So, you think you’re having a Back Attack. What should you do?
First don’t bother calling your medical doctor or local emergency room because they will not know what that term means since I made it up. If I would have written So, you think you’re having a Sprain/Strain you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Let me try and be of some use to you.
I call it a Back Attack because it is as painful as a Heart Attack and sometimes worse, but it is not serious. It is not serious because I define a Back Attack as pain restricted to only your low back. The symptoms do not extend into your legs with things such as , numbness, weakness, tingling, that sought of phenomena. If your low back pain includes leg symptoms chances are it is more involved, but not necessarily serious. Often, those symptoms can be treated successfully with conservative methods.
What can you do when for no apparent reason your back feels like it is being stabbed with a knife and you are screaming loudly? Most patients will attribute it to something they lifted earlier in the day or it happened immediately when moving incorrectly. Chances are, it was probably going to happen sooner or later because we do not coast uphill. Uphill is defined as we age.
If you were to go to the emergency room there is a high probability that they would ask you to leave or persuade you to by giving you a prescription for an NSAID, a Muscle Relaxer, and perhaps a walker since the pain can last up to 3 months. They have signs that say they are not going to MRI your low back pain. They might not even x-ray it.
By calling a skilled chiropractor that comes to your home because you cannot get out of bed, you are actually doing the best thing available. Your muscles may be screaming, but a massage is not going to break up those pain reflexes. These pains are being generated at the spinal joint level and it is your spinal joints regaining normal function that will provide you with the best probability of getting those painful muscles to behave better. Spinal joint dysfunction does not respond well to acupuncture, crystals, enema’s, seances, voodoo, and a wide variety of other strangeness that is lurking on every corner of Los Angeles.
So why is it so important for your spinal joints to work correctly? They certainly are not moving well when you have brutal muscle spasms. Those deep muscles that you cannot control consciously/volitionally, are under control of your automatic pilot, the cerebellum. The Multifidi muscles, which are often the culprit are involuntary muscles. You cannot move one spinal segment to the left and the one above or below it to the right.
Until the abnormal reflexes generated at the spinal joint level are restored to more normal function, the spasms will continue. It is vital that normal movement be restored to the spinal joints because 20% of your brain is running through them. More importantly, those joints are innervated with the most powerful, fastest, largest nerves in your body. 90% of all information that will ever enter your skull is coming from those joints. Only 10% of information enters via the eyes, ears, nose mouth.
When the spinal joints are not working properly, you may be aware of it because of the severe pain, but they do more than create pain. They power up your brain. As you know, your brain controls more than just your muscular skeletal system. Your entire health is dependent upon your spinal joints.
One reason why is because they transduce gravity into the baseline electrical current that our brains need to function. This is why sitting is considered the new smoking. The prolonged sitting is doing more than just damage to your spine. It’s affecting the ability of your brain to work optimally. I threw that in as a bonus for getting a chiropractic adjustment. I know most of you are only concerned about getting out of pain and that is an admirable first step to a better life. The person that feels good has been known to suddenly drop dead of a heart attack.
I can hit you with a hammer and you feel bad, but it is not affecting your general state of health. We are not wired up to be able to gauge our health by how we feel and that is perhaps why so many Americans are unhealthy, they kind have been taught something very erroneous.
Thank you for sticking with me because most patients cannot take the leap from back pain to good health and I agree, that when you are having the kind of back pain from a Back Attack, that is not the time to worry about your health. You need a well trained specialist to stop that agony as quickly as possible. This condition can last months, but quite often the typical response from my patients is a 30% improvement after the 1st treatment. That is tremendous even though you might be thinking, only 30%.
That is an amazing great start and you will be lucky to achieve that although many patients have experienced even better. It is dependent upon dozens of variables (including weight/BMI) and at the end of the day, it is impossible to say who will do well.