Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are caused by trauma, postural strain, daily repetitive actions, and prolonged incapacitation. MSDs include any injury, damage or disorder of the musculoskeletal system (i.e. joints, muscles, tendons, nerves, discs, ligaments, etc.). The most common cause for MSDs is work-related traumas and sports injuries. In 2016, MSDs made up 41% of all work-related illnesses, in the UK.
After consulting with their doctor, most people with musculoskeletal disorders prefer to try alternative (complementary) therapies before opting for invasive therapies, such as injections and surgery.
A study by the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine showed that about 55 % of people, who tried complementary therapies were satisfied with the result, which means that more than half of patients with MSDs can avoid invasive treatments and improve their quality of life using alternative therapies.
If you are considering a complementary therapy for your musculoskeletal disorder, you have an impressive number of choices. After consulting with your doctor, you can choose some of the below options.
There are many types of therapeutic massage for patients with MSDs. Such massage is effective for chronic back pain. They induce relaxation and alleviate pain. Often the right massage can even deal with headaches better than other therapies. It stimulates the brain so it produces endorphins, which in turn improve your mood and reduce painful symptoms. Massage is used for tendonitis, arthritis, muscle strains, and other conditions.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy for pain relief. Fine needles are inserted at specific points in your body to correct the energy flow imbalance. Even though some people believe the basis of this therapy to be non-evidence-based, the results speak for themselves, to say the least. Besides bringing physical relief, this therapy offers a certain psychological relief based on the patients’ beliefs.
Physical therapy is one of the most common alternative treatments that doctors recommend that patients turn to. This therapy is usually part of the set of measures taken to reduce the symptoms of MSDs. There are special pain relief exercises that may substantially improve the patient’s quality of life.
Chiropractors use hand manipulations to improve the overall condition of the body. A chiropractor can offer a pain relief alternative for people suffering from muscle, tissue, joint, and bone problems. Chiropractic is beneficial for neck pain and headaches. Meanwhile, it can help patients suffering from osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Osteopathic manipulations have proven effective for treating such MSDs as low back pain and neck pain as well as sports and overuse injuries, degenerative spinal processes, disc disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and tendonitis. A gentle form of manipulation can help reduce the symptoms of MSDs.
All the above therapies may be used separately or in conjunction with other treatments. Choosing the right therapy for you may be complex and might involve a trial-and-error method. However, the results of complementary therapies are often impressive and allow the patients to delay or avoid invasive procedures.