Back Pain: Top 5 alternative treatments

Back pain is a widespread issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Worldwide, back pain consistently ranks as of the main causes of discomfort and disability year on year and things only seem to be getting worse! While conventional treatments like medication, physical therapy, and surgery can provide relief, many individuals seek alternative approaches to alleviate their discomfort – Chiropractic is one such approach, but what else is worth trying?


Treatment for back pain

As a Chiropractor, we’re obviously biased here… well wait, are we? At Complete Chiropractic, we’re not just a Chiropractor – we’ve always offered a range of services from acupuncture to massage, sports therapy to chiropractic biophysics – so actually, we might not be biased, we’re just a fan of effective ways to treat back pain!


Chiropractic Care

No matter how you look at it (and no matter how many times we point out that chiropractic is so much more!) back pain has become synonymous with chiropractic. Chiropractic care is a popular alternative treatment for back pain that focuses on the spine’s alignment and overall musculoskeletal health. Chiropractors use manual adjustments and manipulation techniques to improve spinal function, reduce pain, and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal. The philosophy behind chiropractic care is based on the belief that misalignments in the spine can lead to various health issues, including back pain – and that by keeping the spine in good condition we can try to prevent back pain going forward.

Standard Chiropractic adjustments aim to restore proper alignment, relieve pressure on nerves, and promote the body’s self-healing mechanisms, however, at Complete Chiropractic we go a step further, incorporating chiropractic biophysics techniques which also help to optimise the way your body moves to help reduce the chances of re-injury in the future.



Originating from ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow (or “qi”) and promote healing. While the mechanism behind acupuncture’s effectiveness is still debated, many people do report significant pain relief and improved well-being after undergoing acupuncture sessions.

For back pain, it seems reasonable to suggest that acupuncture may help by increasing blood flow to the affected area, releasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), and reducing inflammation. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner, but individuals should discuss their condition with a healthcare professional before starting any alternative treatment. This is especially the case if you suffer from any skin conditions.


Yoga and Pilates

Physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy back, and both yoga and Pilates offer gentle yet effective approaches to strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, and alleviating back pain. These mind-body practices emphasize proper posture, controlled movements, and breath awareness, which can help relieve tension, reduce stress, and promote overall spine health.

Yoga consists of various poses, stretches, and relaxation techniques that can target specific areas of the back and address common issues such as tight hamstrings, weak core muscles, and poor spinal alignment. Pilates, on the other hand, focuses on core strength, stability, and controlled movements to support the spine and alleviate strain on the back muscles.

Many of the core exercises and poses which you’ll find as part of a Yoga or Pilates routine are very similar to those that we recommend our patients undertake at home to strengthen the weak muscles which are often part of a back pain problem.


Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another alternative treatment that can offer relief from back pain by targeting muscle tension, promoting relaxation, and enhancing blood circulation. Different massage techniques, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and myofascial release, can be tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences.

Whereas the other approaches we’ve looked at so far work over the longer term, Massage Therapy has the ability to bring some relief almost immediately. By releasing knots and trigger points in the muscles, massage therapy can help improve flexibility, reduce muscle stiffness, and alleviate pain associated with muscle imbalances. Moreover, the relaxation induced by massage can have positive effects on overall stress levels, which can contribute to back pain. Massage alone won’t fix chronic problems like poor posture, but it’s an excellent way to manage and reduce pain and soreness in the short term – there’s a reason professional sports teams all have a massage therapist on staff these days!


Herbal Remedies and Supplements

While you should always do your research before taking any supplements, herbal remedies and supplements have been used for centuries in various cultures to address a wide range of health issues, including back pain. While scientific research on their efficacy is still evolving, some herbal options may offer anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Common herbal remedies for back pain include turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, and white willow bark. These natural substances contain compounds that are believed to reduce inflammation and provide mild pain relief. Additionally, supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are often taken to support joint health and potentially alleviate discomfort associated with back pain. Again, taking a supplement alone won’t cure your back pain, but it could be an important aspect of an overall routine which gets the job done!


Give it a try!

Alternative approaches to back pain can offer valuable options or even serve as primary treatments for some individuals. Chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, massage therapy, and herbal remedies all provide distinct benefits that can contribute to overall back health and pain relief. As with any medical decision, it’s crucial to consult a qualified healthcare professional before starting any treatment regimen, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or concerns.

Remember that each person’s experience with these alternative treatments can vary, and what works for one individual may not work for another. It’s essential to approach these treatments with an open mind, seek guidance from knowledgeable practitioners, and make informed decisions that align with your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re struggling with back pain and need just that kind of advice, why not take advantage of our new patient special and get a customised treatment plan designed just for you?!

Blog by / August 1, 2023 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007