Reoccurring Back Problems

19 Sep
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Reoccurring Back Problems

I heard from a Chiropractic patient recently regarding a concern of their friends that if they had help from a Chiropractor the problem would reoccur. Unfortunately, it is more likely that the problem will reoccur if they don’t seek Chiropractic help.

Back problems happen for a reason and often will build up slowly over time until the spine can’t handle it anymore. With Chiropractic help we can adjust the spine into proper alignment and reduce any interference occurring on the spinal nerves. The body then has to heal, just as it would from any other injury or cut, which takes time. For reoccurring problems, the challenge then becomes to identify WHY your back is having problems adapting to your lifestyle.

We have seen many bad habits lead to reoccurring back problems in our Chiropractic patients, such as:

  • poor sitting posture
  • sleeping on your stomach
  • bad form when lifting, bending, sitting, standing
  • improper footwear
  • excess exercise
  • improper exercise
  • long driving
  • imbalance in activities
  • imbalance in spinal posture
  • chronic subluxation
  • ignoring warning signs from the body
  • inactivity

Once your spine is healing and aligned, the strategy is to keep it aligned, build its endurance to the challenges it faces, and to reduce the challenges you put it through. Reducing the challenges involves identify bad spinal habits and creating better spinal habits.

Here to help,

Dr. Callum Peever
Mississauga Chiropractic at Erin Mills Optimum Health

lower back pain
Alex from Rio Linens
lower back pain challenge
Alex from Rio Linens challenging his back
lower back pain happy
Alex from Rio Linens happy

 

Changes in the brain seen with recurrent back problems

The following 2018 research review concludes with the following which can help us understand more regarding recurrent back problems:

Association Between Sensorimotor Impairments and Functional Brain Changes in Patients With Low Back Pain: A Critical Review.

“This review revealed the presence of functional brain changes associated with sensorimotor behavior and at rest in patients with long-lasting low back pain compared to healthy subjects.  Patients with low back pain demonstrated decreased sensorimotor-evoked brain activation and a reorganized lumbar spine representation in brain regions involved in higher-order sensory processing and motor control compared to healthy subjects.  These results could support behavioral findings of a disturbed body schema of the trunk, reduced lumbosacral tactile and proprioceptive acuity, impaired sensorimotor performance and postural control deficits in low back pain.  Additionally, patients with low back pain showed widespread increases in brain activation during non-nociceptive external as well as bodily-induced stimuli in regions of the so-called “pain-matrix”.  In the past, these findings were often interpreted as abnormal pain processing in low back pain.  However, findings of this review support an urgent need to reinterpret these results.  Specifically, they may indicate that patients with long-lasting low back pain are over-responsive to sensory inputs that potentially signal danger to the body, thereby inducing maladaptive, over-generalized motor responses to protect the spine.  Hence, functional brain changes associated with sensorimotor behavior may lead to (recurrences of) low back pain.”

This research review summarized many research findings and as always with respect to the brain…can leave you with more questions than answers.  The more we learn about the brain the more we realize how important the brain is with respect to our lives. 

My take away points from the critical review is that when a person is experiencing back pain, their brain is interpreting the information from the spine, muscles, disc, and ligaments and deciding how to manage with it.  People all experience and interpret the pain differently, and not all spine injuries are the same, but the brain does adapt and change with respect to the injury.  The brain will then adapt or compensate for the current injury by using other input to still allow you to balance and walk (ankle reflexes and proprioception instead of relying on the low spine proprioception).  The brain will also remember the injury it experienced and be hyper reactive to any new information it receives from that injured site.  This creates a quick ability to protect the spine from potentially dangerous situations, which may not have been worrying before.  The brain learns and adapts to your life depending on its experiences, for better and for worse.

Through caring for people who unfortunately have experienced recurrent back pain that has become chronic in nature or recurrent, it is very important to recognize the brain-spine connection, and the changes that have taken place.  Just like these changes have occured due to the injury, the brain can change again in a positive manner with time as well.  It can learn to trust the spine again.

Proper spinal hygiene habits are very important as you start to trust your spine again.  Habits take time to create, as you need to create new routines and new brain pathways to change the old negative ones.  Chiropractors can help you work towards this and are here to help.

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