Despite the increasing number of devices developed specifically for this problem, lower-back pain can be cured through exercise.
According to health researcher and physical therapist Chris Maher, low-back pain is a universal experience felt by everybody at least once in their lifetime. Episodes can last anywhere from a few days to months and even years and they frequently come back after a while.
People have tried different mechanism to get rid of the pain, from special shoes to Velcro back belts and ergonomic chairs. All of these might work on the moment but they do nothing to prevent the relapse.
A team of Australian and Brazilian researchers including Maher has analyzed 21 international studies containing data of over 3,000 patients with lower-back pain and different methods of treatment with their results.
The studies revealed that special shoes and back belts were not reducing the risk of relapse in any way, researchers found out that exercise are quite effective, reducing the risk of relapse in the following year in 25 to 40 percent of the cases. The type of exercise didn’t seem to matter as simple stretching and aerobic seemed to be enough.
In the review published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday Dr. Tim Carey from the University of North Carolina, wrote that if a pill could reduce the risk of lower-back pain relapse by 30 percent we would probably be seeing its ads every night on television.
Unfortunately health care providers don’t seem to prescribe exercise as much as they should, given its effectiveness. Less than a half of the patients with lower-back problems participate in an exercising program.
From the analyze Carey found that most of the doctors were prescribing passive treatments from ultrasound therapy to orthotic insoles and back belts.
According to Carey the difference between the prescribed therapies and the effective therapies discloses the biggest problem of the health industry – that it is centered on selling and sellable products.
Carrey further argues that our society is pill-oriented as pills are easy to take and to prescribe. We fail to think about exercising as a therapy. The fact that medicine is centered on industry holds back studies of cheap therapies that would be accessible to everyone.
But we all pay the costs, as the United States spends about $80 billion a year for spine problems, which include lower-back pain.
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