The Clinical Picture from the Chinese Medicine (TCM) Point of View

Back Ailments

Clinical Picture

Back ailments - what are they? The sovereignty to define and the right to assign names is still in the hands of classic orthopaedics. Ailments of the back are diagnosed and treated as Osteochondrosis, (degeneration of bones and cartilage), as spondylarthritis (degenerative disease of the small vertebral joints), as prolapse of invertebral disks, a vertebral canal that is too narrow, spondylolisthetic spine, etc. So the doctor focuses on the skeleton and looks for abnormalities with the aid of X-rays and newer imaging techniques. When dislocations or deformations are found, the ailments are ascribed to these. The damaged parts are then repaired through surgical intervention. Or the patient is referred to a chiropractor who knows how to correct skeletal damage manually from the outside. How the efficacy of this method can be explained is a highly controversial subject. An alternative explanation is that it is not so much that the surface of the joint is reset which relieves or alleviates the pain but, more important, the fast relaxation of permanently cramped, deeper lying muscles through the underlying proprioceptive reflex.
Chinese medicine opens even a further horizon. Beyond the subject of muscular tension, the state of tissue also plays a role. Metabolism processes in conjunction with excretory processes are also taken into consideration. And finally, the individual history of the back ailment experienced now is followed. In many cases, the origin of severe back pain lies in problematical courses of infection which may have originated in childhood. The doctors at the Klinik am Steigerwald diagnose in the widely extended Chinese horizon and treat with corresponding methods.
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