Low back pain is the leading cause of limiting physical activity and work absence throughout most of the world. The economic impact of this health problem burdens individuals, families, communities, industry, and governments. In the United States, an estimated 149 million work days are lost every year because of low back pain, with total costs estimated to be between $100 to 200 billion USD a year (of which two-thirds are due to lost wages and lower productivity). At present, low back pain is treated mainly with analgesics, yet the CAUSES of lower back pain are rarely addressed. Surgery remains the last option when all other strategies have failed, but the outcomes are extremely disappointing.
THE 6 SECRETS of LOW BACK PAIN
1. Low Back Pain is a Symptom – Not the Root Cause or the Diagnosis!
For most bodily conditions, diseases and maladies, it is expected that a doctor does a careful and thorough evaluation. This naturally must happen before determining a diagnosis. Quite often, the diagnosis of lower back pain is “lower back pain”. This diagnosis is often determined following an evaluation that might last 60 seconds. It may not include even touching the patient or taking an x-ray. Therefore many physicians are literally diagnosing their patients with the very symptom with which their patients present. Sometimes the diagnosis may sound a bit different such as Lumbalgia, Pinched Nerve or Muscle Spasm. Basically, they mean the same thing. Without a proper evaluation, without an x-ray, without understanding spinal structure, without keeping up with current spinal biomechanical research, without analyzing the spine as a whole to determine ROOT CAUSE of the pain, the “low back pain” diagnosis falls very short.
2. Medicine Does Not Address the CAUSE
Now that you have a symptom-based diagnosis, your physician will recommend medicine. Whether over-the-counter or prescribed, these medicines don’t have brains. They don’t know where or why you hurt. All the doctor is hoping for is that it makes you feel better and you are satisfied. These medicines all have side effects which put thousands in the hospital each year. Reasons include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, liver failure, internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and degenerated spinal discs.
These medicines don’t heal in any way. They mask the pain if you’re lucky. However, when you don’t feel pain, you can do more harm than good by pushing yourself further than you should. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is not right. Taking medication is your way of telling your body to “shut up” and stop communicating. When the meds don’t do the trick, you will most likely return to your doctor. He/she will prescribe the next treatment in their “doctor bag”.
3. Steroid/Cortisone Injections
At least these target the areas that hurt. However, site specificity certainly doesn’t mean that your outcome will be any better. These shots are usually painful and have numerous side effects as well. These include an increase in pain, headaches, anxiety, sleeplessness, fever, elevated blood sugar, weakening of your immune system, ulcers, cataracts, and can lead to a collapsing of a vertebra. Death has also occurred as an unfortunate side effect.
In my over 25 years of professional practice, I have rarely seen cortisone/steroid injections work long-term. Don’t get me wrong, when you are in pain, you’ll try anything. But with the side effect risks, it logically makes sense to pursue more effective, less invasive solutions.
4. Physical Therapy Can Have Bad Outcomes with Lower Back Pain
When you return to the doctor with the same or worse pain, your next stop will be the physical therapist. There are many states in the union where doctors have a financial stake in the physical therapy clinics to which they refer. The latest research has been studied and published. It finds sending a patient to physical therapy (PT) for chronic lower back pain is worse than receiving no treatment at all. In other words, PT makes most patients with lower back pain worse. DPT’s do not address low back pain stemming from a biomechanical structural problem, yet most back pain is rooted in poor spinal structure/biomechanics.
It just makes no scientific or logical sense to have someone with a great deal of lower back pain do strenuous lower back exercises. DPT’s do not address improper structure before prescribing exercises. Improper structure leads to improper function and pain. Fix the structure, fix the pain. Ignore structure, stress it with exercise, creates more problems. Thus the patient will most likely return to the doctor worse than before. The doctor will say, “We’ve tried everything. It’s time for a surgical consultation.”
5. Surgery is Usually NOT the Answer
If you want back surgery, you definitely want to consult a surgeon. 42.7% of people studied who initially visited a surgeon for a low back consultation underwent surgery. In a different study, the majority of people who underwent lumbar fusion, a common lower back surgery, never returned to work. There are 80,000 cases of failed back surgery each year, a 19% re-operation rate and about 90% of these surgeries were not necessary. With the cost of back surgery approaching $200,000, are you sure you’ve tried everything?
Most health practitioners tend to divide the examination of the spine into regions: neck, mid back, and lower back clinical studies. This is a mistake. John Bland, MD says it very clearly: “The three units are closely interrelated, structurally and functionally – a whole person with a whole spine.” He goes on to explain that the neck may be painful or symptomatic because of a problem in another region of the spine and vice-versa! He then adds, ‘Sometimes treating the lower back will relieve neck pain, or proper management of the neck will relieve lower backache.”
6. Our UNIQUE and Highly Successful Solution to this Problem
Practicing Chiropractic BioPhysics, we establish a diagnosis BEFORE recommending treatment – this means that we will perform a most thorough evaluation of your entire spine. Why your entire spine if only your back hurts? Remember, each part of the spine affects other parts and should be viewed as a whole structure, not in fragments. Our evaluation consists of a comprehensive health history, digital postural assessment, orthopedic, neurologic, range of motion analysis as well as full-spine, radiographic studies, analyzed by state of the art spinal analysis software. From all this data, we determine if your back pain is biomechanical in nature. If so, …
Can we improve your biomechanics?
To determine if we can improve your spinal structure and to what degree, we test your structure. We do this using scientifically proven methods. If we determine that there is a great possibility of success. Then we set measurable goals and map out a custom treatment protocol. Our treatments typically last between 13 and 26 weeks. This makes proven, permanent, measurable, precise changes. This is necessary to give you immediate relief and a brighter, healthier, pain-free-future. A future that will allow you to reach your health goals and change your life going forward in ways you never thought possible. This treatment protocol consists of painless adjustments to the spine and proven targeted stretching and strengthening exercises to restore proper biomechanics.
There is really no question as to the cause of most back pain: Mechanics rule the body. If your mechanics are off, your spine and your health will suffer. To argue this principle is to argue with gravity. Fix the structure (the CAUSE), and the pain (the SYMPTOM), are eliminated not temporarily, but long term. The good news is that once you begin spinal correction, the body responds quickly and the pain begins to dissipate. Let’s start on the next chapter of your life. I invite you in for a no obligation, FREE consultation with the doctor to discuss your specific situation. Call our Tucker or Brookhaven locations at 770-938-4606 to schedule your appointment time.