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When the intricate column of vertebral bones that comprises your spine becomes twisted, inflamed or injured in any way, severe back pain may ensue. In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors, nurses, and therapists. Fortunately, there are a number of natural treatment modalities that help many people experience less lower back pain without resorting to dangerous prescription drugs.

Think out of the box for back pain therapy

The human back is made of muscle, ligament, bones and tendon. Tendons connect muscle to muscle, while ligaments attach muscle to bone. Your spine may become sore for all sorts of reasons. According to Mayo Clinic, most lower back pain goes away on its own, typically after just a few weeks and such pain rarely requires surgical intervention. If you’re having “one of those weeks” with your back, you may wish to consider a few alternative therapies before you reach for prescription pain medication.

Yams for back pain

Bright orange tubers are great for your health, but they may not do much for your backbone. Yoga, acupuncture, meditation and self-hypnosis are alternative therapies that may help you to reduce the frequency and severity of spinal pain episodes.

Yoga has ancient origins and has been used for centuries to strengthen spines and relieve lower back pain. Enroll in a hatha yoga class with your friends or tune into a how-to yoga video. Acupuncture is another super old therapy that helps relieve a variety of painful symptoms. Thin, almost painless needles are inserted into particular points on the body to alleviate aches and pains. Nobody is sure why it works, but it does.

Use the power of your own mind to relieve spinal pain. Meditation can relax your spirit and may ease your backbone in the process. Many people, when asked how to relieve lower back pain, recommend self-hypnosis. Massage therapy offers exceptional relief to many back pain sufferers, says Spine Health magazine. Sitting in a massage chair may be more comfortable than lying prone on a massage table, so seek a masseuse who provides that option. Massage therapy is known to boost feel-good serotonin levels as well as natural, pain-killing endorphins, according to Prevention magazine. Scientists are studying massage as a way to ‘turn off’ inflammation at a molecular level.

When to see a physician about back pain

Some back pain may be of medical origin. If back pain doesn’t go away within a few weeks, or if you experience sudden, sharp back pain following a car accident or fall, you should see a doctor without delay if only to rule out a more sinister underlying cause. Maladies that can contribute to back pain include Paget’s disease, spinal stenosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. That doesn’t make it feel any better, however. Try one or more of the aforementioned modality, and find out what works best for you.