Physical Therapy

Published: 2019-05-17
Physical Therapy
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Company History Analysis
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1730 words
15 min read


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Chronic back pain is associated with a wide range of causes such as injuries and diseases (Melzack, R., Vetere, P., & Finch, L. (1983)). Sometimes, one may the pain due to the symptoms associated with the cause. According to statistics, millions of Americans suffer from acute back pain each and every year. Milne, S., Welch, V., Brosseau, L., Saginur, M., Shea, B., Tugwell, P., & Wells, G. (2004), states that, effects of the pain results to a wonderful cost to the country for health care, lost worker productivity and recovery. It has also turned to economic as well as emotional burden to the suffering individuals and their families. This is due to unrelieved pain, increased outpatient visits, higher chances of hospitalization from time to time as well as longer hospital stays. According to Ter Riet, G., Kleunen, J., & Knipschild, P. (1990) the pain may also result to patients inability to work as well as maintaining health insurance. Moreover, chronic pain has been declared significant health problem according to the current institute of Medicine Report (Relieving pain in America). It analyzed that the societal cost on chronic pain is about $654 billion which averages to $ 2,000 for every resident in US. This has called for an immediate demand to the government and the society to stagnate this supreme challenges in the states.


Chronic pain is the usual sensation attributed to the nervous system to inform one on the available injuries and the need to standardize ones being. Currently, there has been abnormal infections due to a variety of detrimental causes such as cancer, arthritis and ear infections though some people may suffer from lower back pains without body injury but due to their older age. In this paper, we are interested to research on the statistics and effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) in the treatment of chronic back pain.

Statistics on chronic low back pain (gender/ population)

Low back pain is a complex arrangement of bones, joints tendons and body muscles in such a way that one may feel discomfort in the body movement. Majorly, it is caused by injuries on tendons, strained body muscles, rupture disks as well as irritations on joints. Moreover, accidents can also lead to low back pain. Swift movements, poor posture, arthritis, obesity and psychological stress can also cause or obscure low back pains. In addition, low back pain can occur as a result of infections of the internal organs such as blood clots, kidney infections, kidney stones and bone fragmentation.

According to the statistics by the Medicare review board, it has been stated that, roughly over 75% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their living. In the year 2014, about 25 million American residents aged 18 years and above experienced low back pain. This accounts to approximately 13% of the total population of adults. In accordance to the Healthcare Research and Quality Agency, about 69% of these people sought for medical assistance from doctor. On gender basis, the research analyzed that low back pain low and chronic back pain is more evident in women as compared to men. This is because more than 10.9 million women in the United States received medical assistance for low back pain while 8.2 million men received the same treatment. In addition, it is more evident to the ageing population more than the young population in the state. In addition, the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey data analysis stated that about 18% of the U.S children aged 5-18 experiences low back pain. It was found evident that, before and during puberty stage, girls and boys experiences severe headache.

It has been declared that 50% of the employed Americans experiences low back pain symptoms in their life. It has been the leading inhibitor for employees attendance to their daily occupations. Centered on the statistics from the World Health Organization in the year 2011, more than 12,300 infections, diseases, disorders and illnesses that tampers with our daily health.

Chronic back pain is very detrimental to ones living in terms of performing some basic activities since it makes it difficult in performing the tasks. As such, things like sitting, walking, bending or lifting objects becomes quite difficult to perform. This also limits ones entertaining events since he/she cannot undergo some swift movements. Mainly low back pain is greatly attributed by a variety of factors. These include:

Frequent forward bending: if anyone undergoes recurring activities that deserves quick front movements, it might place b greater chances for him or her becoming a victim of low back pain. This is due to the fact that faster forward movement increases pressure on the back spine thus creating an opportunity for the back pains. To avoid this, one should learn on how to bend accordingly at the knees to minimize pressure off from the spine thus reducing back pain.

Weighty lifting: some tasks demands for heavy uplifting of objects which put more pressure on the back spine. This can evenly cause tedious muscle stretching as well as creating more force on the intervertebral floppies. This force can lead to painful back thus, it is essential for one to learn on how to lift properly and systematically to avoid back pain.

Disturbance: To some extent, trauma can contribute to ones low back pain. These includes accidents, anonymous fall down as well as trauma during athletics can also cause muscle overstrain along the spine hence back pain. Accordingly, one should see a doctor immediately after traumatic event to prevent further damage causing your pain.

Deteriorating experiences: To some extent, deteriorating conditions may cause ones low back pain. This conditions includes arthritis, deteriorative disc infections, and spinal stenosis among others.

Non mechanical disease processes: Diseases like kidney stones, cancer and tumor may lead to low back pain. Though these diseases are minimal, they do occur thus, if you experience prolonged back pain after physical therapy treatment, its recommendable to visit a doctor for further rule out of the problem.

Poor sitting posture: The correct position of back should contain or portray a forward curve. Luck of this curve causes increased force on the shock absorbing discs on your back. This can easily disconnect your discs and result to low back pain.

Lumbar muscle strain: muscle strains are the common causes of back pain. Though, patients may fail to trace the exact event that inflicted their body muscle but majority of the muscle strains may resolve after a few weeks after medical treatment.

The use of Transcutaneous Electricals Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

The TENS is a mechanism of electrical stimulation which mainly targets at availing a degree of symptomatic pain relief through stirring sensory nerve hence stimulating the opioid system. There are different trends of TENS application in accordance to physiological practices. The effectiveness of TENS depends on the type of pain being treated. When used appropriately it leads to quick pain relief compared to other interventions. Transcutaneous Electricals Nerve Stimulation is regularly used for quick pain relief as it produces electricity to accelerate bodys production of ATP, which is the main source of energy supply in the body in the cell. Higher degrees of ATP production reduces the healing time but accelerates the chronic pain reduction. Though some undergo longer lasting pains reductions, they end up being relieved from the pains. TENS also used in detoxification of body as it increases the circulation action that necessitates lymphatic system to start toxins that may be accumulated in the body. In this process, majority of the users experiences a burning sensation conveyed by micro current and conventional TENS units. The category of stimulation delivered by TENS units is purposely to stimulate the sensory nerve hence activating quick ordinary pain relief mechanism. There are two categories of pain relief, that is the Endogenous Opioid System and the Pain Gate Mechanism which are arrived at through the variation of parameters to activate the two systems. The Endogenous Opioid system works by activating the A delta fibers which responds accordingly at a range of 2-10Hz. this activates the opioid system and provides for quick pain relief by causing release of the endogenous encephalin in the spinal cord to minimize the stimulation of the entire noxious sensual pathways.

While the pain gate mechanism entails the excitation of the A beta sensory fibres to reduce the transmission of noxious stimulus away from the fibres via the spinal cord thus to the higher interiors of the pain. The A beta tends to work at a relative speed of 80-130 Hz though it may work differently depending on the nature of the patient administered to though all, rapid pain relief may be achieved. Alternatively, there is still another option where by both nerve types may be stimulated at the same time to yield a rapid mode of stimulation. In this case, a greater frequency stimulation output of about 100Hz is registered at an interval of 2-3 bursts per second. This aid at activating Abate fibres and the pain gate mechanism. Every burst will produce excitation to the A delta, thus stimulating the opioid mechanism. In this combination, it may be the most effective treatment on low back pain relief approach although the sensation to numerous patients find it unacceptable compared to some other forms of TENS due to high mode of sensation depending on the mode of muscle trembling.

This units transmits electrical signals to the muscles more compared to the nerve endings. This units generates a cycle stirring and shrinkage and there after relaxation intensifies increasing blood flow to the affected area, reducing irritation and boosting muscle growth hence healing. The stimulation of muscles leads to contractions and this is the same to what happens when performing an exercise. This units are purposely designed to retrain muscles of individuals who have been affected by paralysis. Also it can be applied in accelerating the rate of action and flow actions as well as the inhibition of blood clots. TENS is a form of treatment designed to use electric current. It can be used by applying it on the skin with a prime aim of relieving pain. Generally, is used for sole treatment of acute pains in adults.

The use of Interferential current

Interferential current therapy (IFC) is generally one among the many modes that can be effectively used for physical therapy strategies for rapid pain relief, this is by reducing edema, decreasing pain, stimulating body muscles and increasing the circulation. The impendence prim...

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