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Back Pain : :

Studies have shown that approximately eighty-percent of all adults will eventually suffer from back pain—most often in their lower backs. After the common cold, back pain accounts for the most loss of work in the United States. Some studies show that if you have one back injury, you are four times more likely to have another.

Most of us abuse our backs in small ways everyday. We sit for hours at work, exercise occasionally (if even that), and slouch in plush chairs whenever we get the chance. Back pain plays no favorites; it strikes men and women, blue-collar and white-collar workers’, young and old.

Common causes of back pain are:

Acute and chronic lumbar strain- Trauma, excessive lifting, falls, accidents and athletic injuries are the most common causes of this disorder. Additional causes are: poor physical fitness, obesity, lack of exercise, multiple pregnancies, or a strenuous occupation.

Ligament injuries- Along with trauma or injury, years of poor posture can permanently stretch the tough elastic bands that bind muscles to bone and reinforce the back joints. Lax ligaments make your muscles work overtime to support your back. Lastly, stretched ligaments trigger joint problems as well.

Herniated Disc- Between the vertebrae of the spine, are discs made up of cartilage that act as shock absorbers. When the intervertabral discs are squeezed strongly enough, the disc is forced to slip out of its place causing the jelly-like cartilage to leak through the body of the disc. The disc material then presses against the adjacent nerve root that extends out from the spinal cord. This is referred to as a herniated disc. A herniated disc can also cause sciatica pain. Sciatica causes the pain to not only be intense in the back, but to radiate to the buttocks, legs, feet and toes.

Osteoarthritis- This is commonly known as the “degenerative wear and tear arthritis”. Osteoarthritis can affect the discs and bones of your back in varying degrees. It is known to cause narrowing of the discs and can cause spurs on the vertebral bodies.

Other causes of back pain are scoliosis, osteoporosis, and cervical spine syndrome. In rare instances, back pain can indicate serious or even deadly health problems such as kidney disease, stomach ulcers, heart trouble, tumors, cancer, etc. It is important that any type of back pain be diagnosed as soon as possible.


Back problems can be eliminated with the proper treatment. Dr. Allen Liao, Doctor of Oriental Medicine and licensed Acupuncturist, has been treating back problems successfully for more than twenty-five years. He believes in treating the cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms. Treatments may consist of acupuncture, herbs, electrical stimulation, and massage.

The number of treatments depends on the severity and length of the condition. In general, if you have had the pain for less than six months, it will take an average of ten treatments to correct the condition. If the pain is chronic, or has gone on longer than six months, more than ten treatments may be required.

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