Treating Acute and Chronic Back Pain

Posted on 2/10/2014 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: Back pain, chiropractic care, exercise, inflammation

Spinal pain afflicts the majority of Americans, with 50% all working Americans admitting to back pain symptoms each year. As one of the most common reasons for missing work, Americans spend an astronomical $50 billion each year on back pain (American Chiropractic Association, 2013). The problem is so pervasive that it’s considered the “new normal,” but this dysfunction is truly a 21st century disease with many factors, primarily stemming from increasing weight, inflammation (like arthritis), and decreasing activity.
Treating Acute Back Pain (3 days – 3 months)
When acute back pain is present, it typically indicates a problem beyond muscle. I recommend the patient see a doctor for a diagnosis. At DBC, we treat acute back pain with the following:
1)    Movement through exercise, manipulation, and everyday activity.
Many people are afraid that if they move, they will damage themselves further, mobilization is important in the healing process and can help relieve pain. In a 2008 survey of over 14,000 Consumers Reports subscribers, the top-rated measure to help relieve back pain was exercise, and a 2011 Norwegian study of 46,533 adults found that chronic pain was 10%-12% lower for exercisers (Foreman, 2014). Continue moving through exercise, manipulation, and everyday activity.
2)    Treat the swelling with ice and nutraceuticals.
Icing for 20 minutes several times per day can help reduce inflammation and swelling. I also recommend the following nutraceuticals from Nature’s Remedies:
·      Traumeel – This is used as a salve to reduce swelling.
·      OsteoVantiv – This is a revolutionary new combination of nutrients that support the tissues and joints. It includes a new extract of THIAA hops, which significantly reduce healing time beyond the commonly recommended drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I do not recommend taking these drugs, as they slow down or stop the healing process.  Note: OsteoVantiv is not recommended if the patient is taking blood-thinning medication.
·      Tissue Flex – This features high potency B vitamins, magnesium, and turmeric to support tendon, nerve, and muscle tissue health.
·      Ultra Potent-C 1000 – This can help reduce inflammation, boost healing, and improve flexibility when ligaments or tendons are involved.

Note: We recommend against using pain medications when possible, because they stop the natural healing process and risk further injury. 
3)    If pain is radiating to other parts of the body, I recommend the patient receive X-rays.
4)    Chiropractic manipulation and Kinesio Taping to improve pain and achieve optimal neurological function.  
Chiropractic adjustments and Kinesio Taping, which helps to improve posture, change muscle tone, move lymphatic fluids, and correct movement patterns, can provide significant relief.
We’ve had phenomenal results with acoustic compression, from treating new injuries to chronic conditions that have been present for years. We’ve even successfully treated patients that have considered joint replacement because of such severely damaged joints. Through acoustic compression, these patients were able to achieve tissue regrowth and regeneration.
Treating Chronic Back Pain (3 months or longer)
When chronic back pain is present, I consider osteoarthritis, muscular imbalance, systemic inflammation, and constant re-injury, and use a variety of treatment options depending on the patient.
1)    Movement
See above for our stance on movement!
2)    Strengthening weak muscles and loosening tight muscles.
Through physical therapy, stretching, and strength training, we aim to strengthen weak muscles, improve posture, and loosen tight muscles that may be impeding the healing process.
3)    Decreasing global inflammation, beginning with healing the gut.
Reducing inflammation starts with using food as medicine. Eliminating inflammatory foods like manmade products, sugars, dairy, gluten, and fried foods is key to reducing overall inflammation. For more on healing the gut, read my posts here.
For more on our food philosophy, read here.
4)    Nutraceuticals
I recommend taking similar nutraceuticals to the ones mentioned above, along with fish oil – either Max EPA or Mega 10 from Nature’s Remedies – both powerful anti-inflammatories.
Please reference the aforementioned details about Acoustic Compression, and/or the link above for more information.
Though the healing process and length of time varies for each individual, we’ve had success using these combination therapies to heal and restore patients’ backs and overall vitality!
Back Pain Facts & Statistics. (2013). American Chiropractic Association.
Foreman, J. (2014). Chronic pain: Millions suffer, missing non-drug options. USA Today.
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