The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter
Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!
Four Specialists Who You Should Try if You Have Low Back Pain
Low back pain is the Number One cause of work days lost in the U.S. Much research has gone into treating and reducing low back pain and while some important things have been discovered; for instance, how standing is better for your back than sitting, low back pain continues to pose a problem for millions of people each year.
The doctor or specialist most commonly sought out for low back pain is a general practitioner physician (MD). Typically, the doctor evaluates the individual to make sure the pain isn’t being caused by a more lethal disease such as cancer. Then, the doctor recommends ice, heat and pain medications; sometimes muscle relaxants. It is a fact that a large percentage of cases of lower back pain resolve within a few days, on their own. That is what the doctor is counting on.
If the pain becomes chronic (lasts for more than a couple of weeks) the physician may recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist (PT, DPT) may treat you with exercises, stretches and manual techniques (stretching, pulling, etc.).
The second most common specialist is a chiropractor (DC). Chiropractors do spinal manipulation, also called spinal adjustments, to the low back. The belief is that the pain is being caused by a vertebrae or disc that is out of position; the manipulation is intended to restore proper position. Chiropractors and physical therapists also sometimes apply physiotherapy like ultrasound, laser therapy and electronic muscle stimulation to reduce pain.
Here are four (4) specialists that use other approaches to treating and preventing lower back pain that you might want to try if you have not had any success with MDs, DCs and PTs.
McKenzie Musculoskeletal Diagnosis & Treatment (MDT) therapist
The McKenzie Method of MDT is a reliable assessment process intended for all musculoskeletal problems, including pain in the back, neck and extremities (i.e., shoulder, knee, ankle etc.), as well as issues associated with sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms and intermittent numbness in hands or feet. It is based on the premise that most causes of back pain are mechanical in origin (some structure in the spine– disc, ligament, or bone– is generating the pain because it is malpositioned). Simply put, if bending one way makes the pain worse (can influence the pain), it follows that bending in another direction can have the opposite effect; i.e., can help reduce and eliminate the pain.
The MDT system identifies the mechanical problem and corrects or improves the mechanics using specific moves done by the patient himself under the guidance of the practitioner; thus decreasing or eliminating the pain and functional problems.
More information on the McKenzie System can be found here.
The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic (of the body) education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.
It is based on principles of physics, biomechanics and an understanding of learning and human development. By expanding awareness of your body movement through specific movement sequences, you become more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and can make conscious corrections that over time become normal; thus reducing any pain that may be arising from abnormal movement.
More information on Feldenkrais can be found here.
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) Specialist
This specialty is concerned with how the maturation of the brain influences development of motor patterns (the complete nerve pathway from brain to muscle for any particular movement such as walking), which in turn, influences structural development.
A key premise of the DNS approach is that every joint position depends on stabilizing muscle function and coordination of both the local and distant (relative to the joint) muscles in order to ensure proper position of joints in the kinetic chain (basically, a chain of joints that work synergistically during movement). The quality of this coordination is critical for joint function and influences not only that joint, but also parts of the body indirectly connected to that joint.
The DNS approach is based on comparing the patient’s stabilizing pattern with the stabilization developmental pattern of a healthy baby, with the intent of directing treatment to restore the impaired stabilizing pattern to as close as possible to ideal patterns using various exercises and modalities.
More information on DNS can be found here.
Hanna Somatics Practitioner
Hanna Somatics is a neuromuscular (mind-body training) movement re-education system that focuses on the brain and the way in which it senses and organizes the muscles and movement. By learning to regain both awareness, sensation, and motor control of muscles, the brain can remember how to relax and move the muscles properly. This process of sensory motor training creates improved muscle function and enhanced sensory awareness.
Its practitioners claim that Hanna Somatics is the only method of pain relief and sensory motor training that targets the condition of Sensorimotor Amnesia (SMA). Sensory Motor Amnesia is the condition of chronically-tight muscles that have learned to stay contracted due to repeated and reflexive response to stress such as accidents, injuries, surgeries, repetitive tasks, and on-going emotional stress. The resulting patterns of muscular contraction that develop result in such common conditions as chronic back pain, neck, shoulder and hip pain, limited mobility, joint pain, poor posture, shallow breathing, and uneven leg length. The Hanna Somatics system attempts to help the brain’s subconscious to “remember” the correct muscle tone prior to the onset of the stressor.
More information on Hanna Somatics can be found here.
Recommended Home Therapy Products for Chronic Low Back Pain
RehabZone Low Back Pain Home Exercise Program
RehabZone is a fun, easy-to-follow home exercise program divided into 12 progressive workouts created for those seeking a stronger, healthier back and core. This Program was designed by healthcare and fitness professionals to address the three major components of an effective physical fitness program: flexibility, stability, and strength. Whether you’re wanting to strengthen your back to prevent pain and injury or you’re looking for a convenient home exercise program that delivers results without the intimidation of painful workouts, this program is for you.
Inversion Table with Back Pain Relief Kit
This is an inversion table that uses gravity to decompress the spine. You must be able to handle being upside down for a short period of time in order to benefit from this. As you are inverted, you can do spinal stretches (twist, rotate, stretch) to maximize decompression. Comes with bonus Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge accessories, plus a back pain relief stretch and exercise DVD. Great for relieving low back pain that is due to compressed discs and jammed facet joints.
Professional Infrared Heat Lamp
This is the lamp professionals use for applying deep, penetrating heat to large areas such as the lower back, hip and knee. Infra red heat not only gives you the benefits of heat — increased blood flow to the painful area, increased oxygen delivery– it also stimulates energy production in cells. Red light gets absorbed by mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in all cells and stimulates them to increase ATP molecule production, which is the source of cellular energy. Red light is also used in lasers for this purpose.
For a complete list of Dr. Perez’ tried, tested and recommended pain relief products,
visit our online store:
NEXT UP: Exercises for Achey Shoulder Joints
The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.
PainandInjuryDoctor.com participates in the Amazon affiliate program. Any product on this website that is purchased through an Amazon affiliate link may result in a small affiliate commission to us. This revenue helps us cover the costs of producing content for this site. Thank you for your support.