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The Lesser-Known Effects of Back Pain

Back pain can range from mildly annoying to completely debilitating. Its physical effects make even the simplest of movements — getting in and out of a car, picking up items off the floor or stooping down to pet a dog — unbearable.

 

And back pain's effects don't stop at physicaL It can have serious psychologi­cal, and even financia4 effects.

 

How can you end or avoid back pain and its far-reaching effects? Start with chiropractic. When spinal movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) become misaligned, the result is a common condition known as vertebral sub­luxation. Vertebral subluxation is linked with a myriad of health concerns, including back pain.

 

Dr. Ayouby corrects vertebral subluxations with safe and gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments. Studies show that regularly scheduled adjust­ments may also help prevent back pain along with a host of other muscu­loskeletal conditions.

 

A French study, published earlier this year, confirms the efficiency of short-term vertebral manipulation for chronic low-back pain (LBP). Re­searchers separated a cohort of 64 patients into two groups: half received a series of four vertebral manipula­tions and half underwent "sham" ma­nipulations.


"Patients receiving the true manipulations showed significant improvement in pain," noted the re­searchers. Even more impressive, pain symptoms remained improved — as evidenced by follow-up testing two months later (Ann Readapt Med Phys 2007;Epub).

 

The group who received the "sham" manipulation, meanwhile, had abso­lutely no perceived change. It's vital not to self-diagnose the cause of back pain. Instead, see out a full chiropractic evaluation. In addition to vertebral subluxation, back pain may be sparked by a
variety of other disor­ders.

 

Regardless of its cause, back pain is more than just a physical condition. It can also have a devastating emotional impact. Research shows the wide­spread psychological effects of back pain extend beyond the patient to en­compass families and employers, "in terms of sickness and absence and for society as a whole, in terms of welfare benefits and lost productivity." (Br Med J2002;325:534.)

 

That's why Dr. Ayouby urges patients to reject the notion that back pain is "normal" and that nothing can prevent or mediate its physical and psycho­logical effects.

 

Psychological Consequences

 

Chronic back-pain sufferers — par­ticularly those afflicted with low-back pain — have an elevated risk of devel­oping depression, anxiety and "high levels of neuroticism." (Pain Med 2006;7:217.)

 

Worse yet, these psychological and social factors play a major role in worsening the perceptionnof pain and the development of chronic disability (Br Med J2002;325:534).

 

Canadian researchers note that "beliefs, attitudes, and recovery ex­pectations appear to influence recov­ery from back pain." This conclusion was based on a survey of 2,400 adult sufferers. "Most agreed that back pain makes everything in life worse, will eventually stop one from working, and will become progressively worse with age." (Spine 2006:31;2142-5.)

 

And the longer back pain is present, the worse things get. A study pub­lished earlier this year concluded that "Those whose low-back pain was longer than five years had the highest scores for depression, general com­plaints and anxiety." Longer duration of illness was similarly accompanied by even higher levels of anxiety, de­pressionand obsessive-compulsive behaviors (East Mediterr Health .1 2007;13:335).

 

That's why chiropractors encourage those with back pain to take immedi­ate action and remain realistic, patient and positive.

 

As a holistic health-care provider, your doctor of chiropractic believes firmly in the connection between mind, body and spirit.

 

Work Productivity Effects Among a cohort of 1,066 patients — 48 percent reporting back pain and 52 percent reporting other forms of mus‑culoskeletal pain — the severity of symptoms was directly associated with time lost from work, disability and utilization of health care (Ann Fam Med 2006;4.4:341).

 

Fortunately, chiropractic care is a rec­ognized, effective, therapeutic option for chronic LBP. Canadian researchers also note that follow-up chiropractic helps keep pain at bay (I Manipulative Physiol Ther 2004;27:509-14).

 

Social Impact

 

Social participation, subjective happi­ness and patient satisfaction are "closely correlated" with physical health status, according to Japanese researchers (Spine 2003;28:1461-6).

 

Improving physical


health, however — with regularly scheduled chiroprac­tic care — keeps patients of all ages enjoying life.

 

Shortened Life Span

 

Chronic back pain can even shorten your life. Among elderly women, daily back pain "is associated with reduced quality of life, mobility and longevity and increased risk of coro­nary heart events," concludes a new report in the peer-reviewed medical journal Spine.

 

These fmdings are from a five-year investigation of 1,484 community-dwelling Australian women, 70 to 85 years of age. "The adverse health ef­fects of chronic back pain deserve greater recognition," urge the study's authors (Spine 2007;32:2012-18).

 

Decreased Self-Esteem

 

Many individuals with chronic back pain also feel stigmatized: that it's not real or, if it is, it's their fault. Accord­ing to a new report, stigmatizing re­sponses by family, friends, health pro­fessionals and the general public ap­pear to have a profound impact on perceptions, self-esteem and behavior.

 

"The findings suggest that patients with chronic back pain feel stigma­tized by the time they attend pain clinics and this may affect their attitudes and behaviors towards those offering professional help." (Disabil Rehabil 2007;29:1456-64.)

 

Such was the case of 30 women in Finland who shared their pre-diagnosis history with researchers. "From the beginning of the early dis­comfort of back pain, the women were sure of its bodily and subjective real­ity." (Soc Sci Med 2003;57:1045.)

 

The researchers were astonished at the disrespectful attitude toward back-pain sufferers. "The moral essence of the women's common story was the stig­matizing experience when doctors did not take subjective pain seriously. Instead, doctors' neglectful attitudes became part of the prolonged prob­lem."

 

After years of repeated attempts to get help, the women eventually found doctors who took their symptoms seri­ously. "To be finally diagnosed was a great relief. However, to be taken seri­ously as a person was considered to be the greatest relief." (Soc Sci Med 2003;57:1045.)

 

Don't Suffer in Silence

 

If you are among the millions of peo­ple around the world with back pain, don't suffer in silence or resort to symptom-masking drugs: many of which have potentially serious side effects. Instead, schedule an appoint­ment with our office today. We take vertebral subluxations and related dis­orders seriously. Along with freedom from pain, you'll receive the attention and respect you deserve.

 

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