Reasons for Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain – Part 2
When it comes to the reasons for low back pain, there is little direct evidence that most back pain stems from a discrete injury or repetitive trauma. Back pain seldom results from a fall, direct impact or extraordinary physical demands. So now that we know what doesn’t cause it, what does? Repeat after me, disturbance of motor control. That means when you are sitting for a long time, you lose the normal lordotic curve (the arch produced by bending backwards) in your spine and the muscles that support your spine are shut off. Your ligaments now begin to get overstretched and the nerve signals coming from those tissues and the joints in general are no longer helping to control the muscles that stabilize the spine.
This is one of the reasons for low back pain at such a high incidence among police officers. They are sitting for hours. That means the muscles are not being used. Then they have to quickly jump out of the car and chase a criminal. The muscles have not been working and the spine is allowed to shear over its discs. The amount of neuronal control needed to stabilize the spinal segments is tremendous and most of us lose it early on in life. Sitting is considered not only a chief component and predictor of low back pain, it is now also been shown to be a main factor in metabolic syndrome.
For more than 50 years spine clinicians were obsessed in their search for a diagnosis, the cause of pathology, the generator of spinal pain. It is now considered to be a waste of time and money. Researchers spent millions of dollars and can’t do it and that is good news for you because many chiropractors don’t even want to diagnose. They just like to adjust the spine and research has proven it to be the most effective stand alone treatment. Combined with exercise it is by far the most effective tool known to medical science.
What about ergonomics you ask? It turns out, it doesn’t do all that much. The majority of herniated discs are not associated with anything traumatic, cumulative, or inheritable.
A study of twins did discover that lumbar disc degeneration is heritable except for disc height. I found that interesting because most of us are not twins, but will get a backache. O.K. the point is, a decreased disc height was often blamed for the back pain, but this means you can’t blame it on your parents. With regard to the workplace, the exercise model is now surpassing the ergonomic model. Exercise is coming up somewhere down below.
Dr. Greg Malakoff D.C.
B.S.: State University of N.Y.
Doctorate: New York Chiropractic College
Diplomate of American Chiropractic Neurological Board (DACNB)
Workers Compensation Qualified Medical Examiner (QME)
Gentle Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM)
Certified Veterinary Chiropractitioner (CVCP)
Years in practice, 1983-Present
Practiced internationally, 1987-1991
Part of a medical team for Pain Management at an Israeli Hospital in Haifa
Sports Injury Physician for the Bat Dor Israeli Ballet