Why Do I Have Lower Back Pain?
"Yesterday I bent over to pick up an empty laundry basket and the next day I couldn't get out of bed it hurt so bad."
Was it really the empty laundry basket that caused this patient to not be able to get out of bed the next day or was that a warning sign that something else is going on with his body?
When you are trying to figure out what is actually causing your lower back pain, answer the following questions:
Does your pain come and go?
Basically, there are five different things that can cause pain in the body:
2. Ligaments and tendons
If the pain is constant, always there, it isn’t nerve related. A muscle problem lasts days, akin to working out too hard at the gym, you would have lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Your muscles would be consistently sore for a few days and then the soreness goes away. Similarly, for a tendon strain or bone fracture, it would be there constantly for a few weeks and then it would resolve—about two weeks for a tendon strain and six to eight weeks to heal a bone fracture.
But for symptoms that come and go, and aren’t always there, it is ALWAYS related to nerves and organs.
Have you ever had lower back pain before?
The answer may be "yes", but not the same kind of pain. In the case of our patient who bent down to pick up the empty laundry basket, he described having tight muscles in his lower back which were always tense and he was never able to relax those muscles even with massage—the tightness returning shortly after the massage. He described having this for at least five years ongoing before the laundry basket incident—the tightness—not pain. So even though it wasn’t the same sensation, it WAS in the same area. He has been experiencing this tension for at least five years which means he has had the problem for at least that long and now it has gotten worse.
The Back Controls the Front
Consider the spine to be like the interstate of the body. You have exits off the interstate which take you to different places in your town. Same is true for the spinal nerves: Every nerve once it exits the spine will travel to a limb AND a vital organ, each one.
Spinal nerves from the lower back control the sex organs, bladder and colon. Think of a tree. The tree trunk is the spinal cord, each branch of the tree is a spinal nerve root and each leaf on that branch is either a body part (limb) OR vital organ. If you break a branch off that tree, the leaves on that branch eventually die. The ones furthest on that branch die first—this would be the limbs. Eventually, the leaves closest to the break on the branch die last—this would be the vital organs. It is the SAME BRANCH!
So, the same nerve that controls the hip controls the sex organs. Early symptoms of this would include painful intercourse in certain positions, stiffness or inflexibility, tightening of one hip compared to the other hip and/or difficulty getting up out of a chair or out of a car after a long drive.
The same nerve that controls the feet controls the bladder. Early symptoms would include plantar fasciitis, pain in the bottoms of the feet or heel pain, weak ankles, bunions or hammer toe.
And the same nerve that controls the knees controls the colon. Early symptoms include swelling of the knee, knee joint pain, knees giving out without warning, etc.
Pressure on the spinal nerve will initially affect the LIMB first. Then years later, when the compression is worse, eventually the organ which is controlled by that very same spinal nerve will start to act up and result in problems with the vital organ attached to that same exit off the highway.
Most are unaware of these connections so they commonly ignore reoccurring aches and pains in hopes that they will just "go away" because they went away before. This is true, but they didn’t go away but rather just lay dormant until the next reoccurrence. Like any other condition, early detection is key. Think of the spine as the fuse box of the body. You wouldn’t put up with a burnt out fuse because it could affect multiple areas of your home. No one says the fuse will just ‘fix itself’. They replace the fuse.
Unfortunately, you cannot replace your spine. Spinal transplants have not been invented yet. You can move out of your house but moving out of your body isn’t an option.
In some cases, it may be an isolated incident; perhaps the nerve is trapped under a muscle close by and it isn’t related to the spine at all. But you wouldn’t know this unless you got it checked out.
Dr. Colette Cseszko has been practicing both chiropractic and medical acupuncture in the Bay Area since 2002. She is the owner of Gentle Touch Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 10575 68th Ave. N, Ste. D1, Seminole, 727-235-3265, Gentle-Chiro.com. On October 20th, attend their Grand Opening to launch the new Seminole location. See ad top right.Edit ModuleShow Tags