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Back Pain| Alternative Medicine|eToims Differences

Posted Sep 18 2008 10:18am

An article by Sherman KJ. Cherkin DC. Deyo RA, et al, discusses that patients frustrated with conventional care for back pain, turn increasingly to complementary and alternative medicine.   Between 10% and 20% of visits to chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists is due to chronic back pain.  Also back pain is the most common condition these providers treat.

Treatments given by each of these professions share certain similarities. Each has a hands-on technique at the core of its treatments (ie, needling the body, manipulating the spine, or massaging the soft tissues), although many different variations of these techniques are used. These techniques are repeatedly used during successive visits, often in conjunction with various adjunctive modalities.

Each profession has a prototypical approach. For acupuncture, the typical approach includes assessments that are foreign to the biomedical community (eg, tongue diagnosis), regular body acupuncture using the approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and heat.Chiropractic typically includes spinal and soft tissue examinations at the first office visit followed by spinal adjustment, most often using the “diversified technique.”Massage therapy usually includes tissue assessment and a massage involving three major treatment styles: deep tissue, Swedish, and trigger point.Self-care recommendations are also a standard part of visits to acupuncture and massage practice and chiropractors. All three professions make self-care recommendations, with exercise being part of those recommendations for all professions.

Implications for Physicians:The article also states that in advising patients about the use of CAM therapies, physicians should be guided by evidence on effectiveness and safety. The amount and quality of evidence on effectiveness varies for these therapies. Spinal manipulation appears to be superior to sham and known ineffective therapies but not superior to effective conventional treatments for chronic low back pain. Previous acupuncture studies are generally of poor quality, so the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating low back pain is unclear. Although only three studies have evaluated massage for back pain, all three studies were positive.

While there is some variability in the treatment provided to chronic back pain patients by acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists, physicians may be reassured by this study’s data that the treatments used by these practitioners are relatively well characterized and “mainstream” for these professions and rarely include modalities that can be dangerous. (Sherman KJ. Cherkin DC. Deyo RA. Erro JH. Hrbek A. Davis RB. Eisenberg DM. Thediagnosisandtreatmentofchronicbackpainbyacupuncturists,chiropractors,andmassagetherapists.Clinical Journal ofPain. 22(3):227-34, 2006)

eToims Twitch Relief Method is an individualized therapy with similarities to the work and soft tissue healing effects provided by acupuncturists, chiropractor and massage therapists.   We emphasize on self-care techniques and guided exercise to prevent or limit further trauma to already injured nerves and muscles that can occur because of activities of daily living, work, sports, recreation, etc.

However, the practice of eToims Twitch Relief Method vastly differs from the above three alternative medicine practices since eToims Twitch Relief Method is a medical system that requires a sound knowledge of anatomy and electro-physiology.  The eToims practitioner has to undergo significant training to be able to have skills to be able to locate and noninvasively stimulate irritable neuromuscular junctions (trigger points) within the time affordable by the patient for a treatment session.  

The treatment results are determined by the patient's ability to have immediate reduction in pain, improvement in range of motion and other measured physiologic parameters compatible with pain reduction.  Muscles are individually exercised in eToims and different body positions are used so that even the deep layers of muscles can be stimulated and exercised.   Tight and problematic muscles are individually stretched through active twitch muscle contraction with the stretch emanating from the neuromuscular junctions where most of the shortened muscle fibers concentrate.   This relieves pain through releasing the constricting effect of the tight muscles on intramuscular nerves, blood vessels, bone surfaces and joints.

The twitch induced exercise also aids in the circulation of fresh blood to the areas where blood could not flow previously due to muscles in spasm and removes stagnant fluids and pain producing chemicals from the same region.   This removes pain and encourages nerves and muscles to heal.

eToims Twitch Relief Method is safe and efficacious and is the only treatment that delivers reproducible pain relieving results in neuromuscular pain such that patients are willing to pay out of pocket for chronic durations for increasing their quality of life. After three weekly sessions of eToims Twitch Relief Method, our retention rate is 85% for weekly return visits with self-pay patients. 

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