The human skeleton is unique in the animal kingdom, as it is shaped for a lifetime of upright walking. Millions of years ago, our primate ancestors gave up their treebound lifestyle for a life of running and hunting game, and this resulted in some adaptations. The human skeleton’s S-shaped spine, upright pelvis, long leg bones, and arched feet are all geared for upright walking, and this gave humanity many advantages. Still, this means fighting gravity acutely while walking upright, and that takes a toll on the spine and back muscles. Even today, chronic back pain ranks highly among chronic pain cases around the world. The most serious back injuries and spinal issues may call for surgery, but fortunately, most cases don’t require invasive surgery or treatment. Someone in the hospital for a sports injury, for example, may have rehab tools and systems available to help them, from range of motion testing software to muscle strength testing equipment and more. Any physical therapy (PT) session in a hospital will involve such rehab tools and systems, used with the guidance of a therapist. Also, pain clinics are a fine option for dealing with back pain of all sorts.
About Back Pain
Many statistics and surveys are done to track the current state of American public health, and the numbers show just how often back pain may happen, and why. For example, around one in three women and one in four men may experience back pain at some point, and nearly 50% of working Americans admit that they get back pain symptoms every year. At any given time, in fact, around 31 million Americans are experiencing back pain, and experts say that this may happen to 80% of the population at some point in their lives. Back pain may distress the spine, pinch nerves, cramp muscles, and more.
What is causing all of this chronic pain? Years of hard manual labor are a common cause of back pain, such as working in construction or the like. Many surveyed Americans also blame ongoing and serious stress for their back pain, and many pregnant women may go through back pain during their pregnancy. Suffering an accident, such as a sports injury, may stress the spine or damage back muscles, causing pain. Simple old age is another common reason, since a senior citizen’s spine has spent many years fighting gravity and has started to collapse and bend forward. This may inflame the joints, pinch nerves, and reduce flexibility. Fortunately, many back pain cases are not serious enough to require surgery, or even medication. Rather, rehab tools and systems in a hospital can make physical therapy effective, and chiropractors and yoga experts can help many patients who visit them.
Dealing With Back Pain
Back pain, in fact, ranks second among the most common reasons why Americans visit their primary care physician, behind only upper respiratory issues. That patient may explain their back pain case to their doctor, then get a referral to a chiropractor or a yoga expert for some non invasive medicine. A chiropractor is a doctor who can use their bare hands and simple adjustment tools to realign the bones and muscles in a patient’s body, and doing this can relieve pressure on bones, muscles, nerves, and joints. Chiropractic therapy can restore a patient’s flexibility and range of motion, and clear up their pain. Something similar may be done when a patient is referred to a yoga studio and signs up for private sessions with a yoga expert. During those sessions, a patient may perform a series of natural bends and poses, and that can relieve pressure on their bodies and reduce pain, not unlike chiropracty. Yoga is often known to relax both the body and the mind.
In a hospital, a patient may have access to rehab tools and systems, and therapists, to help them recover. That patient may need therapy to restore their balance, learn to walk or stand up effectively, and restore their arcs of motion. Stretch tests can show the therapist the patient’s limits on their strength and flexibility, and motion capture cameras can have a similar effect with range of motion data. All of this and more helps the therapists determine when a patient is ready to be released.