Dispelling the Myths About Back Pain

As a Chiropractor, its funny to read and hear folks talk and write about back pain.  Many times there is truth and validity regarding their back pain but there are also many myths that should be dispelled.

Here I will discuss just a few Myths along with Facts related to back pain: First let’s look at some facts. 

Less than 1% of acute lower back pain is due to a serious infection or condition such as cancer or spinal injury.  For individuals who are younger than 50, the rate is even lower. Back pain is one of the biggest disabilities for those under the age of 45, and it’s second to the common cold for the reason to seek a health care provider in the United States.

  • ‘Most back pain requires surgery’ – Myth
    • Under 2% of patients experiencing back pain need surgery
    • Back pain, however is the 3rd top reason for surgery
  • ‘There’s nothing really wrong with you’ – Myth
    • Chronic back pain sufferers regularly hear this from their doctors
    • A large percent of back pain can be due to spinal misalignment that medication can not help
    • Medication is given for the symptom and the cause is left untreated
  • ‘People don’t die from chronic back pain’ – Myth
    • Believe it or not, chronic back pain if left untreated can lead to depression and anxiety
    • In long term cases, the depression and anxiety can lead to suicidal tendencies
  • ‘Use heat for back pain’ -Myth
    • Although the heat may feel comforting it is not healing
    • Ice is used to reduce the internal swelling and promote healing
    • You can use heat such as a hot shower, as long as it is followed with ice
  • ‘Lie down and rest for back pain’ – Myth
    • As silly as it sounds, bed rest can hinder the recovery
    • It’s important to remain active and but at a slower pace
    • Bed rest will keep the swelling intact, which will slow the recovery process
  • ‘Back pain is more common in men vs women’ – Myth
    • Back pain is not gender specific
    • It is thought that it is more common in men because of activity or occupational hazards, but that is far from the truth

I hope I have dispelled some myths regarding back pain.  Chiropractors are detectors of the cause of such pain.  We will take x-rays, educate the patient and show them the areas of involvement that may be causing the symptom of back pain. 

Chiropractic specific adjustments will remove the subluxation, or misalignment that will reduce the symptom.  We look for the cause and treat the cause, which in turn will help with the symptom.

Yours in health,

Above Down ~ Inside Out

As a Doctor of Chiropractic we are taught that the body can heal itself, more importantly that the healing comes from above to down then inside and out.  So what does that mean exactly?  My interpretation is the following.

We are given the gift of life from our creator, yet many have chosen to abuse their gift. This gift comes to us in the form of a body which is a magnificent machine.  When we are born our machine is clean and pure and our immune system is ready to work and keep us healthy. Some of us choose to immunize in order to help the body stay healthy. That is a different thought process than what is taught to us however, some choices are irreversible so no need to dwell on them. We do however, have a choice to care for our bodies to keep it working at its optimal level.

Our body is amazing and it will give you signs and signals when something within it is failing or when you are simply overworking it. It is very similar to any other type of machine we are accustomed to, such as a vehicle. When our vehicles need maintenance, they will show us a signal. Perhaps it’s a light or sound but its a signal to make us aware of a problem.  Our bodies work in the same manner. The signals may consist of headaches, coughs, pain or aches and those are ones we must not avoid. Some will choose to take a form of medication to deal with the signal or symptom. However, that is only temporary and will not take care of the cause. Again I will go back to the vehicle analogy. When a light goes off, signifying something is wrong, hence a symptom. Do we mask it with a liquid or gas or do we try to discover the reason for the light or sound going off? I’m sure your answer is the same as everyone else; you try to discover the problem and fix it.

Then why do we neglect our bodies? We are only given one body, yet we choose to neglect it or simply mask the symptoms with a pill or worse ignore it all together. Many times the symptom is the last signal to appear and if left unattended will cause greater damage. Why do we choose to take care of our vehicles or electronics more than our most precious piece of machinery? Have we become so complacent that we simply don’t care?

Why not start today! Pay close attention to the signals your body is giving you. A headache may be a sign that you are overworked and must rest or it may be a signal to something much worse.  A cough may be the way your body handles a foreign substance and is simply trying to release it; let it do it’s job. Instead of masking it, research and ask questions. Become a detective and learn more about your body; after all it’s the only one you have. What will you choose? To allow the body to heal or mask the symptoms? Will you be more aware of the signals or simply ignore them? Will you try to live a healthier life by choosing healthier foods and exercise? Or will you succumb to the daily stressors? The choice is yours to make.

PS. Visit Dr. Mommy Health Tips to learn more tips on health and wellness.

Chiropractic Questions Answered

What is Chiropractic? The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic and natural. It responsibly addresses the relationship between the nervous system and “dis-ease” within the body.

The science of chiropractic is based on the fact that the essence of life flows from the brain, down the spinal cord, then out through a massive network of nerves traveling to every part of the body. This powerful life supply of nerve impulses, when flowing uninterrupted, gives us normal and natural health.

What is the cause of nerve interference?

Chiropractors have led the way in pointing out that displacements of the vertebrae in the spine can pinch or irritate the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves, thereby block the flow of vital communication between the brain and body. These displacements and subsequent neurological disruptions are called subluxations. Subluxations also cause abnormal posture, muscular tension and asymmetry, abnormal inflammatory reactions, and eventual degenerative changes in the spinal joints. Chronic nerve irritation will restrict the body’s ability to maintain optimal health, and the cells, tissues, and organs will suffer. Many illnesses may be manifested due to abnormal body functions caused by subluxations.

How does a chiropractor fix subluxations?

Doctors of chiropractic specialize in detecting, locating, and correcting spinal displacements. Your chiropractor, once proper diagnostic procedures are performed, will place hands on your back and gently line up the vertebrae in their natural position. This process may take weeks or months depending on the nature and amount of misalignment. As alignment is restored, nerve supply begins to return to the body causing normal function to be reestablished. As your body heals, homeostasis is restored, and optimal health improves. Periodic checkups are recommended for maintenance of the spine. The frequency of wellness care for you and your family is unique and specially designed to the individual; consult with your local chiropractor.

Do I need a chiropractor?

The short answer is yes. The spinal joints are under constant stress, and generally have a history of traumatic events since birth. Neglect of the spine, more than any other single factor, is responsible for many of the unwanted conditions we suffer from every day. Therefore, getting a spinal checkup for you and your family is foundational to the health of the body. Optimal health is everyone’s right, and chiropractic is the most effective way to reestablish nature’s design for wellness. The drugless, non-surgical, and natural approach of chiropractic is not only safe for all ages, but might be what’s been missing from your overall health plan. Your chiropractor may be the best doctor to help you and your family reach the health goals you deserve. Call us today for a FREE consultation.