Most people are familiar with alternative medicine, although they may not call it that. Alternative medicine can refer to something as simple as using honey and lemon for a cough or sore throat. Herbal supplements or teas are a traditional part of alternative medicine, as are acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic. In brief, any medical therapies that are considered unorthodox by mainstream physicians could be considered to be alternative medicine.

Alternative medicine is much more accepted in the U.S. than it once was. Insurance companies, who are inclined to seek the cheapest solution to an accident claim, often send those suffering neck or back injuries to a chiropractor first. They know that the chiropractic treatment may resolve the accident victim's injury and pain quicker, and at much less cost, than back or neck surgery.

Early Pain Medications

Chronic pain has been a problem without much of a solution for countless centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the brain was involved in the perception of pain, but had not effective method for dealing with it. During the 1800s, morphine and other opiates were found to be effective at relieving pain, but they did not recognize the addictive qualities of these drugs.

Aspirin, familiar to everyone, was developed commercially from willow bark. It had been known by native Americans and others for a very long time that willow bark tea would help with pain, but the development of the aspirin powder or tablet turned an alternative pain reliever into main-stream aspirin.

The Problem with Addiction to Painkillers

According to the National Institutes of Health, pain is a major problem, affecting more people in the U.S. than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. More people visit their doctors because of pain than for any other single reason and is the leading cause of disability.

Chronic pain is typified by back and neck problems. They often do not respond well to conventional treatments, leading the sufferers to consume more and more painkillers. People can ruin their lives in the pursuit of painkillers, doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions, stealing pain pills from family and friends and eventually purchasing them on the street. Addiction treatment centers report that an addiction to painkillers is extremely difficult to cure.

Opiods work by decreasing the brain's perception of pain. Oxycontin is one of the most well-known and most often abused of this class of drugs. In addition to the dependency on the drug, some people also experience drowsiness, nausea and chronic constipation. Opiods are a terrible solution to chronic pain.

Dr. Richard A. Huntoon is a newburgh chiropractor, newburgh alternative medicine newburgh. He suffered a debilitating back injury when he was only 21. When his own back was healed by an alternative practitioner, he chose to learn and practice this form of treatment. He understands how to effectively treat chronic pain in newburgh and would like the opportunity to heal others as he was healed. To learn more about alternative medicine in newburgh ny, visit his website.