A Better Back Massage Therapy
*note: the term "back pain" is generically used to cover pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, and nerve pain radiating down the arms and legs.
Most mainstream medical theories focus on the spine as the source of back, neck, hip and other pain. Herniated and thinning discs, arthritis of the spine, scoliosis and subluxations are some of the more common diagnosis.
And yet there is evidence that, even when changes are evident on x-rays or MRI's, there is little correspondence to the pain that people experience. Instead, studies have shown there is no connection between common changes of the spine and back pain.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 1994 by Dr. Michael N. Brant-Zawadzki using MRI imaging to examine the spines of 98 men and women who had no back pain. Nearly two thirds of the subjects had spinal abnormalities including bulging or protruding discs, herniated discs and degenerated discs. A third had more than one "abnormal" disc.
The study concluded that in many cases it is "shear coincidence" when a person with back pain is found to have an abnormal disc or other spinal "abnormality", and most likely, the disc had herniated long before the patient experienced pain.
One of the most outspoken and well-known critics of the "spinal" theories of back pain is Dr. John E. Sarno of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine. His pioneering theories that chronic pain is caused by muscle tension has yielded better than a 90% patient success rate in recovery from chronic pain over the past thirty years.
The simple answer is....stress.
Even if x-rays, MRI's, cat scans all show significant changes in your vertebrae, discs, and so forth, the most common cause of back pain has nothing to do with what is seen on medical imaging.
What begins as anger and/or fear in the mind ends up in the "fight or flight" muscles of our bodies: neck, back, buttocks, and jaw. It is not uncommon for many people to have chronic, ongoing "fight or flight" responses 24 hours per day, even when sleeping (hence the reason people experience pain at night when in bed.)
Adding to daily life stress is the stress of chronic pain and stress from the fear produced by a particularly frightening diagnosis. It is not uncommon for back pain to worsen after hearing a disturbing diagnosis from a respected medical authority.
A Better Back Massage Therapy's course of treatment focuses on three initial intensive strategic sessions, introducing the client to the stress vs. structural theories of back pain. Each educational session includes a full one hour massage therapy treatment session. Included in the sessions are reading materials, suggestions for "homework", ongoing stress reduction consultations and strategies, and a video presentation. The three sessions are spaced with the client's recovery in mind, maximizing the client's abilities to absorb the information and integrate it into their lives. Many clients are very surprised at how quickly they begin to feel relief from their pain. Significant recovery usually is experienced in three to four weeks. Most back pain sufferers find significant relief using A Better Back's system of pain elimination.
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