(Health Secrets) If you suffer from back pain, you are certainly not alone. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the world — only headache is more common. Many people find long lasting relief from chiropractic and/or physical therapy. A third option that can be used alone or in conjunction with the first two is Rolfing.
Rolfing is a system of deep tissue massage that has the ability to dramatically alter posture and structure to return a person to wellness. It is estimated that more than one million people have received Rolfing work, many for back pain.
Research has shown that Rolfing creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also has demonstrated that Rolfing significantly reduces chronic stress and changes in the body structure. For example, a study showed that Rolfing significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (swayback). Rolfing has gained popularity in the past few decades as word of its success has spread.
Your back supports your entire body, using a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. All these components are capable of producing pain in the back, lower back and surrounding areas. Because the back is connected to the rest of your body, back pain can be an early warning of underlying conditions elsewhere in your body.
Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities. The pain may be felt in the neck (and might radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include symptoms other than pain (weakness, numbness or tingling).
Rolfing sees the body and its structure as a series of interconnected and inter-related bony segments. As a Rolfer will explain, your body is designed to provide internal support for all these segments. Large sections of bony segments rest on sections below them and provide support for sections that are above them. In the case of the back, especially the lower back, it provides internal support for almost all of your body.
To understand how Rolfing treatment for the back works, it is important to recognize that back pain cannot be understood by looking at the back alone. It is crucial to understand that Rolfing will treat the body not as individual parts, but as a whole, so the whole organism can be realigned.
Dr. Ida Rolf, a pioneer in bodywork, perfected the technique of Structural Integration which has become known as Rolfing. According to Dr. Rolf, the traditional idea of standing up straight, shoulders back, stomach in and head held high, actually misaligns the spine and deforms the skeleton.
Rolfing operates through a sequence of hands-on manipulation during which the Rolfer moves the tissue of the back and lower back toward the symmetry and balance that the body demands, by stretching and moving the tissue. Rolfing is designed to loosen the muscle fascia, resulting in a freedom of muscle movement and the unlearning of bad patterns of muscle strain and misuse, resolving the source of the back pain. This release should then enable the back to properly align itself. When the back is properly aligned, back pain should recede.
For low back pain as well as herniated disk, Rolfing would focus on softening, releasing and lengthening the muscle tissue and creating space between the intervertebral disks (most easily seen when Rolfing creates space between the pelvis and the ribs).
Some of the key muscles involved in Rolfing for back pain will possibly be the muscles involved in hip flexion and the connective tissue which surrounds them, as well as the various lower back muscles and the strong ligaments that hold the sacrum in place. The sacrum is the triangular bone at the base of your spine which you might know as the tailbone.
Rolfing’s great strength is that it is non-invasive, and hence while undergoing Rolfing you will be able to continue with daily life and even sports while simultaneously treating and relaxing your back muscles, which will eventually allow you a greater range of movement and increase your flexibility.
Dr. Ronald Tarrel, D.O., a neurologist at the Noran Neurological Clinic in Minneapolis says, “I refer my patients who may be surgical candidates, or others that have had surgery for neck and back injuries, to Rolfing. I have had an 80-85% success rate with these referrals. One key reason I refer is that Rolfing offers relief to patients who think their left-over pain is due to failed surgery. They may be so tightly bound after surgery from the scar tissue that their soft tissue needs to be released. Rolfing can help greatly with this.
Unfortunately, Rolfing is considered an alternative treatment, and as such is not paid for by most health insurance. insurance. It would be ideal if health insurance would pay for therapies that promote heath, rather than pain killer medication addiction and physical deterioration.
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