Low Back Pain Treatment: Get Rid of the Pain!
Pain is Never Fun
No one likes pain. Many of us just get used to living with a certain amount of pain and think that’s normal. It may be common, but it’s definitely not normal. “It’s just part of getting older,” is a common phrase and popular belief. We know that you don’t have to suffer.
As a doctor of chiropractic, I get great joy from eliminating pain and affording my patients back pain relief, despite their age. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce, mask, and alleviate certain pains, and many people take them regularly (if not daily).
Your liver and intestine will feel the effects over time, often suffering damage when such medications are used for more than two weeks at a time. There are stronger prescription ‘pain killers,’ some of which can be addictive, for back pain, headaches, and other very painful conditions.
But, really, pain is not something one wants to simply mask – it’s vital information that we should act on. Pain is not normal; it’s not healthy, and it can add to the body’s stress level triggering the production of a chemical called cortisol, which adds to adrenal stress.
Low Back Pain Treatment: Corrective Health Care At Its Best!
Most people coming to see a chiropractor do so because they have unresolved pain somewhere in their body. They could be seeking back pain relief, neck pain relief, headache relief, pain relief due to poor posture, or repetitive stress.
A Chiropractic adjustment program can be used as an effective pain relief therapy and here at Root Cause Medical Clinic, we use it as part of an overall treatment protocol combining the chiropractic adjustment with physical therapy treatment (hands-on manipulative techniques, exercise therapy, ultrasound, traction, muscle stimulation, hot/cold packs, etc.) for true corrective health care.
We recommend corrective care because it provides longer-lasting relief by diagnosing and treating the underlying cause(s) of the structural imbalances that are creating the symptom of pain. Simply masking the pain with a drug that acts temporarily or receiving occasional care to simply get relief are not recommended as they are both temporary and will not correct the underlying root cause of the problem.
Is Pain Ever ‘Good’?
Pain is important information coming from the body as a form of communication. Believe it or not, sometimes pain is a ‘good’ thing in that it will limit your activities so you will be less likely to do things, or move in ways, that increase the pain and stress the inflamed tissues.
Other important symptoms that you should be paying attention to are numbness, weakness, or feeling out of balance. These can be signs of nerve impingement or boney misalignment.
Over time if not corrected, the underlying conditions creating these symptoms can worsen, and the symptoms usually get stronger, more debilitating, and less amenable to corrective care. The motto here is don’t procrastinate, get help quickly and early. It’s always easier to correct at that point.
Treating Children, a Key to Prevention
It’s always best to address signs and signals of disorder, distress, or imbalance early in their progression. The earlier we can treat a structural misalignment or a nerve impingement that’s causing pain, weakness, and/or numbness with a chiropractic adjustment, the easier it is to correct (saving patients time and money), and the healthier you will be as a result.
This is why we encourage parents to bring in their children when they fall or complain of a pain that doesn’t quickly disappear (within a day or two). Kids are easy to work with, respond very well to treatment, and by treating them young we can often prevent many adult structural problems from developing – true preventive medicine.
Should Pain Be Masked with a Drug?
We know that different people have different pain tolerances. What is a major pain to one person might barely be perceived by another. It is also common to discount pain symptoms.
Men are often more to blame in this arena – being one myself, I admit to it. We tend to put off treatment. We think it will go away on its own, and sometimes it does – for a while at least. And when we can no longer deny its presence, we resist asking for or seeking out assistance. We’re too busy. We have other priorities. We’ll get around to it later. Meanwhile, the problem that is causing the symptom of pain gets larger, more entrenched, and creates more tissue damage.
When we do consult a doctor, depending on what type of clinician we see, various treatments are recommended. Commonly a medication to mask the symptom if offered, that does nothing to address the underlying root cause. Or, if you’re lucky, you just might find a clinic and group of health professionals who want to find the cause and work with you at that level. (I must admit I’m partial to this last approach!)
The Foot Bone’s Connected to the Leg Bone and so on…
Let me give you a common example: An individual comes to see me with hip or knee pain. An examination and history reveal that the stress that’s being put on the hip or knee is actually due to a pelvic imbalance that was caused by a fall 12 years ago. Yes, the hip or knee needs to be treated, but so does the pelvic imbalance.
In fact, that is the beauty of diagnosing the root cause of a condition. Often the location of the pain is in a site that’s secondary to the main problem area. In this example, the person would be unable to regain the proper stability of the hip or knee without addressing the pelvis.
Should Health Care Be About Anything BUT Root Cause?
Another example is headaches. We often find that headaches are multi-factorial and often more than one root cause is found to be at the bottom of the problem. As an example:
• Stress can impair digestion and the proper assimilation of nutrients,
• Sleep deprivation doesn’t allow the body to repair itself and the resultant fatigue results in one drinking coffee that acts as a further stressor,
• Irritated nerves in the neck can occur from poor posture and poor ergonomics at work,
• A current eye exam is needed due to a visual change that is creating additional stress.
The presence of such factors presents a classic example of why simply taking Tylenol every day for some headache relief is never going to actually get to the bottom of the problem. A good doctor is part teacher, part detective – always trying to get to the root cause of the problem while working as a willing partner with the patient. A good doctor of chiropractic will go beyond simply providing back pain relief. He or she will do his/her best to get to the cause of the problem and help you to fix it.
I hope this was informative. I believe that we too often take the ‘easy route’ of swallowing a pill when we are in pain instead of acknowledging that our body is trying to tell us something important. The pill is like ignoring the body altogether; finding a clinician who will work with you to find the cause of the pain will create good health in the long run. Please contact me should you have any questions.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.