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Patient Perspectives: Does Back Pain Affect My Overall Health?

Many chronic back pain and neck pain sufferers have reported that their condition has led to a wide range of physical, psychological, and emotional problems. From headaches, migraines, and digestive issues, to depression, anxiety, fatigue, and compromised immune systems.1-3

Does Back Pain Effect Your Health?

Yes. Recent studies clearly indicate that alterations in alignment of the sagittal plane (side view) of the spine are strong determinants of back pain, disability, and health status; this is especially true for the lumbo-pelvic region of the spine.4-6 For example, in a 2002 report, Korovesis et al4 prospectively evaluated the lumbar lordosis (side curvature) in 100 normal controls age, sex, weight, and occupation matched to 100 Chronic LBP subjects between the ages of 20-70 years. In addition, to radiographic alignment, all subjects completed the SF-36 Health Status Questionnaire. It was found that chronic LBP statistically correlated to general health, physical function, emotional function, social function and pain. Importantly, all these variables were also statistically correlated to a reduced overall lumbar lordosis, a reduced L4-S1 lordosis, and a reduced L4-S1 lumbar disc height index.

It’s not just your bones, muscles, ligaments, and discs that feel the effects of spinal misalignment; your nervous system will be affected too. The nervous system is responsible for EVERY function of the human body. The brain sends vital nerve energy down into the spine, and out to all the limbs and organs – effortlessly and without any interference. The reality is that when people’s spines have been misaligned one way or another, this altered alignment exerts excessive and sometimes, dangerous, pressure on the delicate nerves flowing out of the spine.

Generically, altered nervous system pressures from spinal misalignment can be thought of as nerve interference. This interference not only causes pain and discomfort in the back and neck, but more importantly cuts down on vital nerve energy from reaching other body systems. Without proper nerve energy, body systems may experience dysfunction and eventually disease may set in.

Surgery vs. Conservative Care?

While severe spine deformities can require surgical interventions, why not fix the problem before it gets to that point. As early as 2002, studies demonstrated that very focused conservative-non-surgical methods can improve the sagittal plane alignment in patients with low back pain and disability.7-10 One of the most successful non-surgical methods for restoration of the lumbar lordosis and pelvic tilt is called extension lumbar traction; this was developed and tested by Chiropractic BioPhysics or CBP Technique researchers.7 More than a decade later, other researchers have confirmed what Chiropractic BioPhysics researchers reported and suggested in 2002 – that correction of the lumbar side view of the spine improves back pain, disability, and nerve function.8-10

How Does Spinal Misalignment Happen?

Spinal misalignment is a result of poor postural habits (computer use, driving, watching TV), automobile accidents, sports injuries, and even birth trauma. Everyone who experiences gravity, will eventually experience some sort of spinal misalignment. Back pain, neck pain, and headaches are often the last indications of spinal misalignment, since the majority of internal organs don’t have many pain receptors and can’t signal that something is wrong. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, acid reflux disease, asthma, high blood pressure, allergies, weak immune system, and difficulty sleeping are all common indications that there can be a serious spinal misalignment.

What Can Be Done to Remedy This?

One of the best ways to eliminate the source of pain, dysfunction, and disease is to realign the spine back to its correct shape, and take pressure off of the delicate nerves in the neck and back.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® or CBP Technique is one of the most researched, scientific, and results-oriented corrective care techniques in the world. Chiropractors who practice CBP have seen tremendous results with patients suffering with chronic back and neck pain, disease, and in many cases, even organ dysfunction.

How Can You Get Help?

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Reference Links
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25322735
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25006368
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15583360
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12394662
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25274788
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23722572
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12422330
8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23640324
9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22632584
10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22684211

Your Neck Curvature Will Help You or HURT YOU if You’re Involved in a Car Crash

Lordosis Protects from Whiplash

Unfortunately, many people can relate to having been involved in a car crash or motor vehicle collision (MVC) at some point in their lives. Whether it was a major accident or a minor one, MVC’s are no fun and can cause a variety of minor to serious injuries to those persons in the vehicles. These injuries are commonly and collectively referred to as ‘Whiplash Injuries’. The financial implications of a MVC, as well as interruption of your daily routine due to whiplash are also other major detriments of car crashes that may take years to recover from.

With more distracted drivers texting and speaking on their phones, MVC’s are on the rise, making for much more dangerous roadways. While we cannot control other people’s behaviors, we can certainly drive more cautiously and defensively to hopefully avoid being in a car accident. Unfortunately, MVC’s do happen despite our best efforts, so being prepared and having a plan in mind is key to recovering quickly and getting back on our feet again.
Cervical Lordosis Boise ChiropractorMore serious car accidents mean more serious injuries, ranging from cuts and bruise to broken bones, brain damage, and even death. At first, less serious MVC’s however, may not seem like a big deal, with victims often walking away without a scratch, believing they have escaped the crash unscathed. Others may only complain of a slight headache, neck pain, stiff or kinked neck while resorting to taking over the counter pain killers, or wearing a neck brace to assist with their recovery – something that is far from addressing the true cause of the injury.

What most lay people (and even many physicians) don’t realize is the extent to which the CERVICAL LORDOIS (curvature in your neck from the side) plays a role in both: 1) the extent of the initial injury to the occupant(s) and 2) the long term pain and suffering from whiplash injury to the occupants. Furthermore, the MVC itself will damage the cervical lordosis.

1. Concerning the extent of initial injury, researchers have found that having a well preserved cervical lordosis actually prevents neck tissue damage to the sensitive cervical spine ligaments.1 In the figure at the top, the right hand image demonstrates what a normal cervical curve looks like when viewed from the side and the person facing to the right. In contrast, the same researchers identified that straightened cervical curves and worse yet, reversed (kyphotic) cervical curves predisposed to more severe cervical spine tissue injuries due to more extreme forces acting on the neck during the exact same MVC circumstances. The x-rays above at the far left and the middle show abnormal neck curves where more severe injury to the person is likely to result should they be involved in an MVC.

Thus, if you already have an abnormal cervical curvature prior to any MVC, it is in your best interest to rehabilitate the shape and amount of your cervical lordosis. If you do not, you’re at a higher risk of having more serious injuries should you be involved in a MVC.1

2. In terms of long term pain and suffering, several research studies have identified that the patients who experience long term whiplash injuries and suffering are in fact the ones that have abnormal cervical lordosis. Straightened, S-curves, and Reversed cervical curvatures have been found to pre-dispose to the following conditions after MVC:2-6

• Neck pain and stiffness,
• Headaches,
• Arm pain,
• Thoracic outlet symptoms,
• Dizziness,
• Lack of concentration,
• Degenerative arthritis in the cervical spine,
• Disc herinations.

What many whiplash injured subjects don’t realize is that a slight headache or neck pain is a true sign of a much more serious injury to your cervical lordosis and underlying neck tissues. Spinal misalignments as a result of the sudden jolt of the MVC may manifest immediately, or not become evident at all for a long period of time. But this doesn’t mean the spine is healthy or that no injury was sustained.

The fact is that MVC’s statistically damage the shape of your cervical lordosis. Researchers from Chiropractic BioPhysics have identified that the average patient exposed to a MVC will lose 10 degrees of their cervical lordosis, develop a mid cervical kyphosis, and have increased forward head posture as a result of the MVC.7

A misaligned cervical curvature as a result of a MVC is a serious health condition. Altered cervical curves will cause nerve interference – hindrance of critical nerve energy that is responsible for every function of our organs, and every movement of our limbs. Ignoring the cervical spinal misalignment can manifest into pain and discomfort, fatigue, sleep disorders, organ dysfunction, depression, and eventually disease.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Cervical Lordosis?

Improving Cervical LordosisIf you have been in a minor or major car accident, please see a corrective care chiropractor immediately for a full assessment of the health of your spine, even if you don’t feel any discomfort whatsoever. A small misalignment can only get worse with time, so addressing this injury quickly can mean a faster recovery time and less health problems in the future.

Corrective methods using Chiropractic BioPhysics® or CBP® Technique extension traction procedures and devices are the only true evidence based methods that have been shown to statistically and clinically improve the amount of cervical lordosis without the use of surgery. This has been documented in several clinical trials and case reports.8-11 Other conservative methods may restore the cervical lordosis in selected cases, but these have never been proven in clinical trials and are thus, at best, hit and miss. If you are suffering from an altered cervical lordosis as a result of a MVC, use the procedures that are truly scientifically supported.

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References and links to the pubmed research articles:
1 Stemper et al. Journal of Biomechanics 2005: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15863116
2 Kai et al. Journal of Spinal Disorders 2001: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Kai+Journal+of+Spinal+Disorders
3 Hohl M. Journal of bone and Joint Surgery Am. 1974: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4434036
4 Norris SH and Watt I. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1983: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6643566
5 Giuliano V. Emergency Radiology 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15290548
6 Kristjansson E, et al. JMPT 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Kristjansson+E+Journal+of+Manipulative+and+Physiological+Therapeutics
7 Harrison DE, Katz E. Abnormal static sagittal cervical curvatures following motor vehicle collisions: Literature review, original data, and conservative management strategies. Proceedings of the International Whiplash Trauma Congress 2006; Portland, OR, June 2-3, pages 24-25.
8 Harrison DD et al. JMPT 1994: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7989879
9 Harrison DE et al. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2002 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11932844
10 Harrison DE et al. JMPT 2003 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12704306
11 Ferrantelli JR, et al. JMPT 2005: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15855899
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