Anatomically, our backs take a pounding. Acupuncture and spinal manipulation are ways to fight back against the wear and tear that can lead to chronic pain.
Acupuncture and Spinal Manipulation
Low back pain is another of those symptoms that is nagging and does not respond very well to conventional treatment. Medical doctors are usually at a loss to really explain what is causing the pain and their reaction is to treat it as a symptom. They also tend to ignore much discussion on what is behind the pain and concentrate on trying to control the pain. Traditional Chinese Medicine will not stop at this half way point to understanding. Instead, they seek to explain the internal disharmony that is causing it.
There are other alternatives to conventional medicine. One such treatment is known as spinal manipulation. This is usually done by a Chiropractor. Once again, the Chiropractor will have his own idea about what is causing the problem. In his case, the cause is seen as a misalignment of the spine. Through manipulation of the spine and massage, good results were often achieved.
All of these treatments, including conventional medicine, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation have supplemental ways to deal with chronic low back pain. Many of these are very similar. They most often include mild exercise and in some cases certain herbal or chemical concoctions designed to promote muscle relaxation. There is much in common, but also there is much that is different in the underlying and philosophical approach to the problem.
Western convention medicine views both acupuncture and spinal manipulation as alternative medicines. When you consider the word, it can be seen that it is suggesting that these are things that should be attempted when their methods do not produce results. The opinions, as expressed in medical literature, are very mixed. Recently, more and more controlled clinical studies have been done to test the effectiveness of these alternative methods. The structure of some of these studies seems designed to debunk the alternative approach rather than fairly evaluate it. They certainly do not seem to try to understand it.
From the standpoint of a patient suffering from what is often very severe pain, this type of haggling is outrageous. The pain in a persons back is not a good area for a territorial contest between competing philosophical approaches. Nor is it a battle ground even on procedural issues. If we have learned anything in the last century, it is the amazing complexity and diversity of the world in which we reside. It may very well be possible that in the future, people will look back at our time and study our medical practices with shock and amazement. They may very well consider all of our treatments as primitive. This includes the medication of the doctors as well as acupuncture and spinal manipulation.