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,

Say Goodbye to Ear Infections

By the tender age of 2, approximately 65% of children will have experienced at least one episode of middle ear infection, also known as otitis media.  This is a disturbing figure and one that is quite scary.  Frequent ear aches may interfere with a child's language and speech development and in some cases can cause permanent hearing loss. There are 3 types of otitis media:

  • Acute – usually due to an upper respiratory infection and has pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and possibly diarrhea associated with it.  During the upper respiratory infection, bacteria may cause swelling in the ear and surrounding tissues, making drainage difficult.  This inflammation and lack of drainage is exacerbated by the angle of the infant's eustachian tubes, which change in orientation and angle as the child matures.
  • Serous or secretory – this type results when acute otitis media does not resolve fully.  The symptoms related with serous otitis media are obstruction of the eustachian tube, accumulation of fluid in the middle ear and hearing loss.
  • Chronic – may result from acute otitis media or from trauma to the ear drum.  In this condition, the eardrum or tympanic membrane is perforated.

The method of practice by medical doctors when a child is exhibiting any of the above conditions is to prescribe antibiotics.  There are serious repercussions from the administration of antibiotics such as side effects that may include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • yeast infections
  • with long term use: increases the chance of recurrent, serious ear infections

When antibiotics are not effective or fail to halt the chronic ear infection, surgery to insert ear tubes is the next step. The body eventually rejects the tubes and pushes them out naturally.

Parents are turning to Chiropractors for help as well as their first line of defense for preventing future episodes.  The chiropractic approach to ending ear pain is multifaceted and based on the philosophy of focusing on cause rather than symptoms.

Misalignments of the spine called spinal subluxations interfere with nerve flow.  Many doctors believe that the eustachian tube blockage occurs when a tiny muscle called the tensor veli palatini becomes dysfunctional.  This muscle is innervated by nerves that can be traced back to the spinal cord in the upper neck.  When the nerve is impinged causing a subluxation the symptom may result in ear ache. The Doctor of Chiropractic takes specialized courses on pediatric adjusting techniques and use extremely safe, low-force adjusting methods for children.

Next time your child is suffering from an ear ache, consider a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Sutherland is a Doctor of Chiropractic in Tampa, Florida and specializes in family care, be sure to contact him with any questions or concerns or make an appointment for a FREE consultation.