Hello and good-day to you! I know it’s a good day for you because if you’re reading this you’re above ground…with an opportunity to kick some butt!! I don’t know if you’ve ever actually participated in literal “butt-kicking,” like karate or mixed martial arts. If so, hopefully you weren’t on the receiving end. Through both participating in many sports myself and training hundreds of athlete, I can tell you its much harder to kick butt with low back pain. If you’re currently suffering from low back pain or know someone who is, you MUST read on…
Blogging about low back pain (LBP) is going to be a challenge here because LBP can be a very complicated issue. Shoot, there’s hundreds if not thousands of books that have been written on how to address the LBP. There’s a glutton of “specialists” claiming to solve the issue (sometimes they do). However, it’s still far too common today (80% of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives) and in most cases – IMO – it doesn’t have to be IF you’re willing to take care of yourself.
Now, I know many of you are trying to take care of yourselves. Wait, let me restate that… I know many of you are treating yourselves when you’re in pain. I know this because Americans spend over 50 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR on low back pain. And guess what? As a practitioner that has helped numerous clients with low back pain…I’ve got me a piece of that 50 billion, oh yeah…
Let’s get back on point. I’m now going to now tell you how beat low back pain in many cases, in as few words as possible and with each point giving you the biggest bang for your buck (actually, most won’t cost you a dime).
First, if you’re not hydrated well, that is, if you’re not drinking enough water, you’re body will be running “hot”, kind of like a car without enough oil. Oil in your car lubricates throughout the engine (main bearings, crankshaft, cylinder walls, pistons, etc.) just like water lubricates throughout your body. If you’re not well hydrated, there’s no telling what area of your body may be exhibiting pain…including your lower back. Therefore, to even give yourself a fighting chance at resolving your LBP, drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day in clean, filtered water (NOT TAP!). I’ve seen cases of different types of pain completely overcome just by emphasizing water intake. Try this for at least 21 days.
Second, continue to look at your body as a “system” – the entire engine – and not just a specific part such as your lower back. The body doesn’t function in isolation anymore than your car engine does. Unfortunately, most people are going to back specialists to fix their back pain. Do you know what a specialist is? It’s someone who knows more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing. At least, that’s my take. You see, you’re entire body is connected to itself. You can’t look at LBP without looking at the influence of your toes, or your neck, or more importantly your organs and glands. That brings me to my second point and question for you:
What do you think your body feels is more important to you, your organs and glands or your muscles? Could you live without a bicep? Yes. Could you live without a heart? No. How about living without a hamstring, pec or lat? All possible, though maybe a bit funny looking (no offense to those of you without muscles – I’m still looking for my calves). You won’t be living without a liver, a pancreas, your lungs, etc., etc… Now, what does this have to do with your back pain…?
Here’s the deal, many of us suffer pain in our muscles because of a “reflex” from organs and glands that are on the same neurological path as the muscle. I know, that sounds technical if you’re not in my industry, but hang on for a second. As an example of reflex, the nerves that feed the lower back muscles also feed the colon. So, when the colon is having an issue, your back may very well feel the pain due to reflex or sharing of the common nerves. How many of us have issues with our colon? Well, since we should have a bowel movement at least once a day, and the average American has one once every three days…I’d say we have a lot of people with colon issues – that may also have lower back pain.
Issues in our gut and colon can directly cause lower back pain. In these cases, no amount of massage, chiropractic, exercise or other physical treatment will solve the problem. You’ll just be wasting your time and money, or at best finding short-term relief. Unfortunately, any given food can piss your digestive system off. There are a few typical culprits however. Try eliminating these for 21 days (while you’re hydrating yourself):
- Gluten – a protein composite processed from wheat and other grains. To avoid gluten, avoid any grain except for corn, rice, oat and millet. I would eliminate corn as well since most of it is genetically modified (GMO).
- Dairy – including milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and all other variations. After homogenization and pasteurization, milk is a dead food that now causes more problems than good.
- Alcohol – all of it, even red wine. Plain and simple, alcohol is dehydrating and very irritating to the digestive system.
- Processed foods – those in a bag, a box, a can or whatever other packaging “they’re” using to try and make crap food look appealing. There’s no telling what colorings, flavorings, preservatives and other inflammatory chemicals are in that garbage.
- Sugar – including high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn sweetener, crystalline fructose, agave nectar, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, glucose, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose and syrup. A long list, but that crap is in everything if you’re shopping down the center aisles of a typical grocery store.
Now, these first two points may be an inconvenience because it may change your lifestyle habits a bit, but it will cost you nothing. Would it be OK with you to solve your lower back pain without paying a dime? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Just try it for 21 days and get back to me if you’re still having issues.
If you are still having issues I would recommend my last point: Find a practitioner, such as a C.H.E.K practitioner who can conduct a head-to-toe, musculo-skeletal assessment on you in order to figure out if your low back pain is due to your foot, your back, your neck, or any of the many muscles and joints that determine how your body moves and feels. The location of your pain is oftentimes NOT the source of your pain. That’s a VERY important idea for you to remember whenever you’re in pain.
Well, that’s a wrap. I hope this will help those of you suffering from low back pain and I will try and take my own advice. I’ve suffered from low back pain now for two years and while it’s literally a pain in my back, it’s really getting to be a pain in my ass. Maybe I should give myself 21 days to follow my own advice. =)