Middle Back Pain
One of the most common conditions bringing patients into our office is mid-back pain. In my experience, one of the most common causes of middle back pain is stress. The thoracic spine houses a tremendous amount of sympathetic nerves. That’s the part of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system that’s responsible for “fight or flight”. Anytime we are under more pressure, our sympathetics kick in. This can lead to a lot of VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS in the thoracic spine. The resulting loss of nerve function creates even more stress. This leads to decreased function. It’s very common for mid-back subluxations to cause a lack of sleep. Loss of sleep prevents us from recovering from the daily stresses and wreaks even more havoc. Our bodies get stuck in this cycle. Unless these subluxations are adjusted, it continues to create dis-ease. Many of the nerves that supply the heart, lungs and stomach are located in the middle and upper back. It is of utmost importance to maintain NORMAL FUNCTION in this area. Natural News reported on January 7, 2012 – “Research indicates that regular chiropractic adjustments may prevent heart attacks, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, relieve chest pain and support the cardiovascular system, according to the Palmer Chiropractic College“.
What does a chiropractor do for middle back pain? Doctors of Chiropractic do not treat conditions. Our focus is on how the spine functions. We have spent thousands of hours studying anatomy and physiology. We are the only health care providers trained to detect and correct subluxations. We will examine the spine and give gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments to the subluxations that are found. By removing the source of ABNORMAL FUNCTION, with time and repetition, the nervous system will be able to regulate the body properly. Optimal nerve function leads to more fully functional body overall. In most cases, this means the middle back pain will be relieved.
A Real Pain in the Neck
According to the National Headache Foundation, almost 50 million people suffer from chronic headaches. More than 37 million people suffer from migraine headaches. Women have three times more migraines than men do. People also suffer from other types of headaches: sinus, cluster, tension, mixed headache sydrome (aka transformed migraines), acute headaches, hormone headaches and chronic progressive headaches.
Many people are content to treat headaches with drugs. While this may appear to be solving the problem, it is the equivalent of turning off a loud fire alarm and never looking for a fire. Headaches are symptoms! Symptoms are warning signs the human body has built in that are telling us something is wrong, find out what it is and fix it. By treating headaches as symptoms, often times, we overlook the
cause of why they are there in the first place. As a result, this “cause” is allowed to continue to create negative effects to the body. The damage accumulates and more serious dis-ease states occur. There are also side effects to all drugs. Acetaminophen, commonly taken for headaches, is the number one cause of liver failure in the United States according to WebMD.
Chiropractors do not diagnose the different types of headaches or treat them. A Doctor of Chiropractic spends thousands of hours learning human anatomy. His education is intense on the spine and nervous system. He will examine the entire spine; including the C1 vertebra, C2 vertebra and C3 vertebra; looking for VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS. Subluxations interfere with the normal flow of nerve impulses. When part of the body is not receiving its proper nerve supply (CAUSE), it starts to FUNCTION ABNORMALLY and build itself sick (TISSUE DAMAGE) and ultimately can result in the third stage of dis-ease (SYMPTOMS). Most people initially seek chiropractic care for their symptoms. They find that with time and repetition of gentle chiropractic adjustments, their body starts to return to NORMAL FUNCTION. As their body functions better, it starts to heal and their headaches and other dis-eases start to improve.
Sciatica is also called Sciatic Neuritis
path of sciatic nerve
Sciatica, according to WebMD
is “pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve.” In many cases, sciatica or inflammation of the sciatic nerve is a vivid example of a VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION
. It is not the intention of a Doctor of Chiropractic
to treat sciatica or any other condition. But, patients who enter our office often notice that when their subluxations start getting adjusted, with time and repetition, their body’s overall function improves. This often results in conditions such as sciatica improving as well. It is important to keep in perspective though, that symptoms are not a good measurement of how healthy a person is.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest single nerve of the body. It is composed of five nerve roots. The nerve roots that exit between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae (the L4 nerve) and the 5th lumbar and sacrum (L5 nerve) are involved. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd sacral nerves which exit from the sacrum, also contribute to the sciatic nerve. The sacrum is comprised of five bones that fuse in adulthood to become one large bone.
The sciatic nerve supplies muscle strength and sensory perception to the leg. It is also responsible for the leg’s reflexes. It connects the brain with the outside of the thigh and the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs. It also supplies muscles in the lower leg and feet.
As such, when the sciatic nerve is impinged or irritated, it can lead to muscle weakness and/or numbness. Patients often experience tingling in the leg, ankle, foot, and/or toes as well.
In chiropractic practice, we see on a daily basis, VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS of the L4 and L5 vertebrae, sacrum and the ilium bones. The ilium bones are often called hip bones and attach on either side of the sacrum forming the sacro-iliac joints.