Around 70 – 90 % of people will suffer from lower back pain in their lives. Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
Back problems include:
- pain in the lower, middle and upper regions of the back
- degeneration of the spine joints
- weakness, tingling, and numbness in the lower back
- narrowing of the spinal canal
- pressure on the spinal nerve
Subacute low back pain is defined as pain that lasts between 4 and 12 weeks and chronic back pain is pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. Back pain is usually the number two reason to visit family physicians after colds and flu.
There are many over-the-counter pain medications that addresses back pain. The two most common are acetaminophen (for example, brand name Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs ( for example, brand name Advil). While they are good for pain management they do not deal with what is causing the back issue so the problem recurs and eventually develops into a chronic condition.A previous Apple A Day Rx blog reported that ‘Paracetamol is no more effective than placebo in relieving acute lower back pain’
The answer to low back pain
Medication only dulls the pain but does not deal with the underlying cause, so how can one deal with the cause of back pain. One answer is the Alternative Medicine treatment, Remedial Massage Therapy. If there is no inflammation then Deep tissue is used which break down and remove muscle adhesions which can cause circulation and swelling. This improves movement, mobility, and flexibility. Other Massage therapy techniques may include Positional Release Technique, Soft tissue Release, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching, Muscle Energy Technique and more. I always trained my students in aforementioned technique and utilise the appropriate protocols according to what is presented by the client.
Another alternative medicine treatment option is Chiropractic treatment where the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) chiropractic practitioner will manually adjust and/or manipulate the spine which alleviates the back pain. The Chiropractor has a variety of techniques at his/her disposal to treat back pain such as Activator method, applied Kinesiology, SOT, Thompson, Torque release and many more.
A popular treatment for back pain is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment is Osteopathy. Osteopaths who I have worked with focus on releasing joint restrictions and tissue tensions. Osteopaths will use techniques such as, myofascial release, strain-counter strain, heat treatment, and more to great effect.
Other alternative medicine therapies for back pain include Pilates, Yoga, Nutritional Therapy, Homotoxicology, Acupuncture, Rolfing and Biofeedback.
When you add up the cost of repeat prescriptions and days off sick due to back pain, a trip to your alternative medicine practitioner is much more cost effective and it can really end your back pain misery.