Monday, June 13, 2011

Mechanical Lower Back Pain

Mechanical Lower Back Pain

There are three types of lower back pain; sprain/stains, mechanical, and compressive. 85% of Americans will suffer some form of mechanical lower back pain sometime in their lifetimes. It is by far the most common and the most disabling.

Mechanical back problems often have multiple problems of the muscles, ligaments, discs, and facet joints. It is also most common in ages 25-60. A lot of studies believe that the problem is cumulative trauma mostly from work related problems. I don’t buy that, I believe it is more likely related to deconditioning of the body as we age. Most Americans sit all day which is the worst position for your back and puts more stress on the lower back area then most other activities. The more will sit the more our core muscles weaken which is supposed to support and hold the spine. I think this is exactly what happened to me when I hurt my back. I have no history of trauma and all I did was take a nap on the couch and roll off. Well everyone knows that rolling off a couch should not cause severe back pain, but it did. The question for me is why it did. My conclusion over the years I allowed myself to get out of shape and my muscles that support the spine (core muscles) had also become weak. This had happened over many years and probably many decades. When I twisted to get off of the couch these muscles did not support the spine and it moved pinching a nerve.

With mechanical types of injuries it is my opinion that physical medicine (such as chiropractic) is much more effective than treating it with pharmacological medicine and research has continually shown this to be true. So you can take all the medications that you want, but until you address some of these underlying mechanical and strength and weakness problems the pain will most like return.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Whiplash what is it and how to treat It

With all of the construction on Key Ave I thought discussing “whiplash" would be a good topic. Whiplash is a term that was coined in around 1928 which describes the injuries an individual gets to his neck and back following a motor vehicle accident. Up until the advent of the automobile “whiplash” was not a very common occurrence. The easiest way to describe whiplash is a sprain or strain to the neck. It can cause a variety of symptoms such as neck pain, neck stiffness, headaches, arm/shoulder pain, back pain and numbness and tingling into the extremities. It can take 24 hours to several days for these symptoms to show up. Many times people believe that injury is related to automobile damage; the more damage the more injury. This is not always the case. Many times severe injuries can occur with little to no vehicle damage. One of the reasons that this can occur is if the accident caused rapid acceleration (moving very quickly) that can cause more damage to the structures of the neck. Generally getting hit from behind by another vehicle on wet pavement causes more damage to the neck than dry pavement due to acceleration. Getting hit on snow or ice will cause more damage than being hit on wet pavement. I read somewhere that being hit by a Volkswagen on ice is about the same as being hit by a city bus on dry pavement. Here is link to an animation of a whiplash injury

So what do you do if you have pain associated with a “whiplash”? One the most highly regarded studies to date was the Quebec Task Force on Guidelines for the Management of Whiplash-Associated disorders. They really did not do any new research they just reviewed all the current research and their findings. They found the most effective treatment to be manipulation and mobilization and range of motion exercises. Medications can be used but should be limited to no more than 3 weeks. A cervical collar should not be worn for longer than 72 hours. So if you are unfortunate enough to have a “whiplash” disorder give our office a call and we will get you back on your feet ASAP, and most automobile insurance companies will pay 100% of the medical costs.

Monday, April 25, 2011


As a person who has dedicated his life to helping others attain better health it can be frustrating, and heartwrentching as you see patients suffer needlessly. Too many times I see people letting go of a life they were meant to live, I mean to truely live. A life interrupted. A muted version of what life has in store.

I believe that God made us to enjoy and live life to the fullest not to just putter around in first or second gear, but to go through all the gears in life like a fine tuned sports car. Make sure that you don't make pain become a normal part of you life.

What can be done, how about diet and exercise? We keep hearing about how this helps blood pressure, cholestrol, arthritis, etc. Corporations can't bottle it and sell it for a profit so it gets put on the back burner. It is the easiest and least expensive way to become a healthier you.