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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Natural Therapies Recommended for Low Back Pain: Approximately 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain.

Mar 29, 2017 02:04PM ● By Dr. Laurie R. Mallis

At some point in their lives, approximately 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain, which is the most common cause of job-related disability and for going to a doctor. Western medicine practitioners traditionally treat initial cases with medication, which may include various pain relievers, from Tylenol to oxycodone, as well as anticonvulsants or antidepressants. But clinical guidelines just published by the American College of Physicians (ACP) suggest that non-pharmacological approaches—such as acupuncture, massage and therapeutic heat— should be the first line of treatment for non-chronic low back pain.

Doctors usually classify and treat low back pain based on length of symptoms, possible cause and any neurological deficits or underlying medical conditions. Most cases are acute (lasting a few days or weeks) and resolve on their own, while about 20 percent become sub-acute (lasting four to twelve weeks) or chronic (lasting twelve-plus weeks), according to the ACP.

When serious underlying causes for low back pain have been ruled out, natural therapies like acupuncture have been successful in reducing pain and eliminating the need for pharmacological treatment. This natural approach is recommended by the authors of “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians,” published in the February 14, 2017, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. “Given that most patients with acute or sub-acute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select non-pharmacological treatment with superficial heat, massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation.”

Dr. Laurie R. Mallis is the founder of SearchLight Medical, located at 2424 Rte. 52, Hopewell Junction, NY. She offers a variety of alternative and complementary treatments and services, including medical acupuncture, Ondamed Biofeedback Therapy, AcuGraph Qi Analysis and Reiki. For more info, call 845.592.4310 or visit