80% of people in the United States will have low back pain some time in their lifetime. And 80% of that 80% will have reoccurring back pain in at least a year from the last episode. Matter of fact, back pain in the United States costs us over $100 billion a year. Most of that's lost wages, lost production, healthcare cost, rehabilitation, stuff like that. Now what we're talking about is not your typical back soreness. Let's say you go out, you work in the yard all day.
You're mowing your grass, you're trimming the bushes, you're carrying stuff, you're bending, twisting, you're doing things you're not used to. It makes sense the next day you wake up and your back's a little sore. But two to three days later the muscles will start to heal. What we're talking about here is chronic lower back pain. That lower back pain that maybe it goes away but then it comes it right back. Or maybe it never goes away. Or maybe it's that you bend over to pick up your toothbrush and boom, your back went out.
Well obviously it wasn't the weight of that toothbrush that threw the back out. So there had to have been a weakness. Something that's always there that just takes the right movement, the right direction and boom, it got you. Where could something like this come from?
Believe or not what I've found in my 24 years of practice experience is almost every single time someone has that reoccurring chronic pain it actually comes from somewhere else. To be specific, the upper cervical spine. That is the top two bones in the neck which are called the upper cervical bones are the ultimate cause. Now how could a problem in the neck be causing pain in my back? Well it's kind of like you step on a dog's tail and he barks at the other end.
The stepping's going on up here but the barking's down here. Let me explain this. You have within your head, your brain. Your brain's the power source. It sends the messages to the heart, the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, everywhere in your body. It has its own reflex to make sure that it always stays balanced. It's very important that the brain stays level in order to function properly. If one of the upper two bones in the neck get a little bit out alignment and cause the head to shift.
So it goes from being level and balanced to being out of balance or misaligned, this bone shifted to the left caused the head to turn, be out of balance. The brain doesn't like that so what happens is the brain starts to send messages down to the body forcing the body to compensate to get the head level again. When this bone gets out of aligned, it gets stuck which means it gets hung up and your body can't unstick it. So what it will do is go below there and move other bones through your spine until the head levels. For just as an example when the head tilts it can cause you to pull down one shoulder, pull up one hip, ultimately making one leg shorter than the other.
You can imagine with these compensations your body's designed to be symmetrical, that with those compensations you could start to develop some weak spots. Imagine this, let's say if one leg was pulled up shorter than the other, imagine if you wore a shoe with a say an inch, half inch, I had a girl come in, a 16-year-old girl come in this week, two and a half inches short. This wasn't anatomical, this was structural because we worked on her and the legs balanced out perfect. But imagine, you have one heel that say an inch, inch and a half shorter than the other. Imagine walking around with one leg jacked up like that. You think that might start to cause some aches and pains in your back? Some lower back pain.
Maybe even affect the upper back over time. Well this is what's happening within your body. If one of the bones in the top of your neck, one of the upper cervical bones is out of align it can cause your body to contort itself ultimately causing lower back pain. At the same time if you have one leg up higher than the other, is that not going to strike, cause the way you walk, the way you strike the ground to be different? Could that not affect the hips? The knees? The ankles? Your feet?
Matter of fact, had a guy just come in this week. This isn’t the first time this has happened but the guy comes in and he has obviously low back pain, serious low back pain so he's telling me all about it and then he's listing his other symptoms. He's like, "Yeah well I also have knee pain but I went to the orthopedist and orthopedist said that's just from old age." And I was like, first of all he's only 63, I wouldn't consider that to be old age and I looked at him for a second and I said, "Now which knee is it that hurts?"
He said, "Oh, it's the left knee." And I said, "Well okay, well how old is the right knee?" I'm mean they're the same age, right? And if old age was the culprit then they would both hurt and everybody at 63 would have knee pain, so that's crap. The bottom line is his body had compensated so much that the knee, which normally would say, sit like this, now is sitting like this so it wears down prematurely. The same thing happens with your hips, with your feet, with your ankles, with the vertebrae in your spine.
Your body's designed to live 125 years. Your skeletal system should last you 200 as long as everything's straight and lined up the way it's supposed to and your weight's evenly distributed. It's kind of like your car, let's say your car got out of balance or it wasn't aligned properly. You go in to get to your car aligned from time to time. Well if it's out of align the reason you do that is because it'll wear down prematurely. It's start off with just a little vibration then a little a shake then eventually it starts kind of rattling.
Same thing can happen with your body. Now let's talk about what else can happen when your body goes through these compensations. Well that lower back pain, let's talk about the vertebra and the disc. Those vertebrae are lined up or designed to be lined up stacked right on top of each other. Well between those vertebra, there's a disc. It has a little gel nucleus in the middle and it's like the shock absorber for the spine. As long as they're lined up properly they work right.
But let's say one of the bones if it get a little turn in the spine well now they start to wedge towards one side or that could be considered a herniation or a bulging disc. Now when a disc starts to bulge you have nerves that go out of the spine and go down the arms, down the legs and they actually even go to the internal organs. If the bone wedges to one side, puts pressure on that nerve, that can interfere with the messages going to certain organs but at the same time it can create the pain sensation say of sciatica.
Or pain down the leg or pains down the arms. Numbness, tingling in the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome can come from those discs just being a little bit wedged and affecting the nerves where they go out the spine. So if you have sciatica or if you have neuropathies in the legs, arms, hands it can quite literally come from one of these bones in the top of the neck being a little out of position and causing your body to compensate and create other problems down below there.
Now let's say you've gone to a chiropractor and they've manipulated your back and maybe it feels good for a little while but it keeps coming back. Well that's because they're addressing an effect and not the cause. They're making it feel better by realigning it but then it eventually comes back out because it's compensating to what's going on at the top. You have to figure out what's going on up here. What's causing your lower back pain?
One thing we didn't address, but I can tell you right now, the cause of lower back pain is not from a drug deficiency or too many body parts. That means taking a medication has never, ever fixed back pain. It only numbs it up so you don't feel it then you go out and do things that your body telling you not to do, that's what the pain was there for. Eventually potentially causing a bigger problem. Maybe a ruptured disc which the only way to correct that is through surgery.
Which of course surgery should always be the last option because when you cut stuff out you can't put it back in. But if you can get it corrected naturally by addressing the actual cause I think that should probably be your first priority. If you live in the Charlotte area, let's say Matthews, Pineville, Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Gastonia, Belmont, Huntersville, Mount Holly, Cornelius, anywhere in the Charlotte area give us a call. At the Upper Cervical Spine Center. We never charge for the consultation to find out what your needs are.
You can sit down with one of our doctors and we'll go over your history, we'll do an exam and find out what's causing your back pain. Once we know the cause then we'll know if it's something we can help you with. If it is, we'll explain to you what we need to do to fix the problem. If it's not something we think we can help then we'll try to find another specialist who can. What do you have to lose, right? Now if you don't live in Charlotte, North Carolina or in the Charlotte area, please find an upper cervical doctor near you so that you can address the cause of your back pain once and for all.
Get the problem corrected so you can live the life you're designed to live. If you do live in the Charlotte area, like I said, you can give us a call at 704 588-5560. We'd be happy to set you up for that free consultation. Or you can check out our website, www.uppercervicalspinecenter.com. There they can answer all your questions, if not, come on in, let's have a consultation. Let's sit down, let's talk about what your needs are and let's see what we can do to help you get your life back.