Over the course of a few million years, the ancestors of modern human beings learned to walk upright all their lives, and the modern human skeleton is designed to fit this bipedal lifestyle. Unlike most other vertebrates, human beings have an S-shaped spine, and our leg bones are longer and tougher than the arm bones. The pelvis is bowl-shaped and upright, and our feet have distinctive arches on them. This, and our muscles and brains, allow us to walk upright all our lives. This provided many evolutionary advantages, but such bipedal locomotion involves some natural drawbacks as well. Decades of upright postures means that the spine and its muscles are constantly fighting gravity, and this may result in spinal disorders and lower back pain over time. Many human beings do not have physically demanding lives today, but back pain disorders persist, and a person may need spinal disorder treatment or spinal disorder rehabilitation, and the same is true for pinched nerves or strained back muscles. Surgery may be needed for serious spinal disorders, but in other cases, milder spinal disorders or back pain call for chiropractors, yoga, and other non-invasive methods.
Back Pain in the United States
Many statistics are compiled about the health of American adults and children alike, and this certainly includes chronic back pain and spinal disorders, among other issues. Surveys and studies confirm that back pain and spinal disorders are typical among American adults, and back pain ranks as the second most common reason to visit one’s doctor, behind only upper respiratory problems. About half of all working Americans admit to getting back pain symptoms each year, and experts have said that as many as 80% of Americans will experience back problems at some point in their lives. At any given time, close to 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain, and about one in three women and one in four men are experiencing it.
What causes such pain and distress in the back muscles and spine? Surveys are done for that too, and they have illustrated the most common causes among modern Americans. Hard, manual labor is a common reason, such as someone who works in construction or repair-based jobs. Sports injuries or other bodily trauma may also cause spinal disorders or back distress among Americans, and pregnancy in women may put strain on their backs and spine. Meanwhile, many Americans in surveys have blamed ongoing stress for their back pain. Meanwhile, simple old age is a common reason for chronic back pain. Elderly citizens have spent many decades fighting gravity, and this naturally wears out and compresses their spines somewhat. This may pinch nerves, inflame joints, and strain muscles. Conversely, astronauts who spend a long time in micro-gravity often return to Earth with elongated spines and are taller than when they left the planet’s gravity. This shows how closely related to gravity the human spine is, due to being upright rather than horizontal.
Back Disorder Treatments
Serious spine issues such as slipped discs may call for surgery, but for more minor back pain and spinal disorders, it may not be necessary to use surgery or even medication to fix the problem and ease the pain. For example, a patient who is suffering from chronic back pain or spine issues may visit their doctor, and their doctor will diagnose the issue and refer their patient to a chiropractor, yoga expert, or another certified expert. Such doctors and yoga experts may use non-invasive methods to relieve back pain and decompress joints and relax muscles.
A chiropractor will use simple tools or even their bare hands with great precision and care to realign the patient’s bones and back muscles, which may release pressure on their bones, muscles and joints, and their nerves. Many Americans who visit a chiropractor report great results and say that they would go again if they needed to. Meanwhile, someone with back or spinal pain may visit a yoga studio and sign up for private sessions. A yoga expert knows how to naturally bend and stretch the body, and like chiropracty, this will release stress on joints and nerves, and relax cramped or strained muscles in the back and elsewhere. This may also help the patient restore their full mobility and arcs of movement.