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Physical Therapy, Exercise, and Adjunctive Therapies for Spondylosis
Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy for back or neck pain that does not resolve on its own after a few weeks. Physical therapy is often prescribed for chronic back or neck pain for muscle strengthening and stretching. Physical therapists can demonstrate specific exercises which, when performed daily, may help strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and prevent recurrent pain. Exercising on a regular basis, specifically walking and yoga, have been shown in studies to be beneficial for chronic back pain.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation may be helpful to some people, especially within the first month of pain. However, certain patients should not undergo spinal manipulation for safety reasons. Specifically, patients with inflammatory arthritis involving the spine, such as ankylosing spondylitis and in some cases, rheumatoid arthritis, should not undergo spinal manipulation due to a small but serious risk of damage to the spinal cord.
Acupuncture for back pain involves inserting very thin needles at various depths into specified areas in the body. The needle placement is designed to balance the chi (or qi) which is thought to flow on meridians throughout the body. Studies of acupuncture for back and neck pain have had mixed results. Other alternative therapies such as homeopathic treatments have not been shown in studies to improve spondylosis.
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