Western medicine has made many great advances in health technology, but its emphasis on drugs and invasive procedures are enough to send some people looking for other means of treatment. For 95% of lower back pain patients, surgery is not recommended. Surgery is a last resort that many dread. Pain medications are doled out easily to those with painful conditions, but this method of treatment alone fails to resolve the cause of pain. If you are searching for a way to avoid surgery and drugs, consider complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). indian cams
The designation “CAM” encompasses a wide variety of treatment methods that either serve as a complement or an alternative to modern Western methods. Western medicine is often accused of emphasizing the reduction of unpleasant symptoms as opposed to the identification of the real cause thereof. For those whom Western medicine has doomed to surgery, or those wishing to avoid the drugs of modern medicine, a CAM approach to treatment may serve as a viable yet previously unconsidered alternative.
Types of CAM
One category of CAM is body manipulation. Massage therapy and chiropractic care fall into this category.
Massage therapy is a versatile terrain; while all practitioners work with muscles and other tissues of the body, they use different techniques to achieve an array of results. Massage involves the use of applied pressure to muscles and other tissues to relieve tension. A massage may aim to loosen a particular tight muscle or set of muscles, target the connective tissue surrounding muscles (called myofascia), disperse dense knots called trigger points that refer pain to other areas, or increase flexibility within the tendons and ligaments. It is a hands-on approach to restoring health to bodily tissues, and, since muscles are responsible for many instances of lower back pain, can be particularly helpful to those wishing to avoid back surgery.
Chiropractic care is a technique that strives to restore range of motion to joints, realign the spine and support neurological function. By applying force, called manipulation, and mobilizing the treated area, chiropractors can, over time, change the alignment of vertebrae in the spine and relieve pressure from nerves exiting the spinal column. Moving vertebrae also means changing the relationship between the bones and muscles, ligaments and tendons around them. By so doing, chiropractic care can help to stretch out tense tissues surrounding and pulling on the spine.
CAM also includes movement techniques, which use the body as its own medicine. Movement techniques involve mental and emotional as well as physical benefits. There are a vast number of such techniques; we will address only a few here.
Pilates is becoming more popular in the U.S.; it is an exercise and stretching program that emphasizes core strength and stability. Pilates requires a body-mind connection. The body performs the exercises while the mind must focus on the particulars of the movement and be aware of how the muscles work together. This attention to detail can often help an individual identify postural dysfunctions or muscle compensation that was previously unnoticed. Since postural dysfunction and muscle imbalances are common causes of chronic lower back pain, the emphasis Pilates puts on both strengthening the core and revamping the mindset that allowed that dysfunction in the first place could greatly benefit those who have had no luck with other treatment methods.
A movement technique called Rolfing, developed by Dr. Ida Rolf over 50 years ago, focuses on the web of connective tissue called fascia that runs throughout the body. Fascia surrounds and supports all of the tissues in the body – muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and organs. Rolfing is similar to certain kinds of massage, but its emphasis all on fascia, not just myofascia, allows it to claim the distinction of significantly straightening posture and allowing the body to operate more efficiently.