If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, or any other recurring aches and pains, you might be tempted to rely on pain-relieving medication. While these may cause temporary relief because they work as anti-inflammatory agents, taking too many, too often can often result in side-effects over the long-term, like liver damage.
Finding the best solution for your aches and pains can always seem like a challenge. Rather than treat the symptoms, it’s far better to work to identify and address the causes, and one of the simplest, most direct and effective ways to get immediate relief is to simply manipulate the tissue that is the cause of so much physical distress. In other words, seeking hands-on treatments like massage therapy, acupressure therapy, acupuncture therapy, and physical therapy.
4 Types of Hands-On Treatment Modalities
Here is a quick look at why these four types of treatments can be highly effective for problems related to aching muscles, pinched nerves, stiff joints, poor circulation and numerous other health issues.
1. Massage Therapy
While you can always get a massage at home, there is a huge difference between getting a comforting massage and a professional massage delivered by a skilled therapist on a specially designed massage beds set at the perfect height for manipulating every part of the body from a variety of angles. When you get a professional massage, you have to remember that the therapist has spent from 300 to 1,000 hours learning all about the human muscular system and different ways of pushing, pressing, and pulling against various muscles and joints to relieve pain in the most effective way. In fact, the therapist may even have specialized in a specific technique like Swedish Massage Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, or Shiatsu Massage to learn exactly how to correct knotted muscles and heal inflamed tissue.
2. Acupressure Therapy
Acupressure is a healing modality that has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It promotes both mental peace-of-mind and physical relaxation, as well as enhances well-being. It is similar to massage therapy, except pressure is applied to certain pressure points for a long time rather than the use a rolling, kneading type of hand motion. It is also similar to acupuncture in that it focuses on pressure points to help the body realign its distribution of energy.
3. Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture is classified as a type of alternative or complementary medicine. An acupuncturist will insert thin needles into various acupuncture points throughout the body to promote proper energy flow. According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that disease is a result of the disruption of energy flow, called qi, within the body. The use of thin needles at certain points under the skin, usually referred to as acupuncture or acupressure points, release this stuck qi. Today, acupuncture is widely practiced in the Western world either as a separate treatment or in association with an allopathic treatment plan.
4. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy or physiotherapy focuses on movement and mechanical force. Essentially, it is a manual therapy that uses a variety of methods to cause relief from stiffness and pain. Rather than resorting to drugs or surgery, physiotherapists work to treat a disease, an injury, or a deformity through the use of such methods as massage, exercise, ice or heat treatment.
Finding the Best Treatment Plan and the Solution for Your Aches and Pains
You may need to do quite a bit of research to find out what the best treatment for you might be. In addition, you will also have to find the right therapist for you. While some practitioners may be excellent, others will be less skilled, or you may resonate more with one therapist over another. So, there is a lot of trial and error involved before you find the right treatment and the right therapist.
Additionally, it’s not necessary to think of healing as an either/or option. For instance, it’s a mistake to think of having to decide between traditional medicine or alternative medicine. Both can work well together.
For instance, a doctor can give you a medical checkup and suggest some dietary changes while a massage therapist can help you improve blood and lymph circulation. Or you may need surgery to correct a shoulder injury, and a physiotherapist can then help you to recover the full use of your deltoid muscles.
Similarly, you may benefit from different types of alternative therapies. Acupressure might help you to reduce muscular inflammation while a customized exercise program designed by a physiotherapist might help you to keep muscles flexible.
So, more than one treatment type can be combined to complement one another and help you find the best option to treat your aches and pains.