A majority of persons that visit doctors do so because of back pain. The number is especially high in the US where a significant proportion of adults suffer from back pain, more often lower back pain. Because of the associated discomfort, productivity is also lost during the time that one experiences back pain, particularly the severe form.
Back pain is typically managed by home remedies until it gets severe enough to see a doctor. However, research has established that it is typically better to seek a remedy to back pain as soon as one notices it. Back pain can be caused by several factors, from the muscles to the IV discs, and therapy has been established as a method of effectively managing back pain.
The effectiveness of the different therapies for back pain and associated diseases and conditions are considered in this article. The therapies considered are hot stone therapy, heat therapy, photon light therapy, far Infrared therapy, negative ion therapy and PEMF therapy.
Hot stone therapy and back pain
Research has proven that hot stone therapy is an effective massage therapy for back pain and is even more effective for low back pain. This massage therapy involves placing hot stones on one’s body and the application of Swedish massage techniques. The stones are warmed with a massage stone heater which is dedicated to this purpose, and the stones are placed on specific points on the back. The points on the back where these stones are placed include the spine, face, stomach, chest, plans, feet and toes. The stones are typically heated to temperatures that range from 135 to 145 degree Celsius.
The mechanism behind hot stone therapy is that on the application of the stones and subsequent message, the tense muscles, as well as soft tissues, are relaxed. Since back pain is typically caused by factors that include tense muscles and soft tissues, the pain is effectively managed with a massage therapy that addresses the muscles and tissues.
There are also numerous health benefits of hot stone therapy. These benefits include alleviation of stress, immune system boost, alleviation of cancer symptoms and improvement of cardiovascular health.
In terms of stress alleviation, it has been established that a hot stone massage can alleviate stress because of its beneficial cardiovascular effects. The cardiovascular benefits of hot stone massage include improved stroke volume which means an improved rate at which blood is sent to the different organs and systems of the body.
Hot stone massage has also been shown to offer benefits that include the alleviation of cancer symptoms. Research established that the Swedish massage techniques applied in hot stone massage alleviate symptoms such as depression, pain and nausea experienced by cancer patients.
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Heat therapy and back pain
Back pain is typically a manifestation of occurrences within the body which results from the activities one engages in. The bodily processes that can be distorted include blood circulation, and heat therapy is particularly aimed at improving blood circulation and alleviating back pain.
Heat therapy simply means the application of heat on the affected parts of the body to achieve proper blood circulation and alleviate pain. Heat therapy also has the effect of stimulating the sensory receptors on the skin to alter the pain messages sent to the brain.
This form of therapy is especially effective for alleviating lower back pain because it also repairs the soft tissues in the lumbar area. The damage of the soft tissues in the lumbar area is typically associated with back pain.
The principle behind heat therapy is simply applying heat whether dry or wet heat to the back for a duration that is deemed appropriate for the expert. Although heat therapy can be done at home and in other traditional settings, trained personnel are better equipped to achieve the goals of heat therapy. The professionals also apply the heat at the best temperature.
Forms of heat application for heat therapy include hot water bottles, saunas, water baths, heated gel packs, electric heating pads and heat wraps. Through these different ways, the heat is applied and maintained at the temperature needed to carry out the desired effects. The heat is also applied for a duration that is deemed appropriate.
The benefits of heat therapy include pain alleviation and improved cardiovascular functions as well as associated benefits such as improved immunity. Heat therapy is simply based on the ability of heat to repair soft tissues as well as improve blood circulation.
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Photon light therapy
Photo light therapy involves the application of light with a short wavelength to the body tissues. The benefits of this therapy stem from the fact that the light which enters the body is highly beneficial to it. The benefits of photon light therapy are thus unlimited to the alleviation of back pain as it has been implicated in improved motor function as well as improved mental health. Photon light therapy is a completely non-invasive therapy that can guarantee a long-term improved quality of health.
With photon light therapy, light of about 600 nanometres is applied to the skin. The body tissues absorb the light, and it leads to the production of essential biochemical substances. Such biochemical substances include nitric oxide and adenosine triphosphate. Collagen which is an essential component of body tissues is also formed due to the exposure of the skin to the low-wavelength light.
The benefits of photon light therapy stem from the essential biochemical compounds produced when the body tissues absorb the light. The light applied is typically visible red light. In respect to depression, the application of photon light therapy leads to the production of substances in the brain that counter the symptoms of depression.
Improved skin conditions are also some of the benefits of photon light therapy as the barbed light cause changes that reverse skin conditions such as acne. Photon light can thus be applied for other benefits apart from alleviation of back pain.
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Far infrared therapy
Far infrared therapy is another form of light therapy that operates differently from photon light therapy. The benefits of this therapy stem from the deep penetration of the body tissues by the electromagnetic radiation emitted. As opposed to other forms of electromagnetic radiation which can cause damage to the DNA, the electromagnetic radiation emitted in far infrared therapy is non-ionizing.
This form of therapy is a healing and wellness technique that was applied in ancient times across different cultures. With technological advancements, devices have been made for the effective application of these electromagnetic radiations. The applied electromagnetic ration causes changes that lead to pain alleviation and other benefits.
Benefits of far infrared therapy are multifaceted as it is a general health and wellness therapy. The benefits include improved immune function, blood circulation and wound healing. Far infrared therapy has also been established as effective for the treatment of cancer. As a noninvasive therapy with a lot of health benefits, far infrared therapy can be applied for the numerous benefits it offers as a health and wellness therapy. These benefits also include management of diabetes, blood pressure and improved skin health. With far infrared therapy, the different toxins deposited into the body are removed thus the widespread health benefits.
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Negative ion therapy
Negative ion therapy, as the name suggests, simply means the application of negative ions to the body with benefits that stem from the health benefit of these negative ions. Negative ions are highly beneficial to the body as their effects include the clearing of toxins and other negative biochemical products in the human body.
From daily encounters and biochemical activities, substances are produced that are detrimental to the human body. These substances include reactive oxygen species. Negative ions clear these reactive oxygen species from the body. The immune system could also be negatively impacted by different cellular activities. Negative ions counter such effects on the immune system and improve its function.
Other benefits of negative ion therapy include improved cardiovascular and nervous system functions as regards the purification of blood and improved mood. Negative ions are also known to improve the quality of sleep.
Negative ions are available naturally but in quantities that do not provide the body a lot of benefits. With negative ion therapy, the negative ions are concentrated and applied to achieve the numerous beneficial effects.
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PEMF therapy involves the application of a pulsing electromagnetic field to the body. This form of therapy sends electromagnetic vibration into the body that leads to beneficial changes.
The beneficial changes from PEMF result from the effect of electromagnetic radiation on the different parts of the body. These beneficial changes include pain alleviation, improved sleep pattern, improved motor functions, improved mood and enhanced flexibility and motor functions. PEMF therapy has also been linked to improved trauma recovery.
Alternative medicine is a field with a lot of health and wellness benefits but with minimal applications. The different therapies highlighted above show the potential of alternative medicine in the management and prevention of a range of conditions. These therapies are also accompanied by minimal side-effects as opposed to the use of traditional therapeutic means.
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