The modern American health industry is a large and varied one, and many Americans today visit the doctor or end up in the hospital due to issues with their spine or their back muscles. The human skeleton is unique in the animal kingdom due to our upright, bipedal posture, the result of our ancestors adapting to a lifetime of running and hunting. This resulted in an S-shaped spine, long and tough leg bones, an upright pelvis, and arched feet to make bipedal life possible. This comes with many advantages, but it can also put some serious wear and tear on the back. Chronic back pain ranks among the most common types of back pain around the world today, and this is why rehab tools, functional assessment equipment (such as muscle strength testing equipment, chiropractic adjusting tools, and more are used by doctors today. A hospital patient may have functional assessment equipment such as range of motion testing done on them, or stretch tests. Other Americans may need a chiropractor or even yoga.
On Back Pain
Many studies are done to track the general health of Americans, and the numbers show that chronic back pain is quite common today among Americans. At any given time, around 31 million people are dealing with back pain, and one in three women and one in four men are dealing with this sort of pain. Experts also say that around 80% of the American population will experience back pain symptoms in their lives. Why is all of that chronic pain happening? Some common causes have been identified, such as years of hard manual labor (construction work, for example). This can put some wear and tear on the spine and back muscles and cause pain over time. Pregnant women may experience back pain too, and an injury such as a sports injury can also distress the spine and back muscles. And of course, simple old age is another common cause for back pain, since a lifetime of upright walking means that gravity has worn down the spine. The person’s spine may collapse somewhat and bend forward, causing acute pain.
Major spinal or back injuries call for surgery, but more minor cases might not require invasive medicine at all. Many non-invasive methods can be used, either at a hospital or after a patient has visited their doctor. The hospital, for example, is where functional assessment equipment can be used to track a patient’s recovery.
Recovery in the Hospital
A person might end up in the hospital due to physical injury, such as while playing sports or after a car crash or other trauma. During this recovery process, the patient may get help from physical therapists to recover their ability to walk and move. The therapists may use functional assessment equipment such as stretch tests and motion capture cameras to track the patient’s recovery. As a patient stretched long elastic bands, this measures their arcs of motion, muscle strength, and threshold for pain, and that is an accurate metric for tracking recovery. Motion capture cameras can also finely record all details of the patient’s recovery. Aside from that, a patient may be asked to perform stretches, poses, and simple tasks to see if they can handle the exertion. Someone whose legs or spine are recovering, for example, may walk between two handrails.
Other Physical Therapy Tools
Meanwhile, a patient who is not in the hospital may still get treatment for chronic back or spine issues. They can visit their doctor or a pain clinic and explain their problem, and get a referral to a specialist. The patient may go to a chiropractor, and a chiropractor is a doctor who can use simple tools and even their bare hands to readjust a patient’s muscles and bones. This non-invasive medicine can relieve pressure on distressed joints, nerves, or muscles, and doing so can erase pain and restore the patient’s arcs of motion and flexibility. Many Americans report great satisfaction with the care that they receive from a chiropractor.
Yoga lessons may have a similar effect, after a back pain patient signs up for private sessions at a yoga studio. There, the patient may perform any number of stretches, poses, and more that will relieve pressure and cramps in their body, no invasive medicine needed.