ABOUT Back Pain

Back and neck pains can arise from a wide variety of causes – from injury to arthritis to hereditary misalignment to serious conditions such as cancer.  The Coherence Apps module, however, is limited to dealing with acute conditions. If you want rapid relief, go straight to https://eremedyonline.com/module/23/back-pain/. If you want to know more about medical aspects, read on….. [David Rakel, Integrative Medicine, Saunders Elsever, 2007]

To understand where the pain comes from injuries or acute spasms, you need to understand something about the structure of the spine. Basically, it is a stack of bones with wing-like protrusions interspersed with shock absorbers made of fibrous cartilage. The whole stack is held together ligaments that allow limited elastic motion. The spinal column coming from the brain is located in the center of these protecting bones (vertebrae) and shock-absorbing discs. Nerve endings pass from the spine outward to animate the body -- sending signals for muscle action and receiving sensory signals going back to the brain to detect touch, heat, position, and of course pain. Finally, the entire stack is surrounding by a complex collection of muscles used to turn, bend, stretch, and lengthen the stack.

Injury and disease can occur to any of these structures. Here is a diagram of some of the things that can happen [David Rakel, Integrative Medieine, Saunders-Elsevier]:

Acute low back spasm

Acute back spasm is one of the most common complaints seen in medical practice. The experience is truly agonizing. It may happen soon after getting out of bed in the morning, from just bending over the way you have done routinely every day, from lifting something at an awkward angle, etc. Golf is one of the most common causes of such acute spasm. The spasm is so intense that you fall to the floor and have great difficulty getting up. [Kenneth Pelletier MD, New Medicine, DK Publishers, 2005]

Usually the process is one of a strained set of muscles that react by causing spasm. The initial muscle spasm then jams the “facet joints” seen here:

Facet joints have smooth surfaces, so when muscle spasms jam then together a vacuum forms – just like when you press your palms together and feel a pop as you release. This vacuum holds the facet joints together and causes pain. This pain causes more muscle spasm, which jams the joints together more, which causes more muscle spasm….. and the process goes on.

Common treatment is to put ice on the injury for 5 to 10 min every hour using an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas. This helps reduce swelling from the injury. Later on, a hot pack can be applied to help relax the muscles and reduce spasm. Unfortunately, this still leaves the facet joints jammed, so the whole process keeps relapsing.

The eRemedy properly chosen through https://eremedyonline.com/module/23/back-pain/ rapidly heals every level – pain, swelling, spasm, etc. Another option is to visit a chiropractor. Their manipulation causes a little pop as the facet joints are opened up, breaking the vicious cycle and giving rapid relief.

Another treatment that is commonly done by sports doctors is traction. For low back spasms, this can be done by using a tilt table that tips you upside down,  hanging you by the heels. This stretches out the muscles and the discs simultaneously. For neck spasms, a collar is fitted that pulls the head away from the body.

What can be done to prevent such spasms? It turns out that there is a highly effective method that requires minimal effort – Pilates. When properly done, Pilates exercises powerfully strengthen “coremuscles all around the mid-torso. Their job is to stabilize motion between the chest and pelvis and hips, as well as upper thighs. Most importantly they include the para-spinal muscles in the back that straighten and lengthen the spine. A few Pilates sessions a week, 20 minutes at a time, tone all these muscles. The resulting stability helps prevent acute back spasms. Moreover, when a spasm does occur, the power in these muscles enables you to lengthen and stretch your spine in the moment, producing instant relief.

One caution: Learning Pilates by YouTube or video cassette, or even in a class, may lead to improper form. Just mimicking does not mean that you are using the muscles correctly. We recommend having a few sessions one-on-one with an instructor who can put his/her fingers on your muscles to ensure that you are learning the form correctly. Once you get the sense of that form, you are on your own!

Sciaticaand protruding disc

Heavy lifting, golf, or other athletics can lead to a related problem not involving facets per se. Discs are the shock absorbers between vertebrae that enable you to run and jump with jamming bone on bone, and to twist and turn without grinding bones together.

If too much pressure is put on the discs, they may protrude. Sometimes fluid inside may even herniate outside. These then put pressure on nerves, causing excruciating pain. Muscles then spasm, jam the facets together and cause more protrusion. Another vicious cycle ensues.

Sciatic nerve pain radiates from a point in the lower spine down the leg, sometimes only part way but sometimes all the way to the foot.

If the nerve is impinged upon directly, even eRemedies from Coherence Apps won’t help much. Physical therapy and even surgery might be indicated.  In order to decide exactly what is going on, doctors usually order an MRI (magnetic resonance imagery), an X-ray-like procedure which does not involve radiation. This visualizes the discs in detail.

The important thing to figure out from the MRI is whether the protrusion is impinging directly upon the nerve – or just near to the nerve. Most often the bulge is relatively benign. Actually, a very high percentage of random people off the street not complaining of back pain at all are found to have bulging discs on MRI. This is normal because bulging itself is part of the shock-absorbing function of discs.

Very commonly, though, a bulge may create enough local swelling to put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain. In this instance, the eRemedy chosen from https://eremedyonline.com/module/23/back-pain/ can reduce swelling and rapidly relieve pain. Icing can help as well. Orthopedists often inject steroids in such a situation in order to temporarily reduce the swelling locally, but this of course is a fairly expensive intervention.

Neck Pain and Whiplash

The dynamic of neck pain is very similar to that described for back pain. The same muscle spasm – facet joint vicious cycle can occur in the neck. It may happen after an injury, sleeping in an improper position, and often from carrying too much tension in life. Stress is often felt by tension in the neck, and such tension can jam facet joints just as it can in the lower back. This is why people love to have neck rubs!

The principles of preventing and treating neck pain are the same as described for low back pain. Pilates actually is very useful even for the neck! When there is an injury, icing alternating with heat, along with massage, can be very helpful. And, of course, the appropriately chosen eRemedy in https://eremedyonline.com/module/23/back-pain/ should bring about rapid relief.

A more severe instance of neck injury happens when there is whiplash from a rear-end auto collision.

This again is a muscle spasm-facet joint vicious cycle. Chiropractics is highly effective in providing instant relief from this condition.

A common treatment of having someone wear a cervical collar for a few weeks does provide traction and takes pressure off facet joints, but it also causes neck muscles to weaken and shrink. When the collar comes off, the weak muscles have difficulty holding up the head, and the vicious cycle starts all over again.

All in all, when there is severe back or neck pain and spasm, it is good to be examined and have an MRI if you are near enough to a facility. In this way, you can rule out more severe problems. Meanwhile, a starting point to hopefully get quick relief is to at least try an eRemedy via https://eremedyonline.com/module/23/back-pain/.