Back pain is a common condition in Western culture that often results from sedentary lifestyles; poor ergonomic conditions in the workplace, chronic inflammation and stress. Back pain is the largest cause of work-related absence in the United States, with a tremendous impact on business — an estimated cost nearing $100 billion a year in lost productivity. Studies show that most of the pain-related lost time occurs while employees are at work in the form of reduced performance, not absence from work. It is estimated that chronic back pain costs sufferers above $10,000 annually.
ACUPUNCTURE / CHINESE HERBS
After taking a medical history and performing a detailed physical examination, we will plan a course of treatment. Depending on a patient’s condition, a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and an anti-inflammatory diet may be prescribed. Each session, which usually lasts about 45 minutes, may involve electro-acupuncture to regulate the energy balance and get through any blockage in the body’s meridians, particularly those of the bladder and kidney. Other modalities such as soft-tissue mobilization, gentle repetitive movement of joints, and rapid guiding of the joints through their normal range of movements may all be considered, depending on each individual. Most patients will experience some improvement and some will achieve a complete cure after a course of this treatment. There may also be advice on posture, exercise, diet and stress management techniques. Acupuncture is also successful in the treatment of other painful conditions, such as migraine, shoulder, neck pain and sciatica.
Poor ergonomics contribute to millions of injuries annually. For example, over 5,000,000 workers sustain over-extension injuries every year. Through ergonomics, workplaces can be designed so that workers do not have to over-extend themselves and the manufacturing industry could save billions in workers’ compensation. Ergonomics can help reduce costs by improving employee safety, both long- and short-term. This would decrease the money paid out in workers’ compensation. We provide an “Optimum Ergonomics” program and education on proper ergonomics at the workplace. If you associate your work with musculo-skeletal pain or stress, consider asking your employer to contact us for more information.
Tuina is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese Taoist and martial art principles to bring the body into balance. Range of motion, traction, muscle activation, stretching and stimulation of acupoints can be used in the treatment of chronic and acute back pain, and sports injuries.
There are a number of homeopathic remedies commonly associated with the treatment of back pain. Rhus tox is a common remedy when there is stiffness in the back, particularly if there is a stiffness after the first movement of the day which then disappears. Arnica is also useful, especially when there is a sensation of bruising in the back, and after mental or physical trauma. Sometimes the problem is weakness in the back rather than pain, then phosphoric acid is used. Ruta grav and Hypericum are often indicated when nerve damage is involved.