For back pain, physical therapy, osteopathic care, or chiropractic care usually includes spinal manipulation, which is a kind of manual therapy. It involves working on the head, shoulders, neck, back, or hips. It can range from massage and slow pressing to a quick thrust. Your care provider may also use hot and cold therapy to relieve pain.
You may also learn stretching and range-of-motion exercises to maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) applies brief pulses of electricity to nerve endings in the skin to relieve chronic pain.
It's common to respond to chronic pain with feelings of frustration, depression, anxiety, fear, and even anger. These feelings can make it harder to manage chronic pain, especially if you use alcohol or drugs to deal with your symptoms.
A counselor may use treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you cope with your pain.
- Chronic Pain: Using Healthy Thinking
A support group is made up of people with similar experiences who can understand your feelings and provide comfort. They can keep you from feeling isolated and alone.
Being around others who share your problem can help you and your family learn how to accept and manage chronic pain.
To find a group near you, contact the American Chronic Pain Association at 1-800-533-3231 or online at www.theacpa.org.
Trying one or more of these complementary therapies may reduce pain, help you cope with stress, and improve your emotional and physical well-being:
If you decide to try one or more of these complementary therapies to treat your chronic pain, find a health professional who has special training and, whenever possible, certification in the particular therapy.
You may get a referral from someone you trust such as your doctor, family, or friends. Make sure all of your health professionals know every type of treatment you are using to reduce chronic pain.