How Can I Treat Neck Pain Using Alternative Medicine?

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Question: How Can I Treat Neck Pain Using Alternative Medicine?

Answer: Alternative medicine's impact on neck pain varies. It varies on the origin of the neck pain. So lets say if someone has arthritis, or disc degeneration, one could look at acupuncture, which has been studied for pain not only in the neck, but elsewhere. And it seems to be helpful for certain populations of patients with neck pain.

Other alternative methods aren't necessarily all that helpful. So, we do know some vitamin supplements, for example, that can help migraine pain. We don't find any vitamin supplements specifically for neck pain, except perhaps for fish oils. Omega-3 fish oils have been shown to help some patients with spinal pain, either low back or neck, and that may be reasonable to seek out.

So, looking at one other aspect, and that would be neck pain that's a reflection of headache, neck pain that is a reflection of either tension-type headache or migraine. So the nutritional supplements that would be helpful for migraine would help migraine-related neck pain. Magnesium, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q-10, butterbur root, alpha-lipoic acid -- there's a whole list of supplements that can help migraine.

And also, biofeedback. Biofeedback, involving either muscular biofeedback or what we call temperature biofeedback, these are techniques that can be learned to relax neck muscles, and in doing so, lessen pain. So, biofeedback for tension-type headache neck pain or migraine-related neck pain can be of value.

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