-techniques.
3. Paige NM, Miake-Lye IM, Booth MS, et al. Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2017;317(14):1451-60.
4. Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative Resources – https://www.ccgi-research.com/resources