Neck Pain - Lower Back Pain: Should Treatments Be Focused Only To The Area That Hurts?

by Jennifer Chu - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 526 Share This!

If a person has neck pain or lower back pain and treatments are directed only to the area involved, although the symptoms may get better, that person is a candidate for further injuries with resultant neck pain and lower back pain again.

When treatments are applied only to the area that hurts, the treatments are symptom directed and not treating the root cause of the problem. Treating the root cause of the problem is more effective in treating the pain symptoms as well as in preventing further recurrences.

In nerve related muscle pain, treatments are best directed toward muscles in the painful region and the connections of these muscles to other muscles through the fascial envelope. Additionally, muscles sharing the same nerve root supply as the nerves supplying the painful muscles also need to be treated.

In the case of the muscles beside the spine known as the paraspinal muscles, they arise from the lower back and attach to the middle back and the neck and skull. In the lower back region, these muscles are continuous through the fascia, with the origin of the buttock muscle (gluteus maximus). Therefore, neck pain treatments cannot be complete without treating the entire spine including the gluteus maximus muscle as a minimum.

Similarly, low back pain treatments must involve treating the entire low back, mid-back and neck muscles and large powerful muscles such as the latissimus dorsi supplied by the neck nerve roots.

On using this concept to treat patients with pain, pain symptom improvement will be accompanied by increase in mobility and function that cannot be achieved in treating just the painful area.

In treating such patients, selective activation of individual muscles is best achieved through eToims Twitch Relief Method. This is a non-invasive proprietary, revolutionary method which utilizes surface electrical stimulation to locate motor points (nerve and muscle meeting-points also known as trigger points) and then stimulates them to induce strong local muscle contractions, termed Twitches. This results in reduced muscle pain and discomfort in the areas that were stimulated. The involved pain/discomfort-relieving mechanism is thought to include local muscle exercise increasing local blood flow to the muscles and internal stretch effects to muscle fibers in the regions of motor points stimulated.

The eToims Twitch Method is a targeted and effective process to:

Stop nerve related muscle pain and/or discomfort
Develop healthy habits
Improve quality-of-life

Therefore treatments for neck pain must include the entire paraspinal muscles from the neck to the base of the spine and the muscles supplied by the commonly injured nerve roots such as C5 through C7 nerve roots from the neck spine and the L4 through S1 nerve roots from the lower back spine. Similarly, treatments for lower back pain must include these same muscles. In this fashion, patient's pain improvement will be accompanied by increase mobility and quality of life.

In treatments that involve only pain suppression, although patients may have relief of pain for the duration of action of the medications, the functional improvement is not significant enough especially for those who are in chronic pain. These patients often need many medications including narcotics for pain management and continue to have many functional impairments since they remain in considerable pain despite medications.

Related Tags: lower back pain, neck pain, electrical stimulation, noninvasive method, trigger points

Jennifer Chu, M.D., founder of eToims Soft Tissue Comfort Center(r) is also President and CEO of eToims Medical Technology LLC, a medical device company with training programs in eToims(r) Twitch Relief Method. She is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, where has been on faculty for more than 30 years.

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