How to Break the Cycle of Back Pain

How to Break the Cycle of Back Pain

You tweaked your back, pulled a muscle, or injured yourself lifting something incorrectly and suddenly you've got a shooting pain in your back. These sudden, temporary episodes of low back pain are characterized as acute low back pain rather than chronic pain. Acute low-back pain episodes are thought to last no longer than three months. This type of back injury may be compared to the common cold because of its temporary nature and because of the belief that each episode of pain is unlikely to recur. In other words, episodes of pain are thought to be independent events, like when you catch different viruses each year.

A new study turns this conception of acute low back pain upside down, suggesting that the natural progression of acute low-back pain may differ dramatically from what experts previously thought.

In the study, 589 acute back-pain patients answered extensive questionnaires on their current episode of pain as well as their history of back pain in general. After analyzing their responses, the researchers found that unlike the common cold, episodes of back pain tend to build off of one another. In the study, 73 percent of patients reported that they had previous episodes of low-back pain. Sixty six percent of those patients said their symptoms were significantly worse during their current episode of back pain compared to their last. The researchers wrote that recurring and worsening nature of back pain suggests that "whatever initiates the pain usually subsides but remains capable of repeating the cycle again."

If you're suffering from an episode of acute low-back pain, a chiropractor can help you heal from a current episode of acute low-back pain while helping you learn to practice healthy habits to prevent it from returning,


Reference
Donelson R, McIntosh G, Hall H. Is it time to rethink the typical course of low-back pain?. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012; doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2011.10.015.(In press, corrected proof version).

charlotte chiropractor southpark 28209 back pain

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Proof Chiropractic Lowers Stress, Raises Wellness

Proof Chiropractic Lowers Stress, Raises Wellness

Posted in chiropracticChiropractic Newsstresswellness
BrainIt's well-known that chiropractic is effective for a variety of pain conditions, but over the last few years, more and more studies have found that chiropractic can also help us improve our overall health. Some of these recent studies have shown that chiropractic can alter immune function, affect heart rate, and even reduce blood pressure. A 2011 study from Japan suggests that chiropractic may have an even bigger impact on your body than you think.
Stress is an incredibly important indicator of health, and if there's one thing that will kick your immune system into overdrive, it's chronic spinal pain. Scientists in Japan sought to see whether chiropractic could alter stress levels in 12 men and women with neck pain. To understand how chiropractic impacts anxious emotions, you could ask patients to report their changing moods before and after treatment. But scientists in Japan wanted to get a more objective picture of how chiropractic adjustments impact the nervous system, so they use PET scans to monitor  brain activity and salvia samples to track hormone changes.
After receiving a chiropractic neck adjustment, patients had altered brain activity in the parts of the brain responsible for pain processing and stress reactions. They also had significantly reduced  cortisol levels, indicating decreased stress. Participants also reported lower pain scores and a better quality of life after treatment.
The findings suggests that chiropractic adjustments affect how our body interprets and copes with pain, which could enhance its response to disease and injury. As scientists learn more about the human body and the role of the nervous system, it's clear that chiropractic can play a powerful role in promoting true wellness, rather than just symptom relief.
Reference
Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17.

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Why Weight Loss Cuts Back Pain

Why Weight Loss Cuts Back Pain

There's more to weight loss than fitting into your favorite jeans -- it just may be your ticket out of chronic pain. But how?

Research shows obesity not only increases your risk of lumbar disc herniation and pain in the lower back, it inhibits the effectiveness of back pain treatment. Like a smoker who continues to blow through a pack a day even as she receives cancer treatment, overweight people who fail to shed pounds cannot expect to get the full benefits of spinal treatments. When the spine is loaded with additional weight, the space between the spinal discs decreases, compressing or irritating surrounding nerves.  

A 2008 study from the journal Spine sought to see just how much slimming down could impact treatment outcomes for back pain. A team of orthopedists studied 30 morbidly obese people who had just undergone a major weight loss procedure (bariatic surgery). Researchers then  tracked the progress of pain as patients shed  pounds. As BMI levels dropped, the space between the discs in the lumbar spine expanded. This freed up pressure on pinched nerves, and over time, reduced pain.

Fortunately you don't have to resort to weight loss surgery to experience similar results.  Exercise, diet and chiropractic care can often do the trick for many patients, according to recent research. So if you're looking to rid yourself of pain while squeezing into those skinny jeans, give a chiropractor a call.

Reference
 Djurasovic M, Bratcher KR, Glassman S, et a. The Effect of Obesity on Clinical Outcomes After Lumbar Fusion. Spine 2008; 33(16): 1789-1792.

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Why Chiropractic is the Best Solution for Sciatica Pain


Sciatica and chiropracticSciatica and chiropractic
Sciatica pain is often so debilitating that it forces people to miss work and other normal activities.  Of all patients with low-back pain, sciatica patients have the highest level of disability (1).  In fact, patients with sciatica are disabled for an average of 72 days according to Norwegian public-health records.
Fortunately, a recent study offers hope to sciatica patients: chiropractic care can speed the recovery from sciatica flare ups and allow patients to return to work sooner (2).

The study evaluated 44 Norwegian workers after they came to the hospital with severe sciatica pain. Most of those patients had been experiencing pain for three or more weeks prior to their hospital visit.
The hospital chiropractor examined each patient to evaluate his/her posture and gait, range of motion, and palpation of the lumbar spine.

The chiropractic then performed various joint adjustments to the spine and other limbs that had been injured through patients compensating for pain. Ice treatment was also used to relieve soft tissue soreness.Patients were treated daily in the hospital and later three times a week for the first two weeks. Some patients needed additional follow-up treatment but typically did not exceed 14 treatments.

In matter of 21 days, 91% of patients returned to work full-time. Two patients returned to work part time. Researchers concluded this study demonstrates the potent benefits of collaboration between chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons. Chiropractic care can put an end to your sciatica pain so you can begin living your life fully again.

Posted in chiropracticChiropractic NewsSciaticasciatica treatmentUnderstanding Sciatica
  1. Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.
  2. Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.