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Natural options exist for back pain

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By Brandon Mattingly

Some Kentucky residents have shown concern about the difficulty of attaining prescription drugs following the passing of the “pill mill bill” (House Bill 217), which went into effect in March.

Many suffering from lower back pain, the leading cause of disability in North America, are anxious to know how difficult it will be to get medication. They may benefit, however, from looking elsewhere to treat their ailments.

Dr. Michael Ho—a Canadian chiropractor and acupuncturist with 35 years of experience, who has built a large online presence—said natural remedies are a safer long-term solution than relying on medication.

“Unfortunately, most people will just take a pill or rest. They do the wrong things, and that’s why the pain becomes worse over time,” he said. “A lot of people are given the wrong advice to just rest, which is actually not a good thing for a lower back injury. The right amount of exercise and the right kind of exercise is what you need.”

Ho also said that inactivity can lead to weight gain, which in turn, results in other problems, such as knee and ankle problems. The best medicine, according to the back specialist, could simply be a daily stroll — or two.

“I think incorporating some general health exercise into their daily routine is very important,” Ho said. “People with chronic pain, the first thing they should start to do is go for a walk. If they can, go for a walk in the morning and after dinner, and do some basic back stretching and core-strengthening exercises.”

He attributed lifting objects that are too heavy or lifting too often, lack of exercise, a past sports or other injury and even sleeping in the wrong position are among the biggest factors that lead to chronic back pain. However, the No. 1 culprit is one that we’re almost all guilty of on a daily basis, but should be more aware of.

“The most common cause of lower back pain today has to be prolonged sitting,” Ho said. “We sit way too much. We sit at home watching TV all the time. We sit in the car when we drive to and from work. We sit in front of a computer for hours every day. Our lifestyles require us to sit to do most of our tasks nowadays. I don’t see that changing, because we’re required to be on a computer every day now.”

He always warns his patients that pain that isn’t treated routinely can drastically increase.

“A minor back strain, over time, can lead to premature degeneration of the disk and the joint. It can lead to severe back and leg pain,” he said. “Back pain can be the beginning of total body degeneration, because that’s your frame. That is the core of your body.”

Ho said protecting our core is where fighting back pain and related ailments begins, but he added that there are different levels of pain and different needs for each patient. The doctor prides himself on some of the products he’s developed over the years, namely his decompression back belt, which he said provides the most important function that most of us lack on a day to day basis; sitting upright.

“I’ve always been looking to develop products that people can use to take care of their own body and relieve pain on their own, so that they’re not dependent on my care, pills or anything else,” he said.

To find out more about chronic lower back and other pain, or to check out the products offered by Ho, visit www.drhonow.com.