The Art of Health

Beating Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the developed world. After colds and headaches, backache is the next most common reason for time off work.

More than 80% of neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by poor posture. Other reasons are lack of fitness, unsafe working conditions, being overweight and natural wear and tear. Long term problems in the lumbar (low) back are more commonly seen than pain in other parts of the spine.
Your body is literally supported by your backbone.

This complex structure is made up of 24 small bones called vertebrae separated by shock absorbing discs. The delicate spinal cord containing nerve bundles is protected by your spine. Ligaments and muscles hold vertebrae together and allow the flexible spine to move in a wide range of motion. The muscles give strength to structure.

The spine has to twist, bend, support and lift heavy loads. It is prone to trauma through accidents, poor posture, physical stress and injuries to the discs, joints, ligaments, and muscles. The trigger which brings on severe pain can be a fall or accident, sudden, awkward movement, long term stress, weak muscles and bad postural habits.

The intervertebral discs can bend, twist and flatten as required. Normal wear and tear combined with sudden trauma can damage the disc, where the jelly-like fluid inside bulges outward.

This is known as a “slipped disc” and may be felt as pain or numbness if the disc is pressing on a nerve. A protruding disc can be the cause of tiredness and a dull back ache that disappears after rest. If you experience sudden pain and are unable to straighten up or move your back properly you may have a slipped disc.

Most back injuries are not caused by damage to the vertebrae, but to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint and holding the discs in place.

Back pain will be different from one person to another. From a slight niggle on certain movements, to excruciating immobilizing pain. I have had personal experience of both extremes.

I woke one morning following a lightly dismissed back strain the previous day, and was unable to move for fear of my back muscles going into waves of painful spasm. Back pain this bad can take months and years to fully recover and regain strength, flexibility and integrity of the structure.

I bless the day I found and studied the Bowen technique. This amazing muscle re-education therapy provided me with the tools to restore my weakened back and neck, and enables me to help my family and patients.

There are many other things helpful to healing of back trauma.
Arnica is used homeopathically and several more herbs are really useful to reduce pain and speed healing.
The mineral magnesium is very important as it reduces tissue acidity and controls muscle activity.
Glucosamine is a useful nutrient for supporting the chemical structure of the disc as is Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and amino acids.
Phenylalanine has been shown to be effective at reducing back pain.
Taking garlic, tumeric and fish oils helps to reduce inflammation.
Finally, improving posture and exercises that strengthen your back will obviously make a huge difference.

Back pain can be beaten! See for yourself the improvements we can make to your bad back. You will be glad you did.