Medical Options For Low Back Pain

Hello Everyone,

In yesterday’s article we discussed the causes of low back pain.

I would like to say that yesterday’s article was a simplistic cause of low back pain.  There can be many other more serious causes of low back pain such as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Prostate Cancer, Kidney Stones/Infect just to name a few.

So it is important not only from a degeneration point of view but also from a general sytemic health point of view to get yourself checked and find out the cause of your pain.  If it is something that I as a Chiropractor cannot help, I will make sure to help you get to the right professional.

Now, today I want to talk about the medical treatments available for low back pain.

To be honest with you, unless you have an emergency (such as some of the causes just mentioned) then there is not a whole lot that medicine has to offer for low back pain.

You see, as I mentioned in yesterday’s article, most of the time low back pain is a structural issue, that if caught early enough can be fixed with natural methods.

The first step for medicine is to offer pain medications, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories.   A chemical treatment for a structural problem.  So these meds “may” make you feel better but they are dangerous for a few reasons:

1.  All medications have side effects.  Many of these meds are toxic to the liver, stomach, and even heart (as you have seen with Cox II inhibitors were pulled from the market for causing heart attacks).  Yes, even tylenol, as I demonstrated in Mary’s story.  NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatorys) cause 16500 deaths per year do to Gastrointestinal bleeding.  The truth is, your body can handle some of these meds in the short term.  But even after the first dose you are causing damage somewhere in your body, so long term use (more than a couple of days) should be avoided at all cost!
2.  Many of these medications are addictive, which will ad a whole new challenge to your life.
3.  When you take these meds, they fix nothing!  They simply mask your body’s natural warning system that lets you know there is a problem and you need to fix it.  It is like your oil light in your car.  You see your oil light and decide to just cover the light with tape.  This is like taking meds to cover the symptom.  What will happen to your car?  Major engine damage.  What will happen to your body?  Major joint and soft tissue damage.  This damage occurs from not fixing the injury so beginning the process of degeneration and also because when you mask the pain you will probably go and do things that you couldnt do without the meds that will cause even more damage to the joint.

After you have tried the meds, and the pain has not gone away, you will typically be sent to physical therapy or pain management.

Physical therapy will focus on some stretching and exercises.  This may help you feel better in the short term but PT’s are not trained to remove subluxations and therefore restoring normal spinal joint function.  Thereby again leaving the original injury in the spine to begin the degeneration process.

****A Warning About Physical Therapy****  Many physical therapists are beginning to take weekend classes to learn how to “manipulate” patients.  Be very careful of this.  As chiropractors we trained for 4 years to learn how to identify and remove subluxations scientifically and specifically from the spine.  There is no way you can learn this in a weekend seminar.  That is the equivelant of me, as a chiropractor, taking a weekend seminar to learn how to prescribe medications.  Dangerous and likely to cause more injury than good.  Be careful if a PT or a massage therapists (absolutely no training in manipulation) or even an MD tries to “pop your spine”  I have seen many injuries from these practices.

The next option is pain management.  Sometimes necessary but very scary in my opinion.  As the name implies, this treatment is “management” of pain…there is really no solution offered here.  Pain management includes treatments such as steroid injections, pain pills, burning of nerves, and so on.  The challenge here is that all of the treatments cause further damage to the body.  We already discussed pain pills, steroid injections are usually temporary relief at all and need to be done over and over and can cause conditions such as osteoporosis, avascular necrosis, and so on.  The damage caused by neuroablasion (burning of a nerve) are obvious.

The final option is surgery.  The New England Journal of medicine released statistics that 51% of all back surgeries are actually unnecessary.  There is a time and a place for surgery.  And in fact, this is really the only structural solution for the structural problem that medicine has to offer.  There is absolutely a time and a place for surgery.  However, surgery absolutely must be the last option.  Once you have surgery, you have a ton of complications that can take you down the slippery slope that I mentioned in Mary’s story (multiple surgeries).  Surgery causes scar tissue and the surgery itself causes tissue damage.  If a fusion is thrown into the mix then there is a whole new set of complications.  The worse thing that happens with surgery is that a patient gets surgery, the pain doesn’t go away, and actually ends up worse because on top of the original problem, you now have scar tissue and tissue damage which can be permanent.  This is why it is important to try all natural treatment options before beginning the medical path, because each treatment ads new complications to the process.

In tomorrow article I will show you the best treatment options for low back pain, and the order in which to do them.

Have a great day!

Dr. Price


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