The human body’s modern form is a product of millions of years of natural evolution, and human beings are the only animal capable of a lifetime of walking upright. Long ago, our primate ancestors started running and hunting game, as opposed to living in trees, and this led to the modern human form. It features an S-shaped spine, an upright pelvis, long and hard leg bones, and arched feet for a lifetime of upright walking. This gave our early ancestors all kinds of advantages, though even today, walking upright comes at a cost. The spine and joints are acutely fighting gravity, and as a result, chronic back pain is quite common around the world today. But only the most serious spinal injury cases call for surgery. Meanwhile, all sorts of rehab tools and systems such as digital pressure algometers and chiropractic adjustment tools can be used for non invasive medicine on the back. So, why does back pain happen, and what can be done if a patient ends up in the hospital?
Rates and Causes of Back Pain
Many studies and surveys are done every year to track the current state of public health, and this certainly includes back pain and spinal issues. The numbers show that at any given time, close to 31 million Americans are suffering from chronic back pain at any given time, and back pain symptoms affect around one in three women and one in four men. Meanwhile, around 50% of working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year, and experts believe that around 80% of the population will experience back pain symptoms at some point in their lives.
Why is all this back pain happening? A number of common causes have been documented, and one of them is years of working hard manual labor. Jobs such as construction work will wear out the back and spine over time, leading to higher risks of chronic pain later in life. Experiencing a car accident or a sports injury may also distress the back and spine, and many surveyed Americans blame ongoing stress for their back pain symptoms. Also, simple old age is known to cause back pain, since an age-worn spine will collapse on itself and bend forward, which pinches nerves, inflames joints, and reduces mobility. All of this can cause pain, and it is a common problem among the elderly.
Back Pain Solutions
The use of digital pressure algometers and range of motion testing cameras is common at hospitals, when a patient may not need surgery but will certainly need physical therapy, or PT. A patient may have a variety of devices uses on them, such as digital pressure algometers. These are handheld devices that a therapist can easily apply to any targeted area of the patient’s body and put pressure on it. These digital pressure algometers can then precisely measure the muscle’s resistance until it gives out or the patient experiences pain. This is a useful reference for measuring a patient’s progress anywhere on their body, no drugs or incisions needed. On top of that, a patient may perform a variety of exercises, bends, and stretches to measure their progress, such as stretching out elastic cords to gauge their arcs of motion and muscle strength. The therapist can also use motion capture cameras to track the patient’s movements digitally, for the therapist’s reference.
A patient doesn’t have to visit the hospital to get treatment for their back pain problems, though. Many Americans who suffer lower back pain or spine problems visit their doctor, and in fact, lower back pain is the second most common reason Americans visit their doctor (behind upper respiratory issues). The doctor may then refer the patient to a chiropractor or a yoga studio nearby for treatment.
A chiropractor is a specialized doctor who will use simple adjustment tools and even their bare hands to readjust a patient’s bones and muscles, such as along their back and their neck. This can relieve pressure on bones and nerves to clear up pain, not to mention relieve stress on the joints and restore the patient’s arcs of motion. Visiting a yoga studio can have similar results, as the client performs bends, poses, and stretches as the yoga instructor guides them during a session.