My mum had been complaining of back pain for the past few days and we can’t seemed to find the remedy to relieve this common ailment that haunts young and old alike. Sigh! How should we align all these vertebrae, discs, facet joints, ligaments, nerves, muscles… and many more in order to eliminate this aching problem?
Your flexible spine is designed such that vertebrae bones are separated by a cushion called a disc. However, if some of the vertebrae become misaligned, the information trail sent by the nervous system will be disrupted.
Other possible causes of backache include muscle strain and tears in the ligaments supporting the back. With aging evidenced by my mum wrinkled face, osteoporosis and arthritis were more likely to be the culprits.
TO THE FRONTLINE
In order to put a stop to my mum’s moaning and groaning, I set out to the office that morning with the full devotion to seek the truth in therapeutic methods. Back pain must be properly treated to prevent it from deteriorating to the point where surgery and other invasive treatments become necessary.
The coffee lady in the pantry who first heard my agony proposed acupuncture to restore the yin-yang balance and the flow of ‘qi’ in my mum. But the thought of poking needles made me shudder as I moved off to the next better option ahead.
Musculoskeletal physiotherapy marked the next thought in my mind as the colleague on my left elaborated about Documentation Based Care (DBC) which is an international network of spine centres offering comprehensive treatment for chronic neck and back pain patients. Her father has been successfully rehabilitated with improvement of flexibility, endurance, coordination and control without any invasive treatment.
That sounded like a good option when another highly educated colleague suggested more sophisticated methods apart from medication, injection therapy and appropriate exercises. Cold laser therapy penetrates and has stimulating effects on blood circulation, increases tissue repair and promotes faster wound healing while EM Signal Therapy pulsed electromagnetic signals to promote cartilage repair and reduce musculoskeletal pains.
THE PLOT THICKENS...
During lunch, the colleague in front rushed to push a namecard into my hand and suggested another alternative–Chiropractic. Her father is a chiropractor and she elaborated that the spine is adjusted to remove subluxations and reconnect nerve flow which may clear headaches, visual disturbances when misalignment in the neck is corrected.
Correcting subluxations in the mid-back and lower back may normalise blood pressure, correct low-back pain and decrease menstrual cramping. This sounds like an attractive option as it seems to improve overall wellness.
As I pondered through the several options available in the powder room, the senior manager provided some advice. In order not to miss any important points as she rattled off, I scribbled down a list of lifestyle modifications that my mum should keep in mind.
With so much in mind, I drove back home prepared to explore with my mum the options but only to be welcomed by the familiar Tiger Balm's unique herbal and menthol smell.
And then I saw my mum on the sofa getting massaged by my Dad’s strong loving hands, concentrating on the lower-back muscles and using small, circular movements, working upwards and outwards to help reduce muscle tension and pain.
Isn’t this the traditional method that relieved many since the good old days?
The fast acting and long lasting relief finally brought a smile to my mum’s face. Is it the numbing cream or is it my Dad’s love that brought about the miraculous change?
Time will tell.