Need some tips on what to do when your back pain (or any pain) just won’t go away? Read on…
Everyone, at some time in their lives, has been in such pain that they would give anything to make the pain go away. Back pain or any kind of pain. We’re willing to remove the painful part, give up a day, week or month of our lives, or even cut a deal with the creator to make the pain stop. In most cases, the pain does go away and we can return to our normal lives. However, in many cases the pain does not go away and sometimes the pain will even get worse as time goes on.
Orthodox medicine will begin with trying medication to alleviate the pain. This oftentimes does not resolve the cause of the pain it simply covers up the pain. The problem is still present, you are just not aware of it. This can be dangerous because the pain is actually a good thing, it is there to tell you something is wrong.
If we cover up the pain, the problem may actually get worse but you are not aware of the negative progression of the condition. The level of medication that once covered up the pain may not be enough anymore and you may have to increase the dosage or type of drug to achieve the same level of pain relief. The down sides of this style of treatment are numerous.
We already discussed the fact that often the problem does not get better…it actually gets worse. Another situation is the side effects that must be dealt with from the medication. The treatment can be worse than the condition. The side effects from medication can show up immediately or can creep up insidiously over many years. Liver, kidney, digestive, immune and bone conditions are just a few of the long term damaging effects of drug use. I always recommend that a patient ask for a list of all side effects of a drug from their doctor or pharmacist. Once they see how dangerous a drug might be, they will often opt for a different, less dangerous course of treatment.
The causes of pain can be from trauma, stress, abnormal aging, toxic diet, emotional instability, and genetics to name a few. An alternative approach to drugs and surgery should be the primary course of action if the pain is not caused by an immediately life threatening situation. If an immediate life-threatening situation occurs, it is best to stabilize the condition, then look for ways to correct the cause of the pain, not just treat the symptoms.
In a trauma case, there is a 650% greater chance of the patient getting osteoarthritis in the region of the injury than in a non-injured part of the body. The reason is that the injury may damage the blood and/or nerve supply to that area involved, which can lead to the area losing calcium and other nutrients. If the injured area is misaligned, it will be more likely to wear out. Your body parts, especially the bones, are like the tires on your car. If they are out of alignment they will wear out. Millions of car accidents, workplace, sports, lifestyle and birthing injuries occur each year that do not get properly treated. From these there may be permanent scarring, loss of use, failed surgeries and degenerative conditions can and often do occur. These can lead to chronic pain cases. If you injure the body, it never has an effect on just one part of the body. The body is all interconnected and to injure one part will have a direct or indirect effect to the whole body. There are several ways to fix the cause of pain so that the pain goes away and is not just covered up. On occasion, there is permanent damage and the pain will not go away, but I feel we should never give up trying to fix the problem. This is the only body we get and if we took as good care of it as we do our cars, for most people they would feel better, live longer and enjoy life much more.
The easiest way to keep the car running well is to be sure it is tuned up and kept in alignment. The same holds true for the body. The body is just like an electrical machine. All the parts need to be working and all the wires have to be carrying electricity to the parts. The wires in the body are called nerves. There are 80 trillion cells in the body and all of them are controlled by nerves. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord, along the nerves that exit from the bones of the spine and out to every part of the body. As long as all the messages are getting to all the cells, everything works normally. If there is a short circuit of the nervous system, for example if a nerve gets pinched, that nerve can no longer carry the messages from the brain to the body.
Now the body cannot function at the best of it’s ability and a decrease in health will occur. If there is pain, a nerve is being stimulated to tell you something is not normal and the body wants to get it corrected so that the body can get back to normal. By far the most common cause of pain is a pinched nerve caused by a bone being put out of normal alignment. And the most common bones to be put out of alignment are the spinal bones.
The spine affects more than just back pain…
There are 24 bones in the spine not counting the hips or skull. If one of the bones moves out of normal position, it can pinch a nerve and cause pain. The pain may be at the level of the pinched nerve, along the course of the nerve or at the part of the body that the nerve controls. The pain may show up immediately or may not show up until the problem gets worse. The easiest way to correct this condition is to put the bone back in place. If you have ever suffered trauma to the spine, it is extremely important that you get the spine examined by a qualified chiropractor to be sure that no nerves have been pinched. The sooner you get it checked, the easier it should be to fix. If the nerve being pinched controls an organ or muscle, that part of the body may also give you trouble. 90% of the nerves in the body do not feel pain. Their job is to carry messages from the brain to the body and tell the body how to do its job. You may not feel pain if one of these nerves is damaged, but you may see the effects of the body malfunction. Most abnormal conditions of the body are either directly or indirectly affected by pinched nerves and by getting the spine checked would help correct many problems now and in the future.
If the pain is caused by trauma, it is a good rule to always use ice, not heat, on the area of injury. Trauma will cause swelling and ice will help reduce the swelling. Heat will increase the circulation to the area and cause more swelling. In almost all cases, when a patient comes to me in severe pain from what seems to be a minor incident, they had put heat on the problem and that made the condition much worse. Elevate the injured area above the heart to help reduce blood flow and swelling. Do not use the injured area. Let it rest until the acute pain has subsided.
If the pain is digestive in nature, the most obvious treatment is correct the diet. Begin by avoiding the “7 deadly sins of nutrition”. They are alcohol, meat, sugar, dairy, coffee, soda and artificial sweetener. Herbs such as chamomile, peppermint and slippery elm tea have been shown to help in many cases. Aloe vera juice can help to heal an irritated gut. If acid indigestion is the concern, celery, spinach, and figs can often help. Eat 3 stalks of celery, a spinach salad or 4 figs when the problem arises. Overeating is often the cause of indigestion, so if we fix the cause (overeating), the symptom (indigestion) many times goes away. If the cause is a hiatal hernia, a qualified chiropractor or other health practitioner can usually pull the stomach back to its normal position.
Ginger is often used to help reduce pain from many causes. It will stimulate the circulatory system to bring healing blood to the injury, it is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and can aid in digestion.
The condition of pain, and all abnormal health conditions, can always benefit from eating healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Most of these foods should be raw and unprocessed to maintain the nutritional value of the food.
Stemming from your spine, back pain and just about every other kind of pain can be treated with chiropractic care. If you have a painful condition, please contact me at 770-427-7387