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7 Alternative Medicines and Treatments to Supplement Your Physiotherapy

Alternative Medicine - ShiatsuOne of the reasons why people visit physiotherapists is chronic pain. While it’s so easy to grab a Tylenol, an over the counter ibuprofen, or even a strong anti-inflammatory drug like Celecoxib, being dependent on pain relievers to alleviate bone, joint, and muscle pain is not good for anyone. Pain relievers could become an addiction, and Celecoxib actually comes with a warning for those at high risk of heart attacks and strokes. So these medications should be ingested with caution, and as the health experts always say, “Prevention is better than cure.”

As a chronic pain patient who’s seeing a physiotherapist, it would also be a big help if a pain sufferer couples the physical therapy with other alternative remedies, as well as consuming the right herbs and the right food to strengthen the body. Some herbs and natural supplements may also be able to keep the inflammation at bay. Pain is caused by inflammation in the body, so with inflammation levels down, a chronic pain sufferer may experience less of the discomfort. Take these guidelines with a grain of salt, and also consult the physiotherapist and doctor to check if this advice is sound.

Dietary Adjustments, Recommended Food:

  1. Adjust your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates cause a spike in sugar in the bloodstream, which, in turn, create more inflammation. With a reduction in carb intake, inflammation, and consequently, pain, will also reduce.
  2. Swap your oils.Try to avoid using oils and fats that are high in Low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), such as regular vegetable oil, corn oil, or even lard. Also start to avoidthose that are high in trans fats, such as margarine. Swap these for healthier oils such as olive oil, peanut oil, walnut oil, and even the flavorful sesame oil.
  3. Eat more of anti-inflammatory herb and other plant-based food. These foods include lemon, onion, garlic, mustard, horseradish, watercress, celery, parsley, and pickles. Rose hip tea is also a great anti-inflammatory.

Recommended Health Supplements:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Capsules. Fish oil has undergone numerous studies that state that it helps with optimizing cardiovascular function, and may even help with depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in other sources, such as flaxseed, safflower, and even olive oil. Omega-3 has also been found to help with conditions that require physiotherapy such as osteoarthritic pain (bone and muscle pain), as this also helps with bringing down inflammation in the body. Take note that Omega-3 is also a blood thinner, so it is best to consult the doctor if the patient is already taking other blood thinners such as aspirin.
  2. Herbs such as Turmeric and Ginger.Turmeric and ginger now come in supplement form, so it would be easier to add these to one’s daily supplement regimen. Turmeric can be taken in 300mg doses, 3 times a day, and ginger, up to 2 grams a day, to alleviate pain and inflammation. Ginger is particularly recommended for joint inflammation.

Recommended Alternative Therapies:

Aside from seeing a physical therapist to help realign one’s body and manipulate the pain away, some other alternative therapies could be considered.

  1. Acupuncture is highly recommended for pain relief. Acupuncture involves using needles on key zones of the body, used to treat specific conditions.
  2. Acupressure,otherwise known as “shiatsu,” uses the same zones identified and used in acupuncture, but no needles are involved.

Both of these traditional Chinese medicine practices could be added to one’s physical therapy regimen. It would be a great bonus if one’s existing physiotherapist also provides these services, but if these treatments are not part of the physical therapist’s portfolio, the patient can also see other specialists who work with these alternative therapies.

Wellness is always a holistic journey. Pain, just like other health conditions, could be managed holistically, and with strategies from both mainstream and alternative medicine. The key is to keep the body in tip-top shape, so both dietary and physiotherapy techniques should be worked into a chronic patient’s holistic treatment plan.

Interested to learn more or get the services of a licensed physiotherapist? Visit http://www.pogophysio.com.au/physiotherapy-gold-coast/sports-physio/

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