The Big Ugly Truth about Backaches
A backache is a terrible thing to experience. From a slight inconvenience to a debilitating, life-altering condition, there are several types of backaches based on the causal factor.
The only thing worse than having a backache is the realization that more than half the adults in the country have experienced it at some point in their lives.
Statistic upon statistic shows that we are indeed a health-poor world when it comes to lower back wellness. This condition is so pervasive today that the average age of people with back problems is increasingly becoming less.
One of the biggest reasons for backache is lifestyle. Reduced physical activity combined with unhealthy diets and poor lifestyle choices makes for a perfect ‘recipe for disaster’ in terms of overall health.While mental stress and related conditions attacks one side of our being, physical strain and pain attacks the other.
As far as backaches are concerned, poor posture, sporadic but intense physical activity and traumatic injury are the primary culprits. Medication and other solutions do exist, but people are afraid to go to a hospital for fear that the truth of the condition will be revealed. Although surgery is rarely recommended as a solution for back pain, a lot of people can only envision that when they think of going to a doctor.
So what can be done about backache other than consulting a physician? Plenty, as we shall see.
Alternative Medicine: The Other Guy
Alternative medical sciences have always been looked down on in developed countries. Allopathic medicine – the occidental approach to healing – is relatively new to the world. Though Hippocrates (the father of medicine) and Sushruta (the father of surgery) captured the imaginations of modern healers like nothing else could, waiting in the wings for the right opportunity are a host of other alternatives that were equally touted in their day.
The fact that alternative medicine has received a bum rap in the past is being made up for in the present. More people than ever are moving towards other philosophies in search for holistic healing. Could it be that modern medicine is so invasive and in-your-face that people are searching for ‘softer’ alternatives?
That is definitely one possibility. Could it be that people are dissatisfied with the medical system and its associated costs and side effects that they are willing to try anything else? That is also a possibility. While we may not be able to prove these theories, we certainly cannot deny the fact that alternative therapies are quickly gaining traction in developed nations.
Where backaches are concerned, there are several solutions outside the domain of popular Western medicine. Even within its hallowed portals resides a quiet but persuasive member waiting to break out and make its mark in the world. In this article, we shall explore just two of these alternative therapies that are garnering recognition from every quarter – including traditional medical practitioners of repute.
Chiropractic: I’m Spine, Thank You!
Chiropractic is a little-understood science that is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds. Although they go by several derogatory names, chiropractors get more respect from the general public than ever before. Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic professionals train just as hard as physicians and have to learn nearly as much about the human body as a conventional doctor. The only difference is in the treatment approach, which is entirely different from traditional medicine.
Chiropractic is known to be very effective in treating many types of backache. Spinal manipulation is the most popular method, though there are others. The basis of this technique lies in the concept that disease of any kind is caused by loss of structural integrity in the spine, and that the spine and health are irrevocably intertwined.
For our purpose here, it is sufficient to know that manipulating the spine and surrounding tissue can often eliminate the root cause of back pain, which is the objective of any therapeutic method. The release of pressure from bones and other tissue on specific nerves “frees” the nerve in question from its previous “pinched” position, thereby removing the source of pain.
Whether or not this method is effective is purely subjective, and there is more than adequate evidence from patients themselves to show that chiropractic is possibly far more effective and far less invasive than traditional medicine in treating lower back pain such as sciatica and other symptoms of back problems.
Acupuncture: I Needle Little Healing
Acupuncture is one of the earliest known therapies that involved an amazingly detailed knowledge of the human body’s anatomy. Though traditional medical practitioners are often skeptical of acupuncture’s effectiveness, the World Health Organization, the National Health Service and the National Institutes of Health all endorse the use of this therapy for certain ailments and conditions.
One of the most common treatments in acupuncture is for chronic lower back pain. It has been proved with evidence that pain reduction happens as early as the end of the session. Though considered to be equally effective when compared to conventional treatment, the truth is that acupuncture carries very little risk as far as side effects and adverse effects are concerned – unlike conventional medication, physical therapy or surgery.
Another variant of acupuncture is electroacupuncture, where relatively weak electric pulses are applied to the points where the needles are inserted – via the needles themselves, in fact. Sonoacupuncture is another approach that uses sound instead of electric pulses. There are several variations that focus on different parts of the body to achieve similar therapeutic results.
The popularity of these and other alternative therapies is on the rise because people are seeing their effectiveness with their own eyes. The internet has done a lot to promote these therapies, and many myths have already been debunked. In addition, ongoing scientific research is constantly adding to the reserve of evidence-based support in favor of acupuncture and other therapies.
To a person with chronic back pain that medical intervention is unable to cure, these alternative approaches offer attractive propositions of painless treatment, often with astounding results.