6 Effective Alternative Pain Management Therapies

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See if this sounds familiar: Man is in pain. Man goes to doctor. Doctor prescribes pain medication. Man feels better. Prescription runs out. Pain comes back. Man goes back to doctor. Man gets prescription renewed. Man does this many more times. Man eventually gets surgery and fixes source of pain, has a full recovery. Man no longer needs pain meds for pain, doctor discontinues prescribing them. But man still needs pain meds…because he is addicted. Man resorts to obtaining pain meds illegally. Man eventually gets caught and suffers public humiliation. Man goes to rehab and finally becomes free of his addiction.

Sound crazy? Think it is unfathomable that our great medical system could aid in the addiction of an otherwise upstanding man? See Rush Limbaugh.

The truth is hundreds of thousands of individuals are hooked on narcotic pain medications every year. And who can blame them? Pain hurts and so do withdrawal symptoms.

A different trend of thought for dealing with pain has surfaced within the last few decades. Appropriately called “alternative pain management,” this trend has grown into an industry providing many products and services that thousands of chronic pain sufferers rely upon on a daily basis.

A new study by David Eisenberg, M.D found that total visits to alternative medicine practitioners jumped 47% from 427 million in 1990, to 629 million in 1997 which easily topped the 386 million visits to primary-care doctors.

Here is your quick rundown on the top trends in alternative pain management.


Tens stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous (trans-kyoo-tey-nee-uh s) means “through, or by way of the skin.To override the pain, TENS units send a more pleasant and dominant electrical signals into the body and along the nerve pathways. TENS recently was recognized by the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Task Force on Chronic Pain Management as an effective mode of pain relief. (Read full article here.)


Despite its growing acceptance even within “mainstream” medicine, Chiropractics still has its doubters. Yet it has far more advocates. Golfers and other pro sports individuals will often employ a private Chiropractor. The practice has been growing in popularity here in the U.S. since the early 80′s.


Usually administered by a specialized Chiropractor, decompression is very effective for disc-related back pain sufferers. A computer guides micro adjustments targeting the space between the vertebrae once the patient is harnessed to the table.

Visceral Manipulation

This is practice of “massaging” internal organs and the membrane that supports them. When an organ is damaged the membrane that holds it in place can stiffen forcing the surrounding organs to move around it.  Thousands of ailing folks have been helped by a therapy called visceral manipulation. It targets internal organs ranging from the liver to the lungs.


Got pain? Fix it by sticking dozens of needles in you. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Acupuncture dates way back to ancient China. It works by altering the senses of the nerves surrounding the area in pain. Reviews have been mixed as with most alternative approaches. Some swear by it, others get nothing out of it.


Combining the art of meditation and stretching, yoga is the ultimate heal-yourself approach to dealing with pain.  There is an abundance of believers too. But like most alternative approaches, science can’t find any solid evidence to back up the claims of the thousands who swear by it.

There are many other alternative approaches to managing pain in addition to these front runners.  If you are in pain it may be in your best interest to try some of these remedies first before accepting a potential addictive regimen of pain killers. Who knows, you may even be able to avoid a surgery and improve your overall health. And good health is the number one preventative medicine to keep you out of pain in the first place!

Did you know that over 90 percent of all back pain will heal on its own without surgery, particularly with the aid of alternative healing devices, remedies and practices? Michael Harris is the marketing director for Spinal Rehab Solutions, Inc. and is an expert author on all things pertaining to alternative pain management and lower back pain, treatment and recovery.

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