Traditional back pain treatments refer to the time tested medical therapies used by physicians to combat the growing epidemic of spinal syndromes. Traditional physical medicine still sets the bar when it comes to the final word on back pain treatment. Medical science teaches that back ache is almost always the exclusive result of injury, disease, congenital condition or degenerative process. The accepted therapy options are all based around this anatomical model of spinal abnormalities causing pain. It is no surprise that traditional medicine has very poor treatment results, especially when it comes to ending chronic back pain.
In case you did not know, patients with chronic pain lasting more than 6 to 12 months have a better chance of remaining symptomatic for life than they do of ever finding a cure. This is despite active medical attention for years. This fact does not set an auspicious tone for this article on the efficacy of traditional medical practices used for treating dorsalgia.
Medical science typically blames back pain on exclusively physical causes. Disc abnormalities, vertebral abnormalities, neurological abnormalities and soft tissue abnormalities are the main conditions held responsible for the wide variety of back ache syndromes. These abnormal spinal conditions might be congenital or the direct result of some neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disease. However, the far more common causes are injury or degenerative processes.
Severe spinal injury can definitely cause back pain and related symptoms. Extreme spinal degeneration can also cause pain and associated symptoms. Luckily, physically-induced pain usually responds well to appropriate treatment.
Medical science generally does not diagnose psychosomatic pain syndromes. This is where medicine fails miserably, since many persistent pain syndromes throughout the body are the direct result of a psychoemotional process, not a physical abnormality. It is this vehement denial of the mind’s ability to inflict physical bodily symptoms that explains why traditional medicine has been so ineffective in its treatment of chronic pain patients.
Recent revisions to diagnostic policy set by many major medical associations warn doctors not to assume that spinal irregularities found on diagnostic testing are inherently causative for pain. Furthermore, doctors are warned that most spinal irregularities are not symptomatic and may be coincidental to any pain which exists.
The usual process of treatment followed by physical medicine practitioners starts conservatively and continues in an increasingly drastic and often invasive progression. Once a patient has been diagnosed, treatment will usually begin with conservative measures first. Typically, this includes such methods as: physical therapy, heat and ice, and minor pharmaceutical relief. If these measures fail, stronger drugs might be used, along with spinal injections and possible minor and minimally invasive surgical procedures. If the patient continues to experience symptoms, full back surgery is the usual recommendation.
This has been tradition for decades, despite the poor statistics for resolution of back pain offered by these same methods of care. Back surgery, in particular, is highly risky, since it can create damage where none exists and can make the painful expression worse immediately or eventually, rather than curing anything.
Doctors have earned positions of respect and admiration. They have achieved what few can accomplish through their education, ethics and compassion. Doctors are certainly at the tops of the knowledge and economic food chains. This being said, doctors are not perfect. They are simply products of an extensive, but often narrow-minded education. Medical school gives doctors the ideas and tools they need to treat pain, but only if that pain is indeed the result of a physical cause.
Psychosomatic back pain is very common and is systematically denied and/or misdiagnosed by physicians every day. It is no surprise that conditions such as lower back pain and fibromyalgia are rampant and ever-growing.
There are more patients entering treatment each and every day with very few ever finding a real cure. Most do not even find adequate symptomatic relief and suffer in silence. Many who do find relief pay a huge price in the form of disability from unnecessary surgeries or dependency on powerful pain relief drugs. I do not have to overstate the obvious…
It is time for a change.
Someday, a more enlightened version of our medical system will certainly look back at us and gasp at our incredible vision and simultaneous shortsightedness. Mindbody pain is real and rampant. The suffering is real. The cure is not medical. The cure is knowledge.