Do you suffer from back pain? Well you are not alone. Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. According to a 1994 study found in the New England Journal of Medicine, 31 million Americans are experiencing back pain at any given time. Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability world wide. The NHS lists a number of causes of back pain:
- bending awkwardly or for long periods
- lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling heavy objects
- slouching in chairs
- twisting awkwardly
- driving or sitting in a hunched position or for long periods without taking a break
- overusing the muscles – for example, during sport or repetitive movements
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal concludes that paracetamol is no better than placebo for low back pain (http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1225.) The NHS recommends acupuncture for long term back pain and states that it has been shown to help reduce lower back pain. It also recommends exercise classes. Pilates is a good choice of exercise for this condition since it gentle and encourages spine flexibility. The NHS also recommends manual therapies such as massage for back pain. I offer Chinese, Sports and Thai massage. I have found that a combination of massage and acupuncture is particularly effective in the treatment of back pain. This treatment technique works quickly and brings relief to the majority of patients within 24 hours. Several follow ups may be necessary depending on the severity of the pain and if it is more chronic or acute in nature.