Posts for: November, 2014
Currently in the medical field, we are realizing and acknowledging that physical pain often takes deeper roots. My mentor always reiterates, “Don’t chase the pain.” Beneath the superficial symptoms is an array of possible causes and aggravating factors of those symptoms. There is no greater example of this than the condition of lower back pain. Lower back pain may first and foremost be due to a true injury of the area. Injured structures can include the strain-sprain of a joint, muscle/fascia, disc, and/or ligament. I first recognize if an injury occurred that allowed this to happen. If spinal joint misalignment or soft tissue injury is indeed the culprit, chiropractic adjustments along with specific muscle therapies to re-establish muscular balance can oftentimes resolve the issue and greatly reduce the pain. Sometimes the patient will also need nutritional support to aid in the healing process, such as the tissue components and nutrients needed for musculoskeletal repair and maintenance.
Oftentimes, internal issues will cause lower back pain. These can include Ileocecal Valve irritation and intestinal inflammation. Irritation of the valve or intestines in general can cause dysfunction of certain muscles, such as the important quad and abdominal muscles, among others, as well as increased fluid in the area which will cause increased pressure on the soft tissue structures.
In addition to the intestinal system and diet, there is another organ system that, if it becomes stressed, can lead to lower back pain. This is the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid-adrenal axis. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, and while they are pea-sized, they are two of the most important glands in the body. The adrenal glands handle stress in the body, including physical, biochemical, and mental/emotional stresses. The adrenal glands happen to be related to two of the most important hip stabilizer muscles in the body as well, the sartorius and gracilis muscles. When these two bad boys shut off due to adrenal fatigue and hypofunction, the pelvis/hip region becomes unstable and often misaligned. People oftentimes experience inner knee pain with this as well. Not only can these muscles become dysfunctional, leading to lower back and hip pain, but the adrenal glands also can release high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Unfortunately, cortisol likes to eat away at our precious ligaments, especially the ligaments of the sacroiliac joints (where the spine meets the pelvis) and the upper neck. This also leads to instability and pain in those joints.
There are many other possible contributors to lower back pain in the structural, emotional, and biochemical realm, but I hope you now see that lower back pain requires a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment by your Applied Kinesiologist/Chiropractor! Address ALL the contributing factors, and that lower back pain will be long gone!