The human form is designed by nature for a lifetime of walking upright, which makes humanity practically unique in the animal kingdom, and that includes the form of the human skeleton. A few million years ago, our primate ancestors gave up their treebound vegetarian lifestyle to run and hunt game, and this requires walking and running upright. The human skeleton features an S-shaped spine (as opposed to a gentle curve), an upright pelvis, long leg bones, and arched feet to make upright locomotion possible. This offers many advantages, though it does come with some costs. Walking upright means fighting gravity rather acutely, and the spine may suffer distress over time. Fortunately, surgery can fix major back injuries, and most lesser cases can be handled with physical therapy equipment such as chiropractic adjusting instruments, stretch tests, and other rehab tools and systems. Hospitals even offer range of motion testing for patients undergoing physical therapy.
Back Pain and its Causes
Chronic back pain is in fact quite common around the world, and many studies and surveys are done in the United States to track public health. That includes tracking back pain and spinal distress, and the numbers are clear. One in three women and one in four men suffer from back problems, and an estimated 31 million people suffer from chronic back pain in the United States at any given time. Experts also estimate that around 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and around 50% of working Americans admit that they get back pain symptoms every year.
Why do Americans experience all this back pain? Some surveyed Americans blame ongoing stress for their back issues, and pregnant women may get back pain during the course of their pregnancy. Meanwhile, years of hard manual labor is likely to wear out the back and spine, such as construction or similar physical work. Accidents such as sports injuries may distress the spine or back, and sheer old age is another typical cause. Decades of fighting gravity will wear out the spine and cause it to collapse, as well as bend forward. This can reduce mobility, inflame joints, and pinch nerves while distressing muscles. Therefore, back pain is common among the elderly.
Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, many Americans who are experiencing chronic pain of this type may get access to non invasive medicine, such as chiropractic adjusting instruments or even yoga, rather than undergo surgery or take medication.
Non Invasive Back Treatment
Someone who is experiencing back pain may visit their doctor and describe their symptoms, and get referrals to specialists. In fact, chronic back pain is the second most common reason to visit the doctor in the United States, behind only upper respiratory issues. A patient may get referred to a chiropractor, a specialized doctor who can use chiropractic adjusting instruments and even their bare hands to treat a patient. These chiropractic adjusting instruments allow the doctor to adjust a patient’s bones and muscles without even breaking the skin, and this can relieve pressure on bones, nerves, muscles, and joints, and clear up the pain. Doing this can also restore the patient’s flexibility and arcs of motion. Estimates say that just over 27 million Americans visit chiropractors every year, and in every business day, one million people are having chiropractic adjusting instruments or the doctor’s bare hands used on them. A patient may also visit a yoga studio and have some private sessions, where they may perform bends and stretches to relieve pressure on their joints and muscles for similar results.
A hospital patient may undergo physical therapy, or PT, with the help of therapists. This may mean learning to walk and stand, while also using stretch tests and other rehab tools. That patient can stretch out long elastic bands so that the therapist can measure the patient’s arcs of motion, muscle strength, and their pain threshold. The therapist can also use motion capture cameras to track a patient’s movements and analyze the data, to determine the patient’s overall progress. Handheld tools can also be used on small areas of the patient’s skin to test muscle strength and adjust the joints, and this is a totally non invasive medical procedure.