Modern medicine is infinitely complex; we have more technical knowledge of the body than ever before and enough technological aptitude to invent machines and medications to save lives.
For all of its advancement, it must be acknowledged that, in many ways, modern medicine has lost sight of its true purpose: to cure. Gizmos and chemical remedies have obscured the all-important search for root causes. Rather than locating the source of ailment and resolving it, the medical community too often favors drugs that mask symptoms or surgeries that may do more damage than good.
Much of the back pain people feel today can be attributed to muscular inefficiencies. When muscles are imbalanced or weak, they fail to support the spine in its intended alignment. A lack of exercise, or uninformed exercise, can lead to serious back pain. The modern lifestyle does not put much emphasis on anatomical knowledge; it also facilitates bad habits like inactivity and poor posture. It is no small wonder that muscular inadequacies are the root of most back pain.
What should be done? If weak core muscles fail to support the spine and it falls out of alignment, or if a muscle imbalance pulls the spine out of alignment, it makes sense that correcting the muscle problem will help to restore alignment and eliminate pain.
Unfortunately, misaligned vertebrae or damaged spinal discs are often treated with surgery. Surgery does not balance or develop muscles; its results will not last long if the root is not addressed.
A study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) assessed the progress of 45 individuals who were advised to get surgery for their lower back pain. Rather than jump under the knife, these 45 people underwent physiotherapy, a form of treatment that emphasizes the building or stretching of muscles that are not functioning properly.
Dr. P Sarat Chandra, associate professor of neurosurgery at AIIMS, said, “With help from physiotherapy, we have been able to avoid surgery for patients with lower back pain and sciatica who were advised surgery.” Only 3 of the 45 individuals involved in the study required surgery after a year of physiotherapy. For the other 42 participants, exercising properly was successful in both relieving pain and eliminating its cause.
This study demonstrates an important point: Surgery should not be sought until every other method has been attempted. An article on the study can be found at DnaIndia.com.
If you are seeking treatment for lower back pain, remember that most prescription medications are not designed to cure the problem; they are simply pain killers. Masking the symptom of pain will not eliminate its cause, and drug dependency or progressive back problems may result from reliance on this form of treatment.