According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, back pain is an extremely common condition amongst the population, with 2 in 5 Australians individuals citing that back pain has moderately interfered with their daily life in 2017.
Back pain is especially prevalent among today’s society – due to a lack of physical activity, with much of our professional and recreational lives spent sedentary at a desk and in front of a computer.
As a result, many modern strategies to combat common and chronic forms of back pain have emerged – with manual therapy gaining attention as a natural health care treatment for back pain. Read on to find out more about manual therapy and its future in the health space.
How May Manual Therapy Help With Back Pain?
According to an article published by Spine Health in 2006, manual therapy may be helpful for treating musculoskeletal concerns such as a lack of joint mobility and discomfort in body function and movement. It involves restoring mobility to stiff joints and improving muscle flexibility by applying hands-on pressure to muscle tissue and joints in the body.
Manual therapy is a unique form of healthcare as it does not involve the use of medical drugs, nor require the frequent application of a device or machine. Through applying hands-on pressure to affected areas of the body, manual therapists may mobilise and manipulate bones and joints in the spine to relieve back pain. Manual therapy may also involve soft tissue work (such as massages) to help relax the muscles and reduce symptoms of back pain.
One popular form of manual therapy is chiropractic. Chiropractic uses hands-on spinal manipulation to correct patients’ musculoskeletal structure and is performed by trained chiropractors. In Australia, a chiropractor must complete five years of relevant study at an accredited university and professional placements before being allowed to practise in chiropractic.
Through spinal adjustments, chiropractors may help provide pain relief for muscles, joints and connective tissue. Studies show that chiropractic may also be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches, as well as other musculoskeletal health issues.
The Future of Manual Therapy
An extensive amount of research has been published about the level of care manual therapy may provide to patients experiencing back pain. With the legitimacy of manual therapy as a care option for back pain gaining traction, manual therapy may become a more common treatment option patients are turned to in the near future.
More research needs to be completed so that manual therapies such as massage, chiropractic and acupuncture can be appropriately recommended to patients for pain management. With more research, manual therapies as a non-drug care techniques may soon become part of the multi-modal approach to pain management.