Back and Neck Pain
I am going to tell you a secret; I have back pain too. That’s right, I get neck and back pain just like everyone else. I have no ‘get out of jail free’ card and I’m fresh out of red capes. Instead, I have to see my chiropractor…yes, I have a chiropractor.
I have found that the only thing I do that consistently lowers my pain level and reduces the numbness in my heel is chiropractic treatment. I have tried traction, massage, yoga, etc., and these all have their place, but they never address what I think is the main contributor to neck and back pain.
The discs in your back are made up of concentric rings of a tough fibrous material called the annulus fibrosis. The center of your disc is jelly-like and is called nucleus pulposus. As we age these fibers weaken and tear. The jelly pushes into the weakened/torn area causing it to bulge/deflate, and balloon outward. This bulging disc material, if bad enough, will push on a nerve root, shooting pain down your legs or arms.
You would think that traction would be great for a bulging disc, it does make sense, but we have found that as a disc bulges and deflates, it almost always slips backward and kind of gets cocked on the back edge of the vertebra below it. This is extremely irritating on the facet joints and stops the joint from working. It literally gets stuck. The only way to address this is to have a chiropractor adjust this vertebra up and forward, resetting it back on top of the vertebra below it. When done properly, the joint works again, the swelling goes down, and the disc starts to stabilize again. This process of realigning the disc can take several months, but the pain can be reduced greatly in just a short period of time. No machine can do this. It has to be done by a skilled chiropractor.
We have found that once the disc is realigned, core stabilization exercises like yoga and Pilates start to pay off. A strong core helps to keep your vertebra aligned.
It seems like our discs and other joints go into a degenerative death spiral. To understand this you have to know that your joints are poorly vascularized, meaning that they don’t have a rich blood supply like our muscles do. Most joints have a capsule that surrounds it in a nutrient rich lubricating fluid. The outer edge of the joint capsule gets the blood supply, not the joint. So, how does the joint get the nutrients it need to heal and the toxic stuff like inflammation out of the joint? It is the mechanical pumping action of motion. That’s right, MOTION IS THE CURE. A properly moving joint draws nutrients into itself, starting the healing process, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. This is why chiropractic care is so essential to the healing process. If the vertebra is locked, it can’t move. If it can’t move, it doesn’t get the nutrition it needs to heal and doesn’t get the inflammation out. This causes pain which stops you from moving, sending you into a degenerative death spiral. Motion is the cure! Chiropractic care gets the joints moving in a way that no other therapy can. Regular chiropractic care ensures that the joints and discs in your spine stay healthy and young.
The next step is to ensure that you are getting the vital nutrients you need to stabilize and heal the spine that your chiropractic adjustments are now getting to move.
Cataplex ACP: This is great to reduce inflammation and has all the Vitamin C factors that promote joint healing.
Joint Formula #1: This is an herbal supplement that is very effective at alleviating joint pain.
Zymex II: Rich in proteolytic enzyme, this supplement is effective at reducing inflammation. Take on an empty stomach between meals.
Turmeric: This is an ancient herb that is has been shown to be effective at reducing inflammation.
Black Currant Seed Oil: This is the only Omega 6 fatty acid that supports anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 1 synthesis.
Glucosamine Synergy: Numerous studies have shown that this supplement is great at reducing joint pain. Best if taken consistently over time.