13/07/2023 | Blog

Back pain: a holistic approach may offer a solution

Dr Marc-Antoine Zurkirch Chiropractor Founder MAZ Clinic

Described as the pain of the century, back pain affects most of us. At the MAZ Clinic in Geneva, patients receive holistic care from a variety of therapists and specialists; founded by chiropractor Dr. Marc-Antoine Zurkirch. We met him.

Dr Zurkirch, Back pain is a recurrent problem in our society. Why? What can be done about it?

According to the WHO, back pain affects 80% of the world’s population, as it does in Switzerland. 44% of absenteeism from work is due to musculoskeletal disorders. There are many causes of pain, mainly linked to our lifestyles: sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, stress and overwork, poor diet, sleep disorders… Solutions do exist, but first we need to understand the causes in order to set up an effective and lasting treatment.

Is chiropractic effective against these aches and pains?

Yes. Chiropractic is an academic medical profession specializing in the treatment of back pain. We are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To treat back pain, chiropractors use manual treatment techniques, including joint manipulation.

You created the MAZ Clinic in 2020. What was your original idea?

Tell us about your approach.

The idea was to bring together in the same structure a team of specialists and therapists who would work in a synergistic and complementary way to care for the patient as a whole, and this is what we offer today at the MAZ Clinic.

The holistic approach aims to treat a person as a whole, considering all aspects of his or her physical, emotional and social life. Our common goal is to focus on the cause of problems, not just the symptoms, each with their own specialist expertise.

At the MAZ Clinic, you work with a team of chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists, naturopaths, nutritionists, hypnotherapists… You offer a comprehensive, personalized healthcare plan tailored to each individual’s lifestyle. Can you tell us more about this concept?

Every human being is unique. Age, medical history, pain, lifestyle, stress, diet and sleep are all factors we take into account to define the patient’s state of health. We then draw up a medical diagnosis and propose an adapted and personalized treatment plan with the various therapies required. A synergy of several specialties is often required. As the patient’s lifestyle evolves, so does our approach.

In your opinion, patients need to learn to listen to their bodies better.

The body is designed to regulate itself and therefore, in most cases, to heal itself, which is often overlooked. A pain or symptom is an alarm signal sent by our body. It’s essential to listen and understand. As health educators, we guide our patients towards better management of their health. The MAZ Clinic promotes preventive medicine.

Are you taking too much medicine? Does preventive medicine have a role to play?

In some cases, medication is indispensable, but it must be used appropriately, and when possible, other therapeutic options should be evaluated. Preventive medicine aims to anticipate the onset or worsening of certain pathologies, thus limiting the need to take medication and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases. As prevention is crucial to any healthcare system, these practices should be encouraged and promoted.

Our aches and pains are often the result of stress and overwork. Does it affect our general condition?

Absolutely, “Mens sana in corpore sano”. Stress affects posture, organ and metabolic function, the immune system, sleep quality, breathing… all of which influence our state of health. Muscle tension, backache, headaches, high blood pressure and digestive problems are just some of the symptoms that can result.

You have to learn to listen to yourself better and take time for yourself. Carry out positive mental activities such as meditation, breathing exercises or sport. A healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet and quality sleep are the keys to relieving stress. The MAZ Clinic offers several specialties to help patients manage their condition effectively, including nutrition, naturopathy, massage and hypnosis.

Is exercise a good remedy?

Adapted sports activities help maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve physical and mental health, including back pain. You need to take the time to do it regularly.

What about you? Do you do any regular sports?

Yes, every day. It’s an essential part of my lifestyle. It allows me to refocus after a day’s work and keep in shape.

Interview Bertrand Monnard