Backache: When Surgery is the Last Choice
After a patient receives an x-ray, it is commonly discovered that their spine doesn’t look normal. Also, its appearance can appear to be crooked or slightly curved. A common concern is that this irregular spine is caused as a result of the long lasting backache they have had to endure over a prolonged period of time. As result of this, people will often seek the help of either a registered or unregistered chiropractor to receive chiropractic treatment. This usually involves the creation of traction in the back or the method of ‘back pulling’, believing that this is the best way to restore the back to its previous straight position. What many people perhaps don’t realise is that this treatment can cause many further issues during the recovery period and is not an effective way to treat a crooked spine.
It should not be assumed that backache is caused as a result of a crooked or out of shape spine. Many patients will visit a doctor due to their chronic back pain and, when taking the x-ray of the back, it might show that the spine is not normal or straight. The first point to be taken into consideration is that not all individuals have a perfectly straight spines. Normal variation dictates that, in fact, lots of people in all walks of life have a crooked spine but do not suffer from any symptoms of backache. The difference in some organs are not always due to a disease. For example, many people have uneven arms and legs, and it is very common not to have the same nose ridge height. Therefore, if it is not considered a disease then there is no need to waste time or money on the practice of back traction or back pulling. This is simply not the correct method to cure backache and it will not lead to recovery.
Secondly, some conditions can cause a temporary crooked spine, such as the inflammation of the waist muscle or inadequate rest. Another cause could be that the muscles of the two sides of the back are not of equal strength. If the treatment applied is accurate for the root cause these conditions can be corrected and the spine will return to be straight. The concept of traction and the pulling of the back is not an appropriate technique to restore the spine to a correct state. On the contrary, the pulling and traction of the spine will create a harmful harsh vibration on the spine and spinal disc and could lead to further problems.
If someone does suffer from a severe backache and is not aware whether it is because of a slipped spinal disc or another issue, they can observe the results of an x-ray. Often, after observing the results, they can become anxious and panic, believing that they have a crooked spine. Following this self-diagnosis they will often seek out chiropractic treatment, perhaps having seen it in a fashion magazine or general health book. Unfortunately, the consequences from this can be disastrous as the spinal disc can dislocated further or even be broken. If the disc is broken then the patient will feel an unbearable sharp pain from their back down to their legs. Surgery will be the only option and the patient will be in a very high level of discomfort.
From a medical point of view, back traction or pulling is considered an extreme and rather aggressive treatment. Therefore, if after an examination the cause of the backhache or leg pain cannot be confirmed then the supervising doctor will not give permission for such treatments. This is because there is high potential that the treatment will cause more damage, rather then alleviate the pain. It would be unhelpful to let the x-ray film showing a crooked back determine that a visit to the chiropractor is required to eliminate the pain. In fact it could just be that rest is required. In which case, the recommended 5-7 days’ rest will restore the patient’s back to its original straightness.
There is also another form of crooked spine, which requires a more advanced treatment. In this case, if the spine is not treated, it will become more and more crooked along with the growth. The issue here is that the points of spinal growth on both sides are not functioning equally, as sections of the spinal bone are not of equal length. Consequently, the spine tilts out from the perpendicular point of the body. This occurs most commonly during the rapid growth of teenagers, where the back is evidently crooked, along with them having contracted muscles. An x-ray taken of the side of the body will also show a crooked spine coupled with a prominent uneven curve scapula bone of the back. If a physician or doctor were to examine this by laying their hands on the back then the unevenness of the curved scapula would clearly be felt.
In order to observe whether a child’s back is permanently crooked, parents would need to examine the child from their back down to their feet. If the scapula bone curve can easily be recognised, then further investigation is necessary as it could represent symptoms of a permanent crooked back. In these cases then it is recommended to take the child to see the doctor as soon as possible in order to address the problem as if it is left until the time the child stops growing, unfortunately it could be too late.
Moreover, there is actually strong evidence, backed up by studies and research, to suggest that chiropractic treatment techniques are not the correct way to cure a permanently crooked back. However, surprisingly, many people still turn to this form of treatment. In addition to this, the advice often given to wear a back support is also ineffective when attempting to straighten the back. Therefore, it would appear to be an additional expense that is simply not necessary. Furthermore, it could also cause added anxiety for the child due to the fact they would have to wear a plastic brace to school each day.
Another important point to consider is that, according to medical research, a permanently crooked back is not the cause of a severe backache, it only gives a disproportional appearance and a shorter body. Those that have a crooked back and feel that their parents are responsible should reassess their thinking, as research shows that this is highly unlikely. It is much more advisable to find out the true cause of the problem and to correct it accordingly. When the right treatment is administered, in time the pain will disperse. As always, patients should not ignore the problem and allow it to develop as this could lead to increased complications and surgery would become unavoidable. It should be reiterated again – surgery is the last choice.