There was a time when doctors knew very little about the back and about the back pain symptoms suffered by millions around the world. It was risky to even go to the doctor because they always seemed to recommend invasive back fusion surgery or some other experimental technique. These surgeries and treatments seemed to leave patients worse off than before the operations. Many people suffering from these acute back pain symptoms gave up on traditional medicine and began looking for alternatives. Some of the alternatives that were considered “trendy” were acupuncture, holistic medicine, chiropractic and even faith healing.
Back pain symptoms can stem from many different back and spinal injuries but are usually related to some sort of trauma or trauma inducing activity, such as exercise or competitive sports. Many athletes have had their careers shortened by the debilitating pain that is associated with herniated discs, the most common traumatic spinal cord injury. Herniated discs can cause severe back pain symptoms including sciatica which shoots pain down the legs and into the groin in extreme cases. Spinal pain and back injuries are all too common however and relief is too often found in pain killing medication rather than in treatment. The main problem with this approach is that most of the narcotic pain killers are also highly addictive and can cause problematic side effects for patients as well as lengthy withdrawal symptoms.
Chiropractic doctors continue to be the treatment of choice for many athletes although the beneficial effects of this type of treatment are still somewhat debatable. Alignment of the spinal cord by manipulating the body and “cracking” the spine and neck seem more like parlor tricks meant to psychologically fool the mind into feeling better. Many critics, including most medical doctors claim that chiropractors are charlatans, no more than glorified massage therapists and some even claim that they are dangerous, producing more harm than good. Other patients swear by them and claim to be pain free after one or several sessions, depending on the severity of the injury. This may be so, but the main curative therapies in most of these cases are the hot and cold treatments that most chiropractors use. Icing the region to diminish inflammation then heating the region to loosen muscles can help with painful contractions and spasms.
If you are one of the millions around the world with debilitating back pain symptoms you should definitely see your personal physician first before experimenting with any alternative medicine. There’s a reason they are called alternative and your first choice should always be your traditional doctor. This does not mean that you should not explore other avenues of treatment before submitting to invasive back surgeries. Surgery should be a last resort treatment, not the first option if at all possible. If surgery turns out to be the only viable option to get relief then you need to do some homework on the surgeon who is going to perform your procedure. Check out their track record and find out how much experience they have. You don’t want to be someone’s first operation.