Thursday, September 02, 2010
The vertebral column is referred to as the back bone and together with the spinal cord is called the spinal column.
It functions to protect the spinal cord and permit passage of the spinal nerves, help support the head and upper extremities while permitting us to move, and provides muscles, ribs, and membranes of the abdominal and chest cavities a place to attach to.
According to the Advanced Pain Medicine Institute in Washington D.C, 96% of us will experience some sort of back pain in our lives. But not many people understand the causes of their discomfort. Whether you choose to believe it, back pain is preventable.
- If you have a dull aching pain throughout any region of the back then this may be due to muscle strain from twisting the neck or torso, lifting objects, and/or not stretching before exercising.
- This pain can also be associated with degenerative disc disease which is a naturally occurring phenomena in humans. The intervertebral discs located in between the vertebra of the spinal column starts to wear away as we age. Some people may not even experience symptoms. A dull aching pain can progress to be sharp, shooting, or burning if disc is herniated. Although the lower back is commonly affected, the pain can occur at any region of the spinal column.
- Herniated discs are very common and is caused by intense pressure of the vertebrae which causes them to rupture/herniate. If stinging sensations are felt in the lower back or buttocks that may signal lumbar area is affected. Discomfort in the frontal thigh area coincides with cervical or thoracic herniation, and headache or burning sensations down the shoulders or arm may signal cervical herniation.
- Sciatica is associated with herniated discs because this sharp shooting pain means a nerve is being pinched from a herniation. If you have numbness or weakness in the legs it could mean you have nerve damage.
- Dull achy pain in a localized area and stiff back may be attributed to facet joint disease. Spasms may occur due to the body trying to stabilize the back. Moving around can ease the pain.
- less common causes may be spinal stenosis which is when an area of the spinal canal has become narrow and may put pressure on the cord or nerves causing a dull achy pain extending to hips buttocks and thighs, or stabbing sharp pain in the back and legs; and failed back syndrome which occurs in post-back surgery patients where the pain is constant due to malfunction of nerves caused by surgery.
The obvious solution is to speak with your medical doctor so that he may determine what exactly is causing your symptoms and can treat you accordingly. They commonly will prescribe Over-the-counter medication to help with the pain, or may even schedule surgery.
I recommend visiting an osteopath or a reputable chiropractor who is medically trained to deal with spinal manipulation.
Other complementary therapies that should be applied:
- Stretching and calisthenics are good ways to prevent symptoms of back pain, especially before a workout. Warming up the body's muscle will lessen the chances of muscle strain
- relaxation (reiki, healing touch, meditation and the like help to relieve stress which causes muscle tension); and/or body massage therapy
- acupuncture which has shown to reduce pain
- acupressure and reflexology to decrease symptoms of pain and allows for you to engage in more activity
- yoga and pilates (Caution:discuss with your doctor which type of yoga program is suitable for you since there are various types and choosing the wrong one will make matters worse. Beginner pilates is a safer alternative)
- decompression therapy where the spine is intentionally stretched by a machine
We can help to bring relief for your back pain symptoms in one session with our reiki/reflexology combination therapy. You don't have to suffer, give us a call today!
Remember to always consult your doctor before you start any new program or therapy.