The Natural Treatment of Back Pain
Back problems affect most people at some time or another, and 70 – 80% of us are affected by low back pain at some time in our lives. Often it happens in the most unexpected way – just a little turn or even simply getting up from a chair may be followed by an excruciating spasm of the back muscles. The pain is usually localised to the left or right side of the back, but it may be centrally placed. It may radiate down the leg, or even be confined to the leg or foot only. Radiating pain usually suggests that there is pressure on a nerve, and if the pain radiates down the leg, the condition is called sciatica. The sciatic nerve is a pencil-thick nerve emerging from the spine, and it can be pressed on by the disc between the vertebrae or by some bony outgrowth.
Symptoms of sciatica, i.e. pain radiating down one leg from the back or pain only somewhere along the path of the sciatic nerve, is not necessarily a medical emergency, although this does depend on the symptoms and length of time the symptoms have been present. Clearly if there is increasing weakness of a limb with muscle atrophy occurring rapidly, urgent surgical consultation should be considered. However, many patients with sciatica do well with conservative measures.
There is no clarity on the best treatment for low back pain. As indicated, most patients with acute back pain will get better on their own, simply with rest. There is no doubt in my mind that acupuncture and/or low-energy laser treatment will help to hasten recovery, and I think many patients will agree that chiropractic treatment also makes a difference to the way the back heals. In addition, a range of other approaches such as massage and hydrotherapy may be helpful.
The best treatments are probably acupuncture, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation and various forms of manipulation, but preventive treatment in the form of back exercises, postural changes, and seating and sleeping adjustments are very important as well.
Please refer to our website link below to refer to the full article written by Dr Bernard Brom.
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