Pain management stands to advantage with massage and other hands-on approaches, new studies have found.
Also, spinal manipulation and Rolfing, apart from the Alexander technique and the Feldenkrais method can have great effect.
The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource discusses these methods in detail.
Massage - It involves applying pressure to the body's soft tissues by rubbing, kneading or rolling. In deep tissue massage, the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue are manipulated. Another approach focuses on trigger points, where in muscle "knots" that are painful are pressed.
Spinal manipulation - This therapy is a treatment for restricted spinal mobility. It ensures that the spinal movement is restored. A controlled force or thrust is applied to a joint of the spine. Also, known as spinal adjustment it can provide long-term or short-term relief.
Rolfing - Rolfing manipulates the fascia, the protective tissue surrounding the muscles. The practitioner uses hands, knuckles, thumbs, elbows and knees to manipulate the patient's tissues aiming to improve posture and realign the body.
Alexander technique and Feldenkrais method - These therapies use touch and direction to help the patient become more aware of movement.
An Alexander session might begin with the patient seated in a chair. The practitioner helps the patient adjust head, neck and spine positions.
With Feldenkrais, the patient may be lying down, sitting on a chair or standing. Researchers feel the Alexander technique can provide long-term relief for back pain.