Back Pain, Joint Pain and Root Cause Medicine
We recently changed our new name to Root Cause Medical Clinic, and in honor of that launch I wanted to write about the most common complaints for which patients come in to see us and what we do that is so effective and different as compared to other clinicians.
Sometimes I forget how unique our methodology is until I’m meeting with a new patient about the problems and frustrations they are experiencing regarding their health. This was one of the reasons we changed our name; we have always discussed our approach of “getting to the root cause” with our patients, and we have found the concept is not only instantly comprehended for its meaning, but most realize they have never been evaluated from that viewpoint before.
When patients learn how root cause medicine works and experience the thought process as we review through their personal health history, one for one they feel it makes sense and, once they learn of our success rate, are excited to begin the program.
Statistics regarding pain:
- Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
- 8 out of 10 Americans will have back problems at some point in their life, interfering with their daily activities, ability to exercise and/or sleep.
- It found that an estimated 11.2 percent of Americans had pain every day for the preceding 3 months. Nearly 17.6 percent experience severe levels of pain.
Shockingly 9 out of 10 sufferers never identify the root cause of their back pain.
And perhaps this last statistic says it the best. Of the millions suffering, 90% never find out why; the underlying root cause is never identified. I think that explains the reason why pain is one of the leading reasons Americans search out an alternative to traditional medicine. They’ve taken the pain reliever, gotten relief, but the drug wears off and they are back in pain again. You can continue to take the pain reliever but perhaps you’ve looked at its side effects and they worry you.
The side effects should concern you:
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, Aleve, Advil, and Motrin, even when over the counter, increase your risk of our number one killer, heart disease and stroke. Tylenol, the common non-NSAID option, increases your risk of serious liver disease and liver failure.
These are obviously serious side effects from the most commonly taken drugs, which is a problem. But what about the true underlying root cause? There’s the issue. The drug takes away the pain, mask it, but it’s also masking what your body is actually trying to tell you.
I’ve suffered pain from migraines and chronic low back pain. Each pain was associated with an underlying root cause that was critical to handle in order to maintain health. I shudder to think where my health might be now had I gone the traditional route of taking drugs as the only treatment.
The pain often gets our attention until we can cover it up with a drug. But does the drug “handle” the root cause of the pain? – of course not. So the root cause is left to fester and worsen, soon to be causing another symptom, one that traditional medicine will too, mask with a drug. Now you’re taking additional meds, and soon you’ll need a drug to counter the side effects of the one or more you’re taking.
This is a dangerous and dwindling spiral and none of it is addressing root cause. Yes, you’re in good company, 90% of those who suffer never discover the reason for their pain, but no, you don’t have to be in that category. Root cause medicine will identify the cause of your pain and apply the correct therapy to heal you.
Potential Root Causes of Pain:
- An irritated nerve
- A tight muscle
- A weak muscle
- A lax or damaged ligament – this by the way is a common side effect of adrenal fatigue.
- Adrenal fatigue – as just mentioned due to its relationship to ligament integrity, but also because the adrenals produce natural anti-inflammatories.
- Inflammation – a very common cause of pain that has at its root an internal imbalance, meaning anything from food sensitivities to infections to toxins.
- Digestive problems – that may sound “odd” but your body functions normally only to the degree it is properly fueled. Poor digestion results in poor food to fuel production and pain can be a result.
- Food sensitivities – this again may seem “odd” but certain foods are well documented to inflame the nervous system, creating pain.
- Hormonal imbalance
- Drugs – many drugs, including stronger opiates, factually reduce your pain tolerance, setting you up to feel pain more intensely.
- Lack of exercise
- Poor muscle tone and/or weak core muscles.
Very often the cause is a combination of some items listed above. As a personal example, my migraines were due to a combination of irritated nerves, hormonal imbalance, and a food sensitivity. But when identified and handled, I never had another migraine, despite the fact I suffered for well over a decade, and there was a strong genetic component, it’s been more than two decades since I had one.
Are you in pain? Contact us here for a FREE consultation or give us a call at 408-733-0400.
The body doesn’t function in a vacuum, so there may be more than one system involved in the cause of the pain, but that is why we put together the team we have here at Root Cause Medical Clinic.
We don’t just provide medical care, we don’t just provide nutritional, functional medicine care, we don’t just provide chiropractic care, and we don’t just provide physical therapy – we provide them ALL so that, under one roof, we can provide for you what you need from a team of doctors working together.
We don’t want you to feel better temporarily – we want you to regain, retain and reclaim your health. There is no reason the root cause of your pain should remain unknown and therefore untreated.
If you miss the underlying root cause, you’re never going to stably get out of pain.
We live in a society that strongly pushes drugs. If you feel pain, take a pain reliever, they say. The message underlying that is: just mask the pain, don’t worry about why you have it. When the pain returns, take more drugs.
Whom do you think benefits from that message? Is it your body that is being fed dangerous chemicals? No. There’s only one answer: the drug company making the pain reliever. You listen to them and you mask the pain. As time passes the real problem worsens. Now you need other drugs. Again, you need to ask, who benefits? It’s not you!
As clinicians it’s our job to tell you the truth. We don’t like masking pain any more than we need to. Instead of medication we’ll try more natural solutions to pain as we are navigating our way through remedying the root causes.
Regardless of whether the root cause is structural, neurological, organ-related, or some combination, root cause medicine requires some action and effort on the part of the patient. Since we’re not just handing you a pill to take, you are going to have to make some lifestyle changes. It could be performing exercises given to you by the doctor of physical therapy or chiropractic, or it could be dietary changes given to you by the doctors in the clinical nutrition department.
One of the major reasons we offer every new patient a free initial consultation, is because we want you to be able to meet with us and understand our approach before you pay for any visits.
We want success for our patients as much as they want to be successful in improving their health. This is a team approach. As mentioned, we don’t just hand you a pill, far from it. We work extensively together to change diet, lifestyle, repair faulty organ function and restore physical alignment and strength. This doesn’t happen overnight and it won’t occur without help. Therefore, we want to ensure you are ready to embark upon the adventure to regain, retain and reclaim your health, energy and resilience with a clear understanding that it will require some work and change on your part. But you’re not alone; we are right here with you.
As we like to say, with patient compliance, success is all but assured.
Do you need help with back pain, joint pain or any other type of pain? Do you know someone who does? If so please share this with them.
We help the world’s busiest people regain, retain and reclaim their health, energy and resilience. We can help you!
Contact us here for a FREE consultation or give us a call at 408-733-0400.
To reclaiming your best health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC, CCN
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”