Monday, March 8, 2010

Low Back Pain- A Misdiagnosed Epidemic?

Low Back Pain is a problem that is said to affect 80% of the United States population at some time through their lifetimes. Even the common cold would be pleased to reach that many people. There are billions of dollars in lost productivity, medical expenses ranging for prescriptions of anti-inflammatories through the strongest painkillers to Physical therapy, exercise, chiropractic and osteopathic therapies and even surgical intervention. Yet there is no clear understanding in mainstream medical practice of the real causes of low back pain.
Modern MRI imaging can show us the picture of a bulging or herniated disc with the physician’s focus being on the repair or removal of the injured tissue.The disc injury has the potential to mechanically press on a nerve root and its herniated material is inflammatory and toxic when in contact with the nerve, resulting in pain and debility for the client but the treatment for the injury often does not address the cause of the disc injury or the lack of recovery after the disc injury has been addressed.
The explanation of how and why the disc came to be in that state is usually omitted. An analogy might be when our front tire shows abnormal wear, getting the tire replaced without seeing if we have an alignment problem that is causing the wear. We can continue to replace our tires or have on-going therapy, epidural injections and even surgery without addressing the issue that fundamental to our problem.
Our spine not only carries the central communication cable of our nervous system, the spinal cord, it is the structural “suspension bridge” for our body. As the central structural member, it is intrinsically linked to our lower body movement components, the legs, through the pelvis and sacrum, and to our breathing and upper body support, the ribcage. These links mean it is susceptible to influence from an imbalance in the pelvis, sacrum and ribcage.
In the case of the pelvis an imbalance can mean that the halves of the pelvis are not level leaving the lower back to have an uneven force acting on it, tipping it as if standing sideways on a hill. This puts a force on the lumbar vertebrae and opens up more space on one side of the spine than the other providing a space for the disc to herniate into.
In the case of the sacrum it can rotate to support the spine but fail to return to neutral, putting a torquing force into the lower back.
The ribcage can sustain an injury or restriction that limits its normal movement during breathing. While the body is taking its 11-13,000 breaths each day a side-bending or torquing signal is sent through the spine with each breath.
In very few cases are these basic inputs to the imbalance and injury of the spine considered, let alone addressed. The result is greater costs for the client in terms of continuing pain and debility and in increased medical costs.
Bowenwork addresses all of the areas mentioned with minimal intrusion on the body. It addresses the spine and its cooperative actions with the pelvis, sacrum and ribcage. This provides a comprehensive method of quickly and powerfully addressing low back pain for long-term relief and significantly reduced costs.