Chronic low back pain is a real disease

Hyperactive Pain Nerve

Nerve pain threshold is lowered in Allodynia

In our western model of medicine where disease ‘ABC’ needs pill ‘XYZ’, it is hard to understand that there is not a pill to treat chronic pain. I frequently have patients ask what they can do for the pain. Some times the answer is ‘nothing but enter a coma.” However, we live in the real world and we need real world solutions.

Much of our lower back pain is due to an injury, chronic poor posture, muscle weakness, or subluxation. All of those things have specific treatment plans. At the end of the treatment plan the damaged tissues are healed. At least that is how the plan is supposed to work. Sometimes, after the tissues heal, the low back pain persists. Somehow the pain threshold of the nerves was altered, resulting in chronic lower back pain. We call this ‘allodynia.’

Allodynia is a type of nerve pain from a stimulus which would not normally be painful. This can be a real challenge for doctor and patient because the chronic pain is hard to see. There is no x-ray, no MRI, nor any blood test which can show chronic pain.

Thankfully there are safe, effective treatment options for chronic lower back pain. A number of studies over the years have proven and re-proven that fact. Treatments often include physiotherapy (like electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound), muscle stretching and strengthening, (like what a PT does), and manual medicine to improve joint mechanics. That is what chiropractic is all about. We help to restore joint movement and reduce nerve irritation. It is often a good idea to use all avenues to treat chronic pain. Often it is the appropriate combination of therapies that get results.

Dr. Andrew White
Chronic Pain Chiropractor | St George UT

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