Most people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes pain disappears after mild anti-inflammatory medication, a little rest, or light massage. But often it stays around and becomes a chronic (long lasting) form of back pain. At best, this type of pain can be an annoying ache that’s a bit better when you warm up.
At worst, such pain can be constant & debilitating. Pain may radiate down into the buttocks & legs (known as sciatica). It may radiate further down to the tips of the toes. Sometimes sufferers may experience ‘paraesthesia’s. These are strange feelings including sensations such as tingling, cold, heat or even loss of sensation down into affected legs, feet or toes.
Such chronic back problems can stop you working, playing, sleeping, eating, thinking, and can leave you frustrated especially when you can’t get treatment to resolve the issue. Many people go for years without adequate relief. Of course, many different causes can lead to such chronic back pain.
Various situations may cause simple but chronic overuse injury to back muscles for example:
- carrying excess stomach weight
- poor posture
- continual bending – e.g. brick layers
Other situations such as heavy or incorrect lifting may lead to acute back injury.
Importantly, once injury occurs, it is one common factor that sustains the cycle of pain. Here’s how this happens. In both the above situations injured back muscles in the affected area swell with toxin-filled fluids that have leaked from injured cells. This fluid causes the muscles & nerves in the affected area to become inflamed and painful. The swelling reduces blood & lymph flow to the affected muscles and connective tissue, which locks the tissues into an ongoing cycle of inflammation. The affected muscles also shorten. This can lock the spine into an unnatural position which enhances stress on the area, hinders healing and perpetuates re-injury, leading over the longer term to chronic age-related changes.
Exercise may relieve pain, but can sometimes also worsen the problem. In most instances the best solution lies in working muscles using physical therapy thus:
- Lengthening muscles and surrounding connective tissue &
- Removing the inflammatory build-up in back muscles
This type of work allows muscle function & spine position to normalise. Cases of disc bulge or even disc protrusion (the old ‘slipped disc’) can be remediated in this way. Protruding discs begin to retract, scar-over and in time, with regular treatment, one can often relieve back pain completely, even in many long-standing cases. This approach may also be of benefit for some people who have previously undergone a back operation such as a laminectomy, but who are still in pain, after an otherwise seemingly successful procedure.
Finally, issues such as neck-pain, some shoulder & knee complaints among others can also be helped this way. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to call Andreas on 02 4777 5264, or 0418 166 269
Article Written + Submitted by:
Andreas Klein Nutritionist + Remedial Therapist from Beautiful Health + Wellness
P: 0418 166 269