Why Should You Use Integrative Medicine for Back Pain? Find Out Here!

Have you been wondering whether you should opt for integrative medicine for back pain? There are several advantages to choosing integrative healthcare, and this article will discuss the latest procedures, their effects, and the side effects of traditional back pain treatment options. You’ll also be amazed to learn that many people are now using integrative medicine in Arizona to treat back pain.

Are you experiencing chronic back pain? Get in touch with our Arizona Integrative Medical Center today!

Integrative Therapies For Low Back Pain

Before you begin your lower back pain treatment, our doctor will perform a comprehensive physical examination to diagnose your back pain. The examination may include a standing and sitting examination, reflex tests, sensitivity to touch, heat, and pinpricks. The doctor may also order a bone scan or an x-ray. Then our integrative medicine specialist will discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with various treatment methods.  We treat the patient, not just the symptoms.

1. Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a standard treatment for chronic back pain. Many doctors have studied the benefits of massage therapy for back pain. A study led by Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D., at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, compared two commonly used massage therapies for lower back pain relief. Both structural and Swedish massage targeted the pain-related areas, and the participants reported no side effects and minor relief for up to six months after receiving a massage.

Massage therapy has many benefits for people with back pain, including the relief of muscle spasms and increased circulation. It can also reduce stress and inflammation, thereby improving blood circulation and speeding up the healing process of damaged muscles. Meditation is also beneficial, as it can reduce pain and ease depression, sleep problems, and anxiety. Several different types of meditation, including an altered focus approach and deep breathing exercises, help patients with back pain find a solution to their problem and improve their quality of life.

Contact our Center for Integrative Medicine in Arizona to learn more about our pain-relieving massage options.

2. Acupuncture


Acupuncture has been shown to help treat back pain, but how does it work? Acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system, releasing chemicals that suppress pain. Acupuncture stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, which regulate the on-off mechanisms of nerve endings. In addition, it changes the chemistry of the brain. It can also impact the production of natural opioids, which reduce pain and help you relax.

Such integrative therapies for low back pain are generally safe with few side effects. A review of 22 acupuncture studies concluded that acupuncture was effective for both acute and chronic pain. It was also more effective than sham acupuncture. Therefore, the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians recommend acupuncture for chronic lower back pain relief.

3. Spinal Manipulation

Spinal Manipulation

Although most researchers are unsure whether spinal manipulation is effective for all patients, they know that it can help those who need severe back pain treatment. In a recent study, spinal manipulation significantly reduced patients’ pain ratings after treatment. The study’s authors, including Dr. Paul Shekelle, an internist at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center and head of the Rand Corp., stated that spinal manipulation might help relieve back pain for many people.

Although the procedure is considered safe when performed by our licensed integrative medicine specialist, there are some risks involved in spinal manipulation. Side effects are usually limited to temporary soreness around the manipulation site and exhaustion. There are also additional risks associated with manipulation of the upper cervical spine, which is not often addressed in lower back pain treatment options.

4. Yoga


Several researchers have recognized the benefits of yoga and integrative medicine for back pain. A study by Boston Medical Center researchers, led by Robert B. Saper, MD, Ph.D., concluded that yoga can significantly reduce pain and improve function while also reducing dependency on medication. Researchers also noted that any back pain caused by yoga is less severe than other back problems and that the practice is relatively inexpensive.

However, it is important to note that these studies are not designed to replace conventional medical treatment for back pain, but rather supplement them. Saper’s research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and focused on how yoga affects back pain treatment in low-income minority populations. The National Institutes of Health also supported the work of the NIH’s Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) grant program to help new researchers develop academic leadership skills and develop curricula in integrative healthcare.

Severe back pain treatment is no joke! Don’t take it lightly. Talk to our Integrative Medicine Specialist today!

Side Effects of OTC Pain Relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the first choice of many people suffering from back pain. These drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which is responsible for the production of prostaglandin, which causes inflammation. This reduces inflammation and therefore reduces pain. Although not an anti-inflammatory, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a popular choice for pain and fever relief.

While OTC pain relievers are an affordable and accessible choice, the dangers of misuse or overdose are real. You may need to go through several trial-and-error attempts before finding the one that works for you. You should start by taking the lowest dose on the label in case of an emergency, but if your pain continues, consult your healthcare provider and increase the dose. In most cases, people get away with taking the lowest dose on the label.


Although modern medicine is the standard course of treatment for back pain, there are other remedies that can help ease the symptoms and improve function. Most studies indicate that a mixture of traditional and integrative healthcare is effective for many back pain patients. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, yoga, and spinal manipulation can help relieve muscle tension and increase blood circulation. A massage therapy session can help reduce chronic back pain and can effectively ease pain caused by other causes. However, it is best to discuss any new treatments with our integrative medicine specialist before beginning any of them.

At our Arizona Integrative Medical Center, we have developed various methods of treating back pain. Some of these methods are complementary to Western medicine, while others function as a complete replacement for it. These integrative therapies for lower back pain often include a combination of traditional medication and nontraditional methods.