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Low Back Pain

Lumbago or low back pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder affecting up to 90% of Americans at some point in their lives. Low back pain is not a disease, rather it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of factors. It is estimated that America spends about $50 billion a year on low back pain.

Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States – only headache is more common. Fortunately, most occurrences of low back pain go away within a few days. Others may take much longer to resolve or can lead to more serious conditions.

Doctors usually refer to back pain as acute if it has been present for less than 3 months and chronic if it lasts longer than 3 months. For 90% of people, even those with nerve root irritation, their symptoms will improve within two months no matter what treatment is used, even if no treatment is given.

What causes low back pain?
Most experts will agree that common causes involve injury to the muscles and or nerves of the spine. Most low back pain follows injury or trauma to the back. Back pain may also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis or disc disease, osteoporosis or other bone diseases, viral infections, irritation to joints and discs, or congenital abnormalities in the spine. Obesity, smoking, weight gain, stress, poor physical condition, and poor sleeping conditions may also contribute to low back pain.

While disc problems get most of the credit for low back pain, ligament injury is a more important source of back pain. In fact, it has been reported that only 4% of low back pain is due to a disc problem, such as a herniated disc. Most low back pain is triggered by some combination of overuse and injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the disc and spine. Dr. Hackett, who is considered the father of prolotherapy, injected salt solutions into various ligaments and discovered a particular pattern of referred pain from the ligaments in the low lumbar and sacroiliac regions. This is why prolotherapy injections to this area help tremendously for low back pain.

Conventional Treatment vs Prolotherapy:
Conventional method normally tries to block pain with sedatives, narcotics, anti-inflammatory agents, and other pain killers. If that doesn’t do the trick, then the next step is usually surgery to remove torn and roughened tissue structures, including bone, tendons and ligaments.

A physician using prolotherapy has certain goals in mind. First, the doctor desires to aid the patient’s immune system and natural healing ability. Second is the stimulation of a controlled inflammatory condition in the tissue. Inflammation is the body’s first step in healing. This is what my mentor Dr. Pomeroy called, “simply the application of the basic science of healing and repair.” The last step in this healing process is the proliferation of connective tissue laid down by these wonderful little cells called fibroblasts. They cause the ligaments to become thicker and stronger.

If conventional treatment is not working for you, then you should consider prolotherapy. Dr. Patterson at the University of Medicine in Wisconsin states, “Prolotherapy is simple, safe, and effective, thus making it an elegant procedure.”

For more information, please contact my office and I’ll be glad to set up a free fifteen minute consult with you.

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