Dr. Eddy Lang: Pursuing a pill-free approach to treating back pain – Alberta News

Dr. Eddy Lang: Pursuing a pill-free approach to treating back pain – Alberta News

Are there drug-free alternatives for dealing with lower back pain?
Highwaystarz-Photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Three months ago, Bruce threw his back out while bending over to help his grandson tie his skates. Although he has had occasional back trouble in the past, this flare-up was different and simply did not want to go away. The pain was constant, deep and worsened when walking or making sudden movements. It was definitely starting to interfere with his everyday life, preventing him from gardening, driving for long periods of time and even feeling present at family gatherings. He was starting to feel especially helpless and frustrated at the lack of improvement. Pain medication prescribed by his doctor helped initially but was now making him feel dopey and causing an upset stomach.

Having recently been introduced to Dr. Google by the same grandson, he asked the search engine about possible alternatives to medication for improving ongoing lower back pain. What he found was overwhelming; there seemed to be endless non-medicinal options for treating low back pain, including yoga, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, exercise, massage, tai chi and even meditation. Desperate for something to alleviate the pain and get him back to normal activities, he felt somewhat lost trying to decide what he should do next.

Low back pain is an extremely common condition and is experienced by most people at some point in their lives. In fact, low back pain causes more disability than any other condition worldwide leading to lost work days and in some cases depression. Studies have shown that low back pain becomes gradually more common with age until one reaches…

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