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By Dr. Mercola
How to Treat Back Pain Without Dangerous Drugs
Back pain is a common health issue today that affects at least eight out of 10 people. It is a prevalent problem among Americans. In fact, statistics from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reveal that at least 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time.
The ACA report also says that:
One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, it is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office (next to upper-respiratory infections).
As many as 75 to 85 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. In most cases, this pain is mechanical in nature it is NOT caused by a serious medical condition, such as inflammatory arthritis or fracture.
Chronic back pain has become such a debilitating problem and it’s costly, too. According to the ACA, Americans spend at least 50 billion dollars each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs!
I cannot stress enough that preventing or treating disease is possible without the intervention of medications. The same is true for back pain. You only need to address the root cause of the problem by changing your lifestyle and the way you eat and move.
Below is a discussion of the potential causes of back pain, my recommendations for back pain treatment, and how you can alleviate this problem without putting any additional burden on your health.
What Are the Common Causes of Back Pain?
Accidents and sports injuries are the most common causes of chronic back pain. But sometimes, even simple activities or movements like bending over to pick up an object from the floor can trigger pain.
There are also a number of other factors that can increase your risk of back pain, such as:
Poor physical conditioning facilitated by inactivity
Internal disease, such as kidney stones, infections, blood clots
Obesity - According to a study posted in the Journal of American Epidemiology, overweight and obese people had a higher prevalence of low back pain than non-overweight individuals. Psychological/emotional stress
Osteoporosis or bone loss (as measured by the Z-score and not the young adult-based T-score)
Sedentary Lifestyle Puts You at Risk of Back Pain and Much More
There is one common denominator among most patients who suffer from severe cases of chronic pain: sedentary lifestyle. A majority of back, neck, and other muscle pains are related to imbalanced distribution of force throughout your body, which is created by working or staying in unnatural positions for extended periods. Prolonged sitting and poor posture are major risk factors of not only back pain, but also of weight gain, obesity, joint problems, nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, and other debilitating diseases. In fact, prolonged sitting along with smoking and obesity is now an important risk factor for chronic disease!
An analysis of 18 studies showed the value of reduced sitting. It was found that people who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to develop heart disease or diabetes, compared to those who sat the least. This proves that being physically active is great not only for your back, but also for your overall health. In fact, reducing your sitting time may even prolong your life. One study published in the British Medical Journal found that reducing the average time you spend sitting to less than three hours per day may increase your life expectancy by two years (the average American today spends 4.5 to five hours per day on a chair or sofa). So if you have chronic back pain, it is critical that you evaluate your lifestyle and whether or not you’re getting enough exercise. Failing to exercise, and moving your body enough in general, may be the main reason why you’re suffering from this condition.
The Price You Pay for Poor Emotional Health
There’s increasing evidence that back pain and other types of pain may be exacerbated by psychological or emotional issues. It is my experience that emotional health and your ability to effectively address your stress is an essential component for optimal health, and can have a major influence on whether or not you're effectively eliminating your pain.
If you have any underlying emotional issues and unresolved trauma, it can profoundly influence your health, particularly in terms of physical pain. A 2004 study on back pain supports this theory. Its researchers followed 100 patients over the course of four years. All of the patients, who were back pain-free at the start of the study underwent psychological tests. Afterwards, the researchers compared which of the participants remained pain-free and which ones developed back pain.
According to the results, the people who scored poorly on the psychological tests were three times more likely to report having experienced back pain by the end of the study.
Many health experts from various fields of medicine agree that emotional and psychological trauma has severe effects on a person’s risk of acquiring chronic pain. One example is Dr. John Sarno, a psychiatrist who uses mind-body techniques to treat patients with severe low back pain. He specializes in helping individuals who already had surgery for low back pain but did not get any relief.
This is one tough group of patients yet Dr. Sarno has a greater than 80 percent success rate! He uses techniques like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an acupuncture-like technique that stimulates meridian points throughout your body. Read more about EFT. Sadly, many people dismiss these types of treatment strategies simply because they seem "too simple to be effective." Unfortunately, they believe that in order to get back pain relief, they need to undergo radical treatment or take medications.
The Dangers of Drugs for Back Pain Treatment
Back Pain Medications
Conventional health care practitioners are quick to prescribe medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and even opioids for chronic pain. But even if these medications can provide immediate back pain relief, their effect is only temporary the pain will come back sooner or later and in some cases will cause hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain!
What’s more, medications touted to provide back pain relief are saddled with severe side effects. For example, NSAIDs, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market, not only put you at a two- to four-fold higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems, but may also cause:
Severe gastrointestinal problems, like digestive tract bleeding
Increased blood pressure
Be mindful that these life-threatening side effects of painkillers are not restricted to prescription NSAIDs like Celebrex, but may also come from over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil, and Motrin.
Opioid painkillers like OxyContin, which are also commonly prescribed for back pain relief, also have a highly addictive nature. In fact, opioids are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs today, and are a leading contributor to the increasing rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses. This is why back pain is now one of the primary reasons why so many American adults get addicted to painkillers.
The bottom line is that painkillers always come with risks. Unfortunately, if you consult your conventional physician about your chronic back pain, he will often prescribe a long-term treatment plan that may include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and possibly other types of pain medication or even anti-seizure drugs a poisonous chemical cocktail that will put your health at severe risk!
Is Your Physician Prescribing This Expensive But Dangerous Drug for Back Pain?
Big Pharma recently began promoting Humira, an expensive drug with a price tag of nearly 20,000 dollars a year. Humira is touted to help treat ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton, which includes the spine. It is outrageous how drug companies promote this dangerous drug for an exceedingly rare cause of low back pain one that is only responsible for less than a tenth of a tenth of one percent of low back pain! What’s more, Humira may cause severe side effects, such as:
Back Pain X-Ray
Increased risk of lymphoma and other cancers
Hepatitis B infection
Liver, nervous system, and blood problems
Immune reactions, such as lupus-like syndrome
This is just the short list; Humira may have even more damaging effects on your health only to emerge later through post-marketing surveillance in exposed populations who are being forced to act as living guinea pigs.
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
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