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Recurrent Low Back Pain

low back painLow Back Pain that never goes away

 

Why does my low back keep going out?

In the never ending quest for the answer to, "Why does my low back pain never really go away", I offer some ideas and advise as follows. Over the past 20 years in practice I have seen thousands of patients and the most common reason for coming to see me is low back pain. It is on the rare occasion that the pain is a first time event. It is the overwhelming majority of patients that have had multiple episodes over the years. As they age the pain lasts just a little longer and comes just a bit more frequently.

One of the first things a patient will say is that they have tried everything including medications, physical therapy, injections, traction and chiropractic to treat the injury over the years. Patients are well versed in their own low back diagnoses as well. It is common to hear the patient say, "Doc I have an L5-S1 posterior herniated disc and lumbar radiculopathy".  Wow, that's extraordinary I used think to myself. But in truth patients are very sophisticated and there are lots of resources available only a click away.

So we know what diagnosis the patient has and what prior treatments have been implemented, but how do we actually address the issue once and for all. recent research suggests that the actual muscle that may be involved and complicit is the Multifidus Muscle.  This muscle is the very one that lies closest to the spine and is innervated segmentally. This means that the actual level of injury to the disc and/or nerve is the level at which the muscle is affected. This may not seem important to a patient but to clinicians it is extremely valuable information. We can now take the radiology and neuro-diagnostic reports and put them to use in a specific manner.

Utilizing progressive spinal sparring and spinal stabilizing exercises we can begin the process of rehabilitation. In addition to this an individualized treatment program of chiropractic manipulation, stretching and nutritional support may be utilized.  So how do you begin a program that can actually stabilize your spine so that you don't have recurrent injuries? All you need to do is find a provider that is well versed in spinal rehabilitation. He will start you off slow and progressively increase your program to challenge your core and Multifidus muscles. This will make changes in your spinal stability as well as in the brain.

I will follow up with additional posts that guide you through the basics of the rehabilitation program itself. Also I think its important to have some understanding of the science behind this technique and why I believe that its one of the most powerful tools in the fight against recurrent low back pain, neck pain and chronic pain in general that is associated with the spine.

Dr T