In the entire animal kingdom, the human skeleton is unique, since it is designed for a lifetime of bipedal movement. Not even our closest primate relatives, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are capable of doing that for long. Our bipedal form was a necessity for our early ancestors to hunt wild game across Africa, and even today, the human form favors running and exercise. To that end, our skeleton features an S-shaped spine, an upright pelvis, long leg bones, and arched feet. This is effective for running and walking on two legs, but it does take a toll, since this means fighting gravity acutely. Even with today’s medicine and lifestyles, many people around the world suffer from chronic back pain and spinal distress. The most serious spinal injuries will require surgery, but fortunately, most ordinary cases of back pain can be handled with rehab tools and systems at a hospital, such as automatic strength tests and range of motion data capture cameras. Yoga experts and chiropractors can also practice non invasive medicine on patients who suffer spine or back issues.
Back Pain and Its Causes
Chronic back pain is the world’s leading cause of physical disability, and this is true in the United States, too. Many studies and surveys are done each year to track the current state of public American health, and back and spine pain is factored in. The numbers show that at any given time, around 31 million people suffer from chronic back pain, and one in three women and one in four men are experiencing it. In fact, experts say that around 80% of the population will probably experience back pain symptoms at some point in their lives. Today, back pain ranks second among reasons Americans visit their doctor, behind only upper respiratory issues. Each year, some 27 million patients are treated by a chiropractor, and this industry earns roughly $14 billion annually.
What are some leading causes of back pain? Some surveyed Americans believe that ongoing stress is causing their back pain, and pregnant women may experience spinal stress during the later stages of their pregnancy. Meanwhile, years of hard manual labor, such as construction work, is bound to wear out the spine and muscle, and back pain or spinal distress may be likely. Suffering physical trauma, such as a car accident or sports injury, can strain the body all over, including the back. Finally, simple old age is a common cause of back distress, since many years of fighting gravity will wear down the spine and cause it to collapse on itself somewhat. This will reduce mobility and inflame the joints, and the spine may even bend forwards as nerves are pinched and muscles are strained. All of this can cause pain. Fortunately, any patient of any age may turn to doctors and chiropractors for non invasive relief from back issues.
Automatic Strength Tests and Chiropractic Adjusting Tools
If a patient is in the hospital and needs physical therapy (PT), they can get this therapy at the hands of on-staff therapists. This may include practicing walking or standing upright, as well as physical therapy tools such as automatic strength tests and stretchy bands. With an automatic strength test, the therapist can use a machine to quickly test the patient’s joints and muscles and track their recovery, and a stretch test involves the patient stretching out an elastic band. Doing this can help show the patient’s current strength, arcs of motion, and their pain threshold, vital information for tracking their recovery. The physical therapist can also use motion capture cameras to record the patient’s movements and assess them with specialized software.
Meanwhile, everyday Americans who suffer from back pain can consult their doctor, then get a referral to a specialist, probably a chiropractor or even a local yoga expert. A chiropractor will use their bare hands and basic adjustment tools to move the patient’ bones and muscles, which will relieve pressure on nerves, muscles, and joints to clear up pain. Doing this can also help restore the patient’s arcs of motion and flexibility. Finally, a patient may get similar results if they sign up for private yoga sessions at a studio, where they will perform various bends and poses to loosen up their body.