The human skeleton is unique in the animal kingdom, as it is shape by evolution for a lifetime of upright walking on two legs. Millions of years ago, our primate ancestors gave up their tree-bound lifestyle for a life of hunting and chasing game, and that body shape continues today. In our skeleton, it reflects in our S-shaped spine, long legs, arched feet, and upright pelvis bone. This gave our ancestors many evolutionary advantages, though upright walking does come at a cost. Even today, many people around the world suffer from chronic back pain and spinal issues, as a lifetime of walking upright and fighting gravity takes a toll on the body. Back pain ranks as the second most common reason people visit their doctors today, but fortunately, only the most serious cases call for surgery. For most spinal or back problems, non invasive methods such as a hospital’s rehab tools and systems may be used. Think of range of motion testing equipment or muscle strength testing equipment, for example. And it’s not just range of motion testing gear that can help; a chiropractor can use their bare hands to adjust a patient’s bones to relieve pain.

Why Back Problems Happen

A hospital patient with a distressed back may need range of motion testing and rehab to get back on their feet, and chiropractic adjusting tools can be used in a chiropractor’s office. Why is all this back pain happening, and how common is it? Many studies are conducted to track the health of Americans, and the numbers show that at any given time,a round 31 million people are suffering from lower back pain at any time. Nearly half of all working Americans admit to having lower back pain symptoms each year, and one in three women and one in four men report getting such pain. Experts also say that as much as 80% of the American population may experience back pain at some point in their lives.

As for common causes of back pain? Years of manual labor (such as construction) can wear out a worker’s spine and muscles, causing chronic pain to appear at some point. Many surveyed Americans also blamed ongoing stress for their back pain, and pregnant women may get back pain during later stages of pregnancy. Also, accidents or injuries may cause back distress, such as from a sports injury. Finally, simple old age can cause back and spinal distress, as decades of upright walking cause the spine to collapse on itself and bend forward, aggravating the joints and pinching nerves and muscles. Fortunately, the medical industry is ready to help.

Non Invasive Solutions

Serious cases of spinal distress can for surgery, but fortunately, many cases of lower back pain never go that far. It is common for Americans to visit their doctor with complaints of back pain, and a doctor may refer that patient to a chiropractor or even a yoga studio nearby. A chiropractor is a doctor who can use simple adjustment tools and even their bare hands to readjust a patient’s bones and bone muscles. This way, pressure is relieved from joints and nerves, which can clear away pain as well as restore the patient’s flexibility and mobility. Something similar may be done when a patient signs up for yoga classes at a studio, often in private one-on-one sessions. This way, the patient may perform bends, poses, and stretches that relieve pressure on joints, muscles, and nerves, and that can address pain issues while restoring the patient’s flexibility.

What if a patient is in the hospital and needs rehab to begin walking again? A patient with spinal and leg problems may undergo physical therapy, and this may include not only physical exercise and drills, but also the use of range of motion testing. Such testing can be done with motion capture cameras that track and record the exact movements of the patient’s body, which the therapist may then analyze on a computer. The patient may also perform stretch tests; that is, stretch out long elastic bands to the best of their ability. This can help therapists gauge the patient’s arcs of motion, strength, and pain threshold, which is useful reference to track their progress.

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