As someone with chronic back pain myself, I often get relief through acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage. However, usually the results only last me around a day or so, then my low grade back pain returns.
Like me, many patients will not get lasting relief without strengthening and lengthening these chronically weak and spasmed muscles. I was happy to get some relief through the Egoscue Pain Free DVD series. The theory behind the Egoscue center and their exercises are to strengthen weak muscles, and lengthen spasmed ones. This gives you good posture and bone alignment, which keeps back pain from returning. The Egoscue method clinic also has a location in San Francisco where they give you an individualized treatment plan.
The DVDs are not “workout” videos but are exercises focused realigning muscles. Making a habit of doing the exercises can help to prevent back, hip, and neck pain from returning. Other methods of realigning the muscles in the body include yoga classes, tai chi, physical therapy, personal training (including weight lifting and stretching). Many people may be surprised to learn that Chinese herbs, when prescribed by a licensed herbalist, can also help to ease chronic back pain.
I had an interesting tidbit to share about wine. At a recent educational seminar, the instructor was talking about the heavy metal content in wine. He claimed that he could tell if the patient was a regular wine drinker by signature levels of certain heavy metals present in a blood test. After looking into it I found a study from late 2008 that tested heavy metal levels in wines from 15 nations. You can read the full article here.
The results showed that, of all 15 nations tested, only 3 countries had wine with safe levels of heavy metals: Argentina, Italy, and Brazil. All the other wines tested levels 50-300 times what was considered safe. The highest contaminations were from vanadium, copper, and manganese. Manganese accumulation in the brain is apparently linked to a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Unfortunately, US and Californian wines were not included in the study. It would be interesting to see the results of further testing, and also to find out the source of the measured heavy metals.
Cheryl House, L. Ac., DACM, FABORM