Back Pain Causes and Treatment: getting to the root of the problem
Back Pain. It can be anything from a minor pain/nuisance in your day to a major debilitating injury. Back pain is one of the most common reasons a person will go see their doctor and one of the most common reasons people miss work. It affects not only the activities that we participate in, but can eliminate the pleasure we used to experience in our favorite past times.
Sometimes we know what caused our back pain:
Other times we don’t. There are many causes of back pain, all of which cannot and should not be treated equally.
What are the most common causes of back pain:
Muscle inhibition and back pain
One of the most common causes of back pain seen in my office on a daily basis is caused by muscle inhibition. Due to an “injury” (physical, chemical, inflammatory, etc.) certain muscles will not receive the proper input from the brain to contract, as they should. The muscle is often “turned off” to help protect the muscle from further injury. If your muscles aren’t correctly working then this can lead to pain, weakness, inflammation, and subluxations. Getting tested to find which muscles are not working correctly, in addition to finding out why they aren’t working correctly, and then correcting them, is one best ways people can get instant relief from back pain.
Subluxation and back pain
A subluxation is when a bone is slightly out of alignment compared to the adjacent bones. If the bone is misaligned it will not move in unison with the rest of the spine. This non-movement leads to inflammation that will release chemicals that alter how adjacent nerves fire stimulating pain centers in your brain. Many things can cause subluxations: improper physical activity, muscle imbalances, inflammation caused by other issues, etc. Finding the root cause of the subluxation and then correcting it and the subluxation will give you the quickest and longest lasting recovery.
Referral back pain
Sometimes the back pain is actually caused by a dysfunction somewhere else in the body. If a golfer is hitting with his driver and lacking proper hip rotation then his body will try and give he or she the same amount of rotation one should have. The body accomplishes this by inducing rotation into the lumber spine greater than normally occurs. This will cause irritation, inflammation, pain, and instability. In this instance no matter how much therapy one does on the back, it will only receive minimal improvement unless the root cause is addressed, the lack of hip rotation. This is just one example of ones pain being caused by an area that is NOT your main area of complaint. Evaluating the body as a whole is key to true health and recovery.
Inflammation and back pain
Food Allergies and Back Pain
One of the most overlooked aspects of back pain is inflammation and how it can actually cause the pain and not simply be a by-product of the pain. This inflammation can have many different causes. Previously we talked about nightshades causing inflammation in many people, and in clinical practice they have shown to be a major cause of musculoskeletal pain. Other food sensitivities such as wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, chocolate, etc. are common causes of musculoskeletal pain.
Dysbiosis and Back Pain
As we have talked about in previous posts on Migraines, Fatigue, and Depression when one has an imbalance of intestinal microbes with too many “bad” ones and not enough “good” ones (dysbiosis) then inflammation is produced. This inflammation tends to settle wherever a persons “weakest link” is, which will exacerbate the current issue. You wouldn’t believe how often pain goes away by simply restoring intestinal flora or removing foods one is sensitive towards.
New research has shown that in a study forty percent of people with back pain referred for surgery could be “cured” by antibiotics. While I don’t recommend antibiotic therapy to treat back pain, the study shows that back pain can be caused by a microbial infection. Doing specific testing and treating with the correct anti-microbials can eliminate the pain.
Environmental Toxins and Back Pain
Heavy Metals, pollution, pesticides, and other environmental toxins are all stressors on ones body that can increase inflammation, exacerbating back pain and/or increasing ones risk of developing a new injury.
NSAID relief for back pain?
As previously talked about in my blog on Headaches taking Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen are common things people take for pain. They work by blocking prostaglandins. The problem with this approach is that they not only block prostaglandin #2s, which are pro-inflammatory, they also block prostaglandin #1s and #3s, which are anti-inflammatory. So while they may help the pain initially they are only going to increase your overall inflammation levels, either making your issue last longer, or more prone for a new injury to occur.
Back Pain Treatment: All Natural and Long Lasting
As we have gone over, there are many things that can increase back pain. These can range from muscle imbalances, subluxations, injuries in other parts of the body, or inflammation caused by food sensitivities, dysbiosis, or other environmental toxins.
Cleaning up ones diet to a more natural whole food based approach is a great step. Also doing proper exercise training will benefit anyone suffering from aches and pains. One of my favorite sites is www.sock-doc.com. The doctor, one of my mentors, is a true holistic practitioner and he has great insight into proper athletic training for health, and not just for fitness.
Being evaluated for muscle imbalances and subluxations is key in getting the relief you need. Not all doctors are created equal and you want one that uses muscle testing to evaluate your body as a whole to ensure not just the pain, but the root cause of your injury is addressed.
As said, being evaluated for food sensitivities, dysbiosis, and environmental toxins are often key is maintaining an injury free lifestyle. Some of the most common anti-microbials I use are Morinda Supreme, Golden Thread Supreme, and Melia supreme. Also for detox Takesumi Supreme is a great product. Other products such as selenium or alpha lipoic acid are also needed.
While changing your diet and trying the above supplements will work for some, I don’t recommend one approach for all. That’s where getting evaluated for all potential aspects mentioned above is key.
Please feel free to email me at DrNoahLebowitz@gmail.com or comment below with any questions you may have.
-Dr. Noah Lebowitz is a second generation Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist practicing in Tacoma / Seattle WA. Dr. Lebowitz treats the chronically ill patient with fatigue, intestinal issues, depression, autoimmune conditions, etc. The patients he sees have often seen many other doctors beforehand and are able to be helped using the unique protocol developed by Michael Lebowitz DC. He also works with professional athletes (including NHL and MLB All-Stars and MVP players) and amateurs working to optimize muscle function and nutrition helping decrease injuries and increase performance.