Human beings are the only truly bipedal species on the earth, and the human skeleton is designed to reflect that. The human spine is S-shaped rather than a gradual curve, and the human leg bones are longer and tougher than the arm bones. That, and the human skeleton has arched feet and an upright pelvic bone. All of this gave human beings’ early ancestors an evolutionary advantage, but over time, a person’s upright posture may wear them out. Even today, many years of upright walking may put strain on the spine as it fights gravity, and spinal disorders and back pain are among the most common types of chronic pain today. The good news is that medicine has kept up, and today, back pain disorders and spinal disorders can be treated with chiropractors, yoga and physical therapy experts, and more. Why might a person suffer from back pain, and what will some non-invasive treatment methods entail?
Back Pain as a Problem
This is not a rare issue; around the world, some 1.5 billion people are suffering from chronic pain, and back pain ranks high among all types of pain. In fact, in the United States today, around 50% of all working adults admit that they have back pain symptoms every year. Experts have also estimated that around 80% of the American population will suffer from back problems at some point in their lives, which is well over half. Overall, back pain ranks as the second most common reason to visit the doctor’s office, right behind upper-respiratory infections. It is believed that around 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain at any given time, and around one in three women and one in four men go through such pain.
Why does this happen? A number of causes may lead to back pain, and simple old age is one of them. An elderly adult has spent many decades walking upright, which naturally stresses and compresses the spine over time, leading to pain. Pinched nerves and cramped muscles may be common aspects of this. In other cases, hard manual labor for years on end may cause back pain and muscle strain over time, and suffering an injury or accident may also strain the back muscle or deform the spine (this may call for physical therapy at a hospital). What is more, a Statista survey in 2017 found that 29% of American adults with back problems blamed ongoing stress for their back pain, and 26% of others blamed weak muscles or a lack of general exercise. Another 26% had blamed physical labor. Another cause of back pain among women in particular is pregnancy, when the woman’s center of mass shifts from the added weight.
What to Do About Back Pain
Someone going through back pain has all sorts of solutions available to them. While problems such as slipped discs require surgery, other back pain cases don’t require invasive methods to take care of. Rather, stretching and flexing, or chiropracty, may solve the problem. If a patient goes in to their doctor’s office and describes their back pain, they may be referred to a specialist such as a chiropractor. Chiropractors can use their bare hands, or simple tools, to adjust the bones and muscles of a patient and realign them, which can relieve stress and pressure on joints, bones, and muscles with no need for surgery. Many chiropractic patients report great satisfaction with this work and would go again if they needed to.
Yoga and physical therapy are also options. Some sufferers of back pain may choose to find a private yoga studio and hire a yoga expert who can guide them through a series of stretching and bending exercises over time. Such yoga experts understand how the human body naturally bends and flexes, and this may allow the patient to relieve pressure on their bones and muscles and also restore their full range of motion. Physical therapists can do something similar for patients in a hospital, and they will track the patient’s muscle strength and arcs of motion with stretchy testing tools to measure the patient’s progress. Once the patient has restored their full strength and range of motion, they may be ready to be discharged from the hospital.