Choosing Movement Over Medicine
Approximately 31 million Americans suffer from low back pain at any given time, making back pain the single leading cause of disability. In 2015, 2 million people suffered from substance use disorders related to the opioid pain relievers they had been prescribed.
Looking for alternative therapy
These statistics are staggering and can help most people understand why so many patients are searching for ways to control daily discomfort. One of the best ways to decrease back pain is to increase movement.
Strike a pose
Yoga is over 5,000 years old and is a comprehensive system for wellbeing that includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Today, this ancient practice is one part of a comprehensive plan to control many kinds of pain, including back pain.
Yoga isn’t just stretching but a series of poses that help to increase strength and stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back that often cause pain. Yoga has been proven to reduce the need for pain medicine. Be sure to consult with a physician before starting a new yoga plan. This ancient practice isn’t for new, acute pain and if done improperly can increase your pain. Two popular poses the often relieve back pains are child’s pose and downward facing dog.
Let’s get physical
Physical medicine and rehabilitation aim to restore functional ability and quality of life to those who suffer disability due to back pain. Clinicians who specialize in physical medicine are called physiatrists and physical medicine doctors. These providers are skilled in treating disorders of muscles, bones, and other structures in the back without opioids.
Physical medicine clinicians will conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam. This might include diagnostic testing such as x-rays, MRI scans, nerve conduction studies, electromyography, and psychological testing. Treatments include physical, occupational, and recreational therapy. Most of the procedures are active in nature, meaning that the patient will perform all of the motions. However, sometimes passive treatments, such as ultrasound, ice, and heat will be used to eliminate back pain.
Opioids are dangerous, but no one wants to live with chronic back pain with no relief in sight. Chiropractors can help create a treatment plan that includes yoga and physical medicine to alleviate back pain by building a healthier spine.