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More to back treatment than pills

Oct. 11, 2007 at 12:15 PM

COLUMBIA, Mo., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Acupressure, adaptive devices, relaxation, breathing techniques, imagery and visualization can all help with chronic back pain, a U.S. study found.

Occupational therapy professor Guy McCormack of the University of Missouri-Columbia says chronic pain can be treated by more than just a pain medication.

"It is important to get patients who are inactive because of pain involved in purposeful activities; it also helps reduce the perception of pain," McCormack said in a statement. "It gives patients more control over their pain instead of just having someone hand them a pill, it also helps alleviate the concerns some people have about dependency and addiction with medication."

Adaptive devices such as a long-handle reacher that allows people in pain to put on socks without bending over, finding ways to simplify daily activities, modified exercises, yoga and lumbar support can help those in chronic pain to get through the day with improved performance, better sleep and less pain medication, McCormack said.

The study is published in OT Practice, a journal of The American Occupational Therapy Association.

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