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You are not alone, nearly 80% of adults experience back pain. But what causes back pain? In our modern society back pain is increased due to the time we spend sitting at our jobs and during our free time.
Sitting is becoming the new smoking. Back pain isn’t just a nuisance, it’s expensive, not only for individuals, but for the nation as a whole.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce your back pain. This includes healthy eating, reducing stress, maintaining a sleep. These changes can solve many back problems, as well as many other ailments. These are measures you can take to prevent back pain.
If you experience back pain you shouldn’t wait to get help, surgery is often only needed as a last ditch effort, so it’s always better to get the problem corrected early.
Only about 10% of patients need surgery to alleviate back pain. If back pain is not alleviated by non-surgical treatments and has continued for a few weeks or months, it may be time to see a spine surgeon. If the pain is severe and medication isn’t working then it may be advisable to consult with a spine surgeon sooner.
Some types of back surgery are less invasive than others. A microdiscectomy is minimally invasive and does not change the anatomy of the spine, whereas most types of lumbar spine fusion surgeries are more invasive and do change the anatomy of the spine. Minimally invasive approaches heal within a few weeks and have around a 90% success rate. Invasive surgeries, such as fusion surgery, take several months to heal and have a success rate between 70 and 90%.
A chiropractic approach to treating lower back pain is to find the source of the back pain and correct it, not just treat the symptom; this ensures that the body can heal naturally. Lower back pain often responds dramatically to the correction of vertebrae positioning and the restoration of normal motion. Chiropractors use spinal manipulations or adjustments to precisely apply a directed force to the vertebrae that is out of position.
The doctor may either use their hands or specialized tools to apply a quick thrust or slower pressure to the misaligned joint. Additionally, your chiropractor may suggest adding exercises, hot or cold compresses, or massage to compliment your adjustments. It may also be helpful to consider some lifestyle changes such as healthier eating and stress reduction techniques.
Physical Therapy Approach
A physical therapist can teach you exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles in the affected area to relieve pressure on the nerve. They may also recommend modifications to activities that aggravate the nerve. They can show you positions and exercises designed to minimize pain. A physical therapist may also recommend applying heat or ice, traction, an ultrasound, electrical stimulation or short-term bracing for the neck or lower back.
Massage therapy is beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain. Massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach to combating back pain based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Structural relaxation massage techniques both work well to remedy chronic low back pain with few side effects. Massage helps those with back pain function better even after six months, which can help support their ability to work, take care of themselves and be active.
For those who use massage as a preventive measure to back pain or to manage daily back stress, one massage a month is common. Weekly massage sessions may be necessary for injury relief or to relieve chronic neck or back tightness that interferes with daily life. If this is the case, weekly sessions are essential in order to build on each week’s improvements in healing until the desired results have been achieved.