Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Back Pain Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Alternative Approaches to Low Back Pain

Back pain got you backed in to a corner? Alternative therapies might help you ease the pain. Part 4 of a four-part series.

Mind and Body continued...

Â

Often, says Block, the image he uses to help a patient control pain is one of electricity. "I saw a patient today and we talked about the pain signals coming up their spine like electrical wires. When they feel pain, they'll see the wires glowing," he explains. "As they get into a relaxed, hypnotic state, they'll see the glow decrease, visualize it not flowing as intensely or rapidly, and that enables them to mute the pain."


Sometimes, it's not about getting rid of the pain but managing it through other psychological approaches. "These fall into the category of 'cognitive behavioral intervention.' You take the thoughts that go along with back pain and help the patient change the way they view their situation so that they can cope with it better," Block says. "The main thing I advise people to do is to move from seeing the pain as a condition that can be cured to a condition of living that requires them to adapt and function as best they can. It's important to use your own strength to overcome what this does to your life."

Â

Ultimately, says the GHC's Cherkin, the choice of alternative back pain treatment is a very individual thing. "I don't think any of these approaches have been shown to be dangerous for low back pain," he says. "So it really comes down to what works for an individual patient and what's worth trying. It's clear that there's no single treatment that's effective for everybody."

Â

Published Aug. 16, 2004.

1 | 2 | 3
Reviewed on August 16, 2004

Today on WebMD

Woman holding lower back
Or is it another form of back pain?
Hand on back
See the myths vs. the facts.
 
Woman doing pilates
Good and bad exercises.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Use it to manage your pain.
 
Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
Video
pain in brain and nerves
Slideshow
 
Chronic Pain Healtcheck
Health Check
break at desk
Article
 
Woman holding lower back
Slideshow
Weight Loss Surgery
Slideshow
 
lumbar spine
Slideshow
back pain
Article