Alternative and Complementary Treatments for Lower Back Pain


In addition to conventional medical treatments for lower back pain, various alternative and complementary treatments are also available.

Alternative and complementary treatments to help relieve lower back pain include the following:

  • Acupuncture
    Acupuncture can help relieve low back pain, especially nerve-related pain or muscle spasms. Acupuncture treatment involves a practitioner inserting very fine needles into the skin at specific points on the body in order to reduce pain. Pain relief ranges from hours to weeks.
  • Massage therapy
    Massage relieves muscle tightness associated with low back pain. Regular massage therapy can help treat or prevent low back pain, improve function, and reduce the required dosage of pain medication.
  • Chiropractic treatment
    Chiropractic spinal manipulation can help relieve lower back pain. Several sessions may be needed to achieve long-lasting relief.
  • Yoga and Pilates
    The stretches and relaxation techniques used in yoga can reduce back pain. The exercises used in Pilates help strengthen the core muscles in the abdomen and low back, which stabilizes and supports the spine. Stronger core muscles may lead to decreased back pain.
  • Biofeedback
    Biofeedback involves using technology to monitor information about involuntary bodily functions, such as pulse rate, respiration, and muscle tension. Electromyogram (EMG) is a type of biofeedback that measures muscle activity and tension. During EMG therapy, relaxation techniques are practiced to learn to control these involuntary functions. This can help reduce tension and pain.
  • Herbal treatments
    In some cases, herbal treatments can help relieve back pain. Cream containing capsaicin, which is a component of chili peppers, may relieve pain when applied to the back. Taking a supplement containing white willow or devil’s claw may also be beneficial. A medical professional should always be consulted before taking any new supplement.