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Senior Correspondent

Benefits of Spinal Manipulation for Back Pain

About Back Pain

Spinal manipulation has been a valuable tool in the treatment of back pain, and associated conditions such as neck and shoulder pain, for many years.

It’s had varied press over recent times, with the very occasional chiropratic session that’s gone wrong (even resulting in paralysis) receiving lots of attention.

However these instances are extremely rare, and spinal manipulation remains a very effective and safe option for back pain treatment with a properly trained and qualified practitioner.

As they say. knowledge is king, and I found a most useful article all about spinal manipulation by Joe DiVincenzo, a physical therapist and clinical specialist in manual therapy, on the Gloucester Times website.

If you are considering this therapy then I would suggest you give this a read and learn why your back may crack, the difference between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, how long you can safely have the treatment, and lots more.

Reiki as a Treatment for Chronic Back Pain

During my internet wanderings in search of material for back pain blog, I come across all manners of weird and wonderful things. I’m not quite sure how I would classify this item, but I thought it worthy of inclusion.

I found an article by Pamela Miles on the reikiinmedicine.org website, in which she tells how she was able to relieve her sister's chronic back pain. She had suffered for twelve years,  and was relieved after only a month of practicing daily Reiki self-treatment.

Reiki is a technique developed by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui in 1922. It is a stress reduction and relaxation method that also promotes healing. It is apparently easily and quickly learnt, and is very suitable for self administration.

So far so good. It gets a little strange when we are told that you can also use it on inanimate objects such as food and drinkd, even your car!

Anyway, I am a great believer in the power of the human mind and Pamela’s story makes an interesting read. You can find it here.

You may also find this video worth a watch if you want to know more. It’s by Reiki master teacher Stephanie Kraft, who explains how it works.

If any back pain blog reader has experience of Reiki that they would like to pass on I’d be delighted to hear from them at thebackman@live.com

I may even try it myself. It’s totally non-invasive and safe so there’s nothing to lose, except perhaps one's pain. Got to be a good thing.

The McKenzie Method for Back Pain

I’m sure that many people reading this will be aware of, and know all about, The McKenzie Method for treating back pain. Some of you may even be using it, or have used it. I’d be keen to hear about that.

Equally there will be others who have not heard of this method, so here’s a little information.

Robin McKenzie, now 80, was a young physiotherapist in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1950s when he unwittingly left a back pain patient he was treating on a bed with his back arched in extension. The bed had been adjusted for a previous patient.

Upon returning and seeing the situation McKenzie rushed to move the man, as this position was thought to be very damaging for the back. However, the patient said that his pain was much improved, and in fact the next day the patient reported he was symptom-free.

This was the start of many years of research, resulting in The McKenzie Institute now having branches in some 26 countries helping back pain sufferers to effectively treat themselves.

The method is relatively inexpensive, can be done pretty much anywhere, home or work. It takes only a minute or so to do a set of exercises, which are designed not to strengthen, but to reverse any distortion within the joints.

Like all therapies, this method will not suit everyone, which is why it is wise to find a clinic near you for an initial assessment where “a systematic progression of applied mechanical forces utilizes pain response to monitor changes in motion and/or function. The underlying disorder can then be quickly identified through objective findings for each individual patient”.

Sounds a bit brutal, but is not as bad as it sounds and clinic practitioners can then identify those cases where the method will be appropriate.

Once taught the techniques most patients can go on to successfully treat themselves safely and effectively.

I have not tried this myself yet, but it is something I may well look at in the future. There are about 70 clinics qualified to offer The McKenzie Method in the U.K. alone at present. For more details of the method and where the clinics are go here.

If you’d like to read the full background story of Robin McKenzie, and it is fascinating, click here.

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