Practical experience and various studies suggest that the adult population frequently have back pain, leg pain, joint pain while they mostly fear carcinoma and heart conditions. The main cause of spine injury is reflected in the modern way of life which has increasingly contrasted our evolutionary heritage (upright posture and walking). We spend more time sitting (long periods of sitting at your workplace, computer desk or in front of the TV). People who spend most of the day sitting lose muscle tone and back pain is the first consequence of such a life style. Sleep deprivation, busy schedule and the constant rush and stress contribute to further deterioration.
The upright posture is enabled by our spine consisting of vertebrae between which are positioned the disks so as to act as shock absorbers. The sections of the spine are as follows: the bones in the neck (cervical spine), chest area (thoracic spine), lower back part (lumbar spine). To the spine are attached muscles owing to which we may perform various movements. The canal within the spine contains the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots. Pressure on the nerve roots with spinal canal injuries causes pain, weakness and numbness along the length of the nerve.
The causes of back pain are various (herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis…), but in many cases it is not possible to ascertain the exact cause of the pain, even with diagnostic techniques and procedures.
Back pain may be acute (lasting up to a month) and chronic (lasting for more than a month). With chronic pain life quality is lowered and it is necessary to conduct further tests and undertake adequate measures with a view to alleviate pain.
Neck pain commonly originates in the neck and may spread to the head, shoulder and arm. Spinal cord and nerve root injury may occur as a consequence. The symptoms of this condition are numbness, weakness, tingling, instability and dizziness depending on the severity of the diagnosis.
Back pain (lumbar spine) may be a consequence of various conditions. It usually starts as lower back pain, then extends (leg pain). The most common diagnosis is sciatica.
Sciatica pain appears as a consequence of pressure on the sciatic nerve due to muscle stretching, bad posture, being overweight, pregnancy, wearing high heels, sleeping on soft mattresses or some other conditions. It usually affects just one side of the body.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and is the most common form of arthritis, especially with the elderly. It is characterized by pain and inflammation which may appear due to systematic loss of bone tissue in the joints. The protective cartilage at the ends of the bones in the joints gradually wears out.
The lumbar herniated disc leads to the entrapment of nerve root due to the movement of the disc out of the intervertebral space in the lumbar region. The predominating symptoms are leg pain, lower back pain, numbness (lowered sensitivity), stiffness of the feet.
Back pain may occur as a consequence of inherent deviation or acquired spine deviation.
Scoliosis is a deformity which appears during growth. A lateral curvature of the spinal column in the frontal plane is formed (when the spine is observed from the front and from the back it appears straight with no curvature). The first observable symptoms are unequal shoulder height, hip height, asymmetry in a standing position observed from the front and the back. Scoliosis may be functional (most frequently a consequence of bad posture, unequal length of the extremities…) and structural (a consequence of anatomical changes in the spinal column, its ligaments, joints or paravertebral muscles). The progression of such deviations may cause serious damage to the chest, therefore, it is important to discover and diagnose it as early as possible so as to commence an adequate treatment.
Round back (kyphosis) is a deviation of the spinal column (curvature), which is often positioned in the thoracic or thoracic-lumbar region. Round back may be congenital (a consequence of improper development, observable on birth and progressing throughout growth) and acquired (due to the weakness of the back muscles and as a consequence of some other diseases). Round back may be diagnosed as functional (it can be corrected) or structural (the curvature remains). The diagnosis is given based on tests and RTG imaging. In time complications may occur, which is why good posture, corrective exercise and therapy are very important.
Osteoporosis is the most common problem of the elderly. In time calcium, which secures support and bone strength, decreases. As a consequence bone density is reduced and bones become porous and sensitive to trauma. The disease progresses without symptoms and is usually noticed after a fracture. Osteoporosis may be: postmenopausal (during menopause, women often experience fracture of the vertebrae) and senile (it occurs in both sexes in later years in the form of hip fracture). Even the slightest trauma (sudden movements, lifting heavy objects and bending) may lead to a fracture. Sometimes fractures may appear without any cause. Prevention is very important and it involves a sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium, and regular exercise which inhibits the loss of bone tissue and strengthens the bones.
Back pain may occur for different reasons or it appears as part of other diseases. It is necessary to give the proper diagnosis relying on the adequate diagnostic procedure and commence treatment. Usually nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed. They can reduce the pain but cannot be a permanent solution due to the unwanted side effects, primarily pertaining to the stomach. For chronic conditions physiotherapy is recommended (physiotherapy apparatus, corrective exercise depending on the problem). With some more complicated conditions surgery is an option.
With a view to avoid the unwanted side effects and achieve good results alternative methods are used increasingly. These methods have been created long before the conventional medicine and are recognized as efficient by the relevant healthcare institutions.
Acupuncture is a method in which certain spots on the body are punctured with small needles. It alleviates pain and redirects the flow of energy through the body thus achieving a beneficial effect and balance for the organism. The number and frequency of treatments is established by doctors who are specialized and trained for this type of treatment.
Acupressure is performed by applying pressure by finger to the finger pressure points.
Magnet therapy is a method that has been known for thousands of years. Numerous clinical trials have shown that there are many positive effects of magnets on the human organism: cells are provided with more nutrients, circulation and metabolism is enhanced, the immune system is strengthened, blood pressure is regulated, stress and depression are reduced, pain alleviated, cells regenerated.
Back belt is recommended to reduce muscle spasms, osteoporosis, rheumatism, lumbar sciatica, and to improve blood circulation and general health condition.