About 50% of Americans will experience back pain sometime in their lives. It is responsible for the most work days missed for illness and accounts for the highest cost in medical care. And all of this happened when we stood up. That’s right. We went from standing on all fours to standing on two, and the increased pressure on the lumbar curve made the spinal structures more vulnerable to injury.
The day your back starts to hurt is when your journey to relieve it begins. If you’re lucky, your symptoms may be minor and go away with time and rest . If you have to seek treatment, the cause, severity, and duration of the pain will be important in evaluating your condition and determining treatment. The best advice is to proceed slowly, employ as many non-invasive alternative therapies as possible, and consider epidurals and surgery as a last resort.
Your medical care will often start with an MRI, Cat Scan, or x-rays. If there is arthritis and disc degeneration that comes with age or herniated discs, you will likely be deluged with pain pills and sent on your way. If they don’t agree with you, you are out of luck. The next step is to request physical therapy and hope that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, you will probably be offered more pills. And so it goes.
There are several treatment modalities that can reduce pain, improve your range of motion, minimize your symptoms and much of the time make your back pain a bad memory. Each one of them plays a significant role in restoring the integrity of your spine.
Most of my back pain patients are referrals from doctors. The pills just won’t work well and there is nothing more that can be done. In some cases, if a vertebra has moved and is sitting on a nerve, I will recommend that a patient have gentle, non-violent activator chiropractic. There is no manipulation, just a little thump with an activator to put the vertebra back in its place. This creates proper spinal alignment and nerve flow allowing me to use acupuncture to reduce swelling and inflammation and pain. I also use Biofreeze® for a gentle massage, a hydrocollator hot pack, and cold packs to reduce pain when needed.
Don’t forget to visit my pages which demonstrate great back exercises for low back pain, herniated discs and piriformis syndrome! If you have severe back pain, it is probably on your mind most of the time, so don’t hesitate to call or email me to talk about it and answer any questions you may have. One thing is sure, back pain can take the fun out of life. Let’s try not to let that happen!