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How Should You Treat Your Aching Back?

A recent CNN report downplayed the benefits of chiropractic care. They based their opinions on the contentious findings of a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study. In this study, researchers concluded that the relief that chiropractic care provides to short term lower-back pain sufferers is only modest.  

There were some obvious flaws in the methodology of the study. There are myriad causes of lower back pain. On average, they found the improvement was only modest, but this entirely overlooks the fact that chiropractic care has improved the quality of life for countless people.

Chiropractors have been in the crosshairs of the allopathic medical industry before. Despite operating outside of drug driven models of medical care, the services they provide have been shown to be much safer and less expensive than allopathic medical treatments, especially when used for pain such as low back pain.

They also operate outside of the allopathic monopoly and have a target on their backs. Efforts to discredit this field of study have failed in large part due to the extensive training in management of musculoskeletal disorders that chiropractors receive. Their course of graduate health care training lasts between four and six years.

The conflict between allopathic and alternative medicine is motivated by money, but fueled by an unbridgeable philosophical difference. Naturopathy, osteopathy and homeopathy can all fall under the umbrella of alternative health care. The patient is treated in a holistic manner and there is a focus is on treating the underlying causes of medical conditions.

 “Modern” allopathic care adheres to a reductionist dogma and views the patient as a collection of simplistic interlocking systems. In practice, discovering the underlying cause is less important and symptoms are treated as they appear.

With the opioid scourge killing tens of thousands annually in the U.S. alone, there is a growing demand for non-drug interventions for back pain. Bain pain is one of the most common health complaints and the number one cause of job disability. 

There may be no need to visit a doctor at all. Oftentimes, simply stretching your piriformis may be enough to reduce this pain. For instructions and demonstrations, please see my previous article on exercises for sciatic nerve pain.

Another simple solution to back pain is sitting less. Our bodies were not physiologically designed for periods of prolonged inactivity. When you sit for long periods of time, you typically end up shortening your iliacus, psoas and quadratus lumborum muscles that connect from your lumbar region to the top of your femur and pelvis. When these muscles are shortened it can cause severe pain upon standing, as they will effectively pull your lower back (lumbar) forward. 

I suffered from low-back pain for many years and tried a host of treatments, including chiropractic, massage, stretching, grounding, back-strengthening and posture-improving exercises and using an inversion table. Nothing got to the root of the problem — until I learned about the hazards of sitting and began standing more. Be aware that your pain may indeed worsen initially. But once I reduced my 12 to 14 hours of daily sitting to less than an hour, it quickly vanished. If you have a desk job, consider investing in a stand-up desk.
 
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