Back pain is the number one reason people visit their doctor and nearly nine of ten will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lives. It can be debilitating in some cases, causing the sufferer to make a number of unwanted changes in lifestyle including giving up activities they normally enjoy. Back pain can also mean missing work and the inability to hold down a job.
Causes of back pain
Using improper body mechanics when lifting, stress, weak core muscles and physical injury are among the most common cause of back pain. There can also be other underlying causes such as spinal problems that are difficult to detect without a thorough examination.
Treatment of back pain
There are number of ways to treat back pain and the treatment chosen depends on the cause and severity of the pain. Pain medication is often prescribed along with rest and inactivity. Conversely, some physicians recommend walking and other activities to help relieve back pain in those cases where muscle weakness is the contributing factor. Hot packs, cold packs and muscles relaxers help some patients with ultrasound treatments and traction required to treat severe cases.
Surgery is only an option for some
Typically, surgery is considered a last resort for most back patients and is only effective in certain types of patients. Results are mixed with many patients experiencing little or no relief. Thus, the risks of surgery must be wisely weighed against the probability of gaining a positive result.
A different approach – a measure of mesencephalic output
This unique, yet very effective method to determine the cause of back pain is based on the mesencephalon, which is found in the upper part of the brain stem. A thorough neurological exam is needed to determine if changes in mesencephalic output are contributing to the patient’s pain. In many back pain patients, a high mesencephalic output may be a contributing factor. A high output of the mesencephalon can effect sleep, cause an increase in pulse and heart rate, touch off a urinary tract infection and cause increased sensitivity to light.
Along with a high mesenphalic output, the low back pain patient may have a decreased output of the cerebellum (in the rear of the brain), which controls involuntary spinal musculature. If the cerebellum is not functioning as it should, localized back pain can appear near or around the spinal area.
If you would like to have more information or to set up a consultation and see how we can help you (or someone you know), with back pain, give us a call @ 804-740-7105.
Caused by injury, infection, irritation or inflammation, neck pain can be quite troublesome and it’s important that you seek treatment before the condition worsens. If gone unchecked, the natural forward curve of you neck may become straight or even reverse its curve which can cause a multitude of problems. Yours may experience bony growths (called “spurs”), thinning of the discs-even deterioration of muscles and ligaments can occur.
Because these changes are not always painful (or not painful enough to cause you real concern), it’s important that you have a thorough examination, including X-rays or an MRI exam if indicated. For example, spurring, lipping, or the presence of osteoarthritis are in fact, defense mechanisms that attempt to stabilize an off-balance spine. The latest research and medical consensus shows that chiropractic (manipulative) care can reverse these effects in many patients.
The origin of neck pain
Pain in the neck, shoulder, hand, arm or head is often brought in three ways: irritation of the cervical nerve roots in the region of the intervertebral foramen, encroachment of the blood supply through the vertebral canal, or invasion of the cord in the spinal canal. A neck injury, such as whiplash suffered in an auto accident, also can be the cause of these conditions even though neck pain may diminish over time.
Prevention and treatment of neck pain
For today’s neck pain patients, a new approach to treatment and prevention is showing great results. A thorough neurological examination often reveals a part of the nervous system that is not functioning properly. In the case of patients with neck pain, a high mesencephalic output may be part of the cause.
Your brain stem is made up of three parts: the top, middle, and lower, with the mesencephalon located in the upper part of the brain stem. High mesenphalic output can cause increased pulse and heart rate, sensitivity to light, sleep problems, urinary tract infections or the sense of increase warmth or sweating.
Patients with a high mesenphalic output sometimes also show a decreased output of the cerebellum. Responsible for controlling involuntary spinal musculature (among other functions), the cerebellum, if not performing properly can contribute to neck pain and discomfort.
Neck pain (along with shoulder, hand and arm pain) is quite often a complex and difficult problem. That’s why it’s critical that you have a complete and thorough examination to help recognize the problems and chart the correct course for treatment. Because the problems causing the pain may go unnoticed, it’s imperative to be examined as soon as possible.
If you would like to have more information or to set up a consultation and see how we can help you (or someone you know), with your neck pain, give us a call at 804-740-7105 to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for these breakthrough procedures.
Here’s what our patients have to say!
As an Occupational Therapist working in a physically demanding job, there is never a GOOD time for a back injury but when it happened, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it off the couch much less back to work. The pain from muscle spasms was so intense that even simple routine tasks were excruciating. I had tried traditional medical approaches previously without much success and was looking for an option that provided a more holistic approach that was more in line with my own philosophies about health and wellness. Dr. Bryant Snyder at West End Chiropractic was a complete godsend to me. He did x-rays to identify my issues (Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease). His techniques were gentle and effective. The office hours were convenient, the staff was exceedingly friendly and accommodating and the price per visit (even without insurance) was reasonable. He even identified neck misalignments that may be responsible for years of recurrent migraines! He’s given me excellent information about being more proactive in my own health through diet and healthfulness (without medication) that helps me feel hopeful and empowered. And don’t even get me started about the fantastic massaging chair! I highly recommend Dr. Bryant Snyder and West End Chiropractic for anyone who wants to feel better and start building a healthy, happy future for themselves! ~Amy Gunter
As a pretty devout yoga practitioner and yoga competitor I spend a lot of time outside of the yoga room trying to find ways to improve my practice. Chiropractic care came highly recommended to me from other practitioners that I respected so I thought I’d give it a try. My first couple visits I learned a lot about myself. Not only about my spine but also about how my brain and central nervous system works. Through x-rays I discovered I had Forward Neck Posture and stage-one degeneration in my cervical spine. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me and I could only imagine what my x-rays would have looked like before starting yoga (probably much worse). Dr. Snyder recommended a regular routine of adjustments and traction exercises that I began back in the summer (2010). As time went by under chiropractic care I noticed several positive changes in my daily life. Basic things like having more energy, thinking more clearly, and feeling happier. My body started to align itself better. I also was experiencing a significantly less amount of injury from my yoga training. Before chiropractic care I regularly had pain in my neck and shoulders, I had just assumed and accepted was a normal part of my life. I realize now that I didn’t have to live with pain or “cricks” in my neck. My coach and other fellow practitioners visibly saw physical changes in my spine and improvement in my yoga postures. The type of yoga that I practice and teach has a strong emphasis on spinal health. The founder of this yoga even goes as far to say that all emotional problems stem from an unhealthy spine and that if you have a healthy spine you have a happy life. I truly believe this because I’ve experienced it, and I see others experiencing it too. I am very grateful to the West End Chiropractic staff and particularly Dr. Snyder for his help in improving my life. ~Garland Hume
I decided to try chiropractic because I had already tried over the counter medicines, Prednisone, and pain and muscle medicines from my primary care physician without any results. My lower back prohibited moderate bending. I had pain when walking, sitting for too long, rising up in bed, and getting in and out of my car. Pain was preoccupying me- It’s all I thought about. I wasn’t doing much of anything.
Since seeing Dr. Snyder I have way less to NO pain, increased mobility, and I’m not afraid to “be normal”. I believe I have found the long term, non-invasive solution to my back problem! I’ll be honest, I thought long and hard about chiropractic help before making the call, thinking it couldn’t help. You have proven me wrong! Thank You! ~CB Mills
I was experiencing a lot of lower back pain which was affecting my ability to work. After regular adjustments with Dr. Snyder, my back has begun to feel better and I feel like I have more energy. I feel my immune system has improved. I haven’t had a sore throat or a cold in over 3 weeks! ~ G. Mackay
I had already been to see both an orthopedic doctor and my Ob Gyn doctor to see why I was having such SEVERE back pain. The orthopedic doctor took x-rays and scans only to say nothing was wrong with my back. It was at that time I went to see Dr. Snyder. I was having severe lower back pain, pain between my shoulder blades, and digestive issues that came along with back pain. Everyday activities such as cleaning bothered me; even sitting upright hurt.
Since seeing Dr. Snyder, I have gone from having digestive issues and being sick 2-3 times a week, to now it being 1 time every 3 weeks. I experience much less to NO daily back pain and receive much fewer headaches which I didn’t even know was related to my spine! I’ve seen dramatic improvements in the short time I’ve been coming and look forward to seeing the end results! ~Brooke Baker
I didn’t want to take anti-inflammatory medication and I didn’t want/need surgery, but my neck and lower back symptoms were quite severe and debilitating. That’s when I decided to go see Dr. Snyder. Since beginning treatment, the pain is much better and my mobility is greatly improving. Dr. Snyder has a tremendous “bedside manner.” I enjoy my visits and appreciate the concern he has for my well-being! ~ J. Noonan
I liked the concept of chiropractic and had heard good things from other people about Dr. Snyder and his office. I was having neck and back pain before I went to see him. After treatment, my pain has been eliminated in my neck and my back has diminished almost completely. I enjoy the way I feel after the adjustment and hydro-massage! Dr. Snyder is first class! ~ K. Mills
I have been using chiropractic care in the past. Other doctors just gave me medication to ease my pain, which was only a temporary fix. Before seeing Dr. Snyder, I would wake up in the middle of the night with neck and back pains. I teach school and I’m constantly on my feet. At the end of the day I would ache so much that it was hard for me to function with simple tasks at work or at home. I had headaches at least once or twice a week which would hinder my ability to do my best with my students. Since visiting Dr. Snyder, I sleep easier. I have an easier time helping and caring for my students, and I have not had any headaches! I am a happier and healthier person since beginning my chiropractic treatment and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from headaches, stress, neck pain, or back pain! ~ Amanda Buskill
I really didn’t consider other avenues about my lower back/sciatica issues. I was referred to Dr. Snyder from a friend. I could not walk without using a crutch due to extreme pain after several falls. Since starting care, pain is now rare though I still can’t negotiate stairs normally due to weakness in my leg from using the crutch. Also after care, I have had greatly reduced symptoms of urgency (incontinence). After hurting my back, the improvement in my mobility has been very gratifying! I feel as though I am getting back to my “old” (no pun intended) self! ~ F. Lee Jr.
Past experiences as well as my father being a chiropractor was why I decided to see Dr. Snyder. Before care I had lower back pain which made moving difficult. I was dealing with headaches which makes it hard to concentrate. Also, I had mid back pain which made breathing difficult at times. Now that I have been getting adjustments, my headaches and back pain are gone. Plus my lower back pain has reduced. I can move and function daily with little or no discomfort! ~ Pamela L.