The Colon Connection: Low Back Pain
Posted on Sep 15, 2021
According to National Institutes of Health, “If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain. Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly because of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.”
There are two types of back pain:
Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. This pain is usually a result of muscle strain or improper bending and lifting. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care (rest, heat pack.)
Most people address lower back pain by taking pain relief medication. However, not all lower back pain can be resolved by taking medication. Reliance on pain medication for temporary relief can lead to a worse problem – addiction.
Chinese medicine’s approach to any health condition is to first identify the cause. Most people are not aware that constipation is one of the causes of lower back pain. I have successfully treated many lower back pain cases from restoring a person’s bowel movements with acupuncture, update their eating and water intake.
“Location, Location, Location” is a common mantra in real estate. It also applies to the body. The colon is located in the lower part of the abdominal cavity, it is located in front of the spine. When the colon expands, it will affect its adjacent neighbor which is the lower back spine.
Not too long ago, I had a middle-aged male patient come in seeking chronic lower back pain relief. He had 3 failed back surgeries and many, many physical therapy, chiropractic and massage treatments. The patient had constant dull nagging lower back pain, worse when he woke up in the morning. During our initial consultation, the patient said that he had a normal bowel movements. After a further inquiry, what he thought was “normal” was once a week!
The patient was not aware that a normal functioning colon should have 1-3 bowel movements per day. His chronic lower back pain resolved after acupuncture treatments and diet modifications (increase vegetables, whole grains and fluids.) I also encouraged him to walk more. Walking is a natural way to massage the colon and encourage bowel movements.
Within a short period of time, he started having a daily bowel movement. He also learned that whenever his stress increased, he did not eat properly or exercise, which caused him to miss a bowel movement. When this stress cycle happened, his old back pain returned.
If you are experiencing chronic low back pain, make an appointment to see me. Together, we will find the cause of your low back pain and create a comprehensive treatment approach. Life is too short to live with pain!
Filed in Current Health News
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