Chronic back pain is the top cause of disability in the world, affecting millions of people. Solutions, however, are elusive.
Doctors often rely on medications and injections, but those only mask the pain. It can also frustrate individuals trying to fight pain with healthy activities like biking, yoga, or other physical fitness activities. The result: A vicious cycle of treating symptoms while the underlying condition grows worse.
Medication gives relief, but overuse can lead to serious complications. Painkillers mask pain, rather than address the source. Moreover, opioid painkillers are the culprit behind an epidemic of addiction and crime that has torn families and entire communities apart.
Many individuals with back pain and other painful spinal conditions seek relief from Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, Motrin, or Tylenol. However, according to a study in the British Medical Journal, these types of drugs can have serious effects, not just for extended users but after just one use.
In the study, 6 percent of patients prescribed NSAIDs by primary care physicians returned with side effects of heart attacks, stroke, or bleeding problems within two months. This may seem a low number, but when 15 million people are prescribed NSAIDs in England each year, the accumulative numbers are stunning: As high as 900,000 preventable events.
Most people who have experienced headaches, neck and/or back pain for more than three months on a regular basis are considered chronic suffers. These individuals tend to rely on pain meds or anti-inflammatory drugs to stop the nightmare of pain. However, they may also be at risk for serious side effects.
“They should not resort to extended use of NSAID or OPIOID usage without talking to their doctor first because of the potential threat to health” says Scoliosis Center of Utah Dr. John Ratliff. “Heart attacks, strokes, liver failure, and addiction are some of the severe problems linked to abuse of medications to control pain. Rather than masking the pain, attempting to uncover the source of the problem and eliminating it may be a better course of action.”
Chronic Pain and Posture
Poor posture and spinal misalignment may lead to recurring bouts of pain, or even constant pain because of stress on sensitive spinal tissues. About 90 percent of all lower back pain is generated in either the disc or the facet joints found on either side of the disc. Many times, muscles react to damage in the joints of the spine by tightening or going into painful spasm. Poor posture can perpetuate damage to soft tissues of the spine by sustaining pressure on structures that prevent healing and lead to chronic pain.
The Solution: Posture Restoration
The Scoliosis Center of Utah uses the latest technology and proven techniques to pinpoint the source of pain. Our team of doctors analyze the spine for abnormal alignment of curves using digital X-ray imaging software, giving us the ability to identify problem areas where discs and spinal nerves produce recurring pain. Then, our team creates a rehabilitative program to isolate and strengthen weakened spinal muscles, providing pain relief. In severe cases, a 3D brace is prescribed. In many cases, this can mitigate, improve, or eliminate pain, providing long-term health benefits.