Saturday 17 December 2014

Do you need to suffer with back pain?

Many suffer chronic back or become accustomed to frequent bouts of pain when there is no need to. We live in a culture where back pain is expected to be a condition that we will all suffer. Statistics show that 80% of people will suffer back pain as an adult and it is coasting the NHS £1.3 million every day. Out of the 30 million people who suffer back pain each year, 10 million will experience it for more than 12 months and 6 million will suffer for more than 6 months. In simple terms back pain is a big deal for the UK, and is lowering the quality of life for millions through the loss of earnings, incapacitation and the wearing down of chronic pain. For many it has become the back pain downward spiral where the only prognosis is the rush toward back surgery. Itís almost like that the path is set from the first visit to the GP to the inevitable rendezvous with the surgeonís knife.

Our friends tell us that their new pain killers are the strongest available on prescription, like they are some sort of status symbol. Others take the alternative route and spend their hard earned cash on Osteopaths and Chiropractors because that clicking sound makes all the difference. But the pain always comes back. A bit of reading will tell us that itís inevitable that we will suffer back pain because evolution has somehow got it wrong. Books and articles will tell us that we were designed to walk on all fours and evolution hasnít caught up yet, and in a couple of million years we will be free of chronic back pain once again. So there it is, a condition that we must suffer for lots of reasons that we canít really do anything about. Or is that true? There are varying degrees of the causes of back pain, some from birth, trauma or wear and tear through lifestyle. But does that mean we are helpless and destined to a life time of back pain? From a remedial massage point of view there are five factors to consider with back pain:

Cause

The cause of back pain is rarely simple, although it usually takes a ďlast strawĒ event that starts the agony or incapacitation. The back is a lot stronger than we think, it takes knocks and shocks on a daily basis. These knocks and shocks are stored up like the proverbial glass, and once itís full the problems are felt. There is also a psychological element, and therefore stress, anxiety and depression can be a major influence to the reoccurrence of pain. Quite often the client may not know the cause, or assume it was something else. Some clients have come for treatment because of a sporting injury, but the major contributing cause was either lifestyle or other factors. Other causes may be the bodyís defensive system when recovering from trauma or surgery. Pregnancy can cause postural issues that only present as back pain years later.

Assessment

The initial assessment can take about 20 minutes and will:

Treatment

Remedial massage will apply advanced soft tissue techniques to the areas identified as needing treatment by the assessment. The treatment will consist of one of more from a range massage techniques:

Prevention

From the knowledge of the cause and the result of the assessment it is essential to minimise the risk of pain returning or manage the condition to minimise its impact on the clientís lifestyle. This is achieved by:

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