If you are suffering with severe back pain, you are not alone. 80% of us, at some point in our lives with suffer an episode of back pain. For the most part, back pain symptoms will go away on their own. But does this mean the underlying source of the back pain went away also? Maybe…maybe not.
As a San Francisco Chiropractor and back pain specialist for almost 20 years, I have studied tens of thousands of x-rays of the spine, MRI’s, and CAT Scans.
Back pain patients are often shocked when they see what their spine looks like on the inside. They will say “Is that me…how did that happen?” when I point out things like spinal degeneration, bone spurs, and degenerated spinal discs.
Is it the spinal degeneration or the disc degeneration that causes the back pain? Sometimes. If you have long standing spinal misalignment’s and chronic inflammation associated with those misalignment’s…the inflammation can result in ongoing back pain and muscle spasms. Chiropractors call this a vertebral subluxation complex.
Degenerative disc disease can also lead to disc bulges and disc herniations which can put direct pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves leading to severe back pain, sciatica, and disability.
Back pain can often times be hard to diagnose. I have had patients with back pain and sciatica that also had normal x-rays and MRI findings. How can this be?
Good question…I believe there is a mental component to back pain in some people…and I have had excellent success working with hypnosis and bio-feedback with certain severe back pain patients.
Acupuncture can also remove interference from energy channel blockages that are not detectable on x-ray.
Chiropractic is the treatment of choice for chronic back pain and severe back pain relief. If the pain in the back is severe, the treatment must be very gentle and done in conjunction with inflammation reducing therapies such as ice, deep tissue laser, and massage.
Spinal decompression therapy is an excellent choice for chronic back pain and sciatica secondary to a herniated disc or a bulging disc…but it may not make sense for severe back pain if it is new and acute. Your spinal decompression doctor will most likely want to get your back pain levels under control first.
Many chiropractors that specialize in herniated discs incorporate chiropractic, spinal decompression, laser therapy, massage, and exercise into their treatment protocols. Some even provide acupuncture and physical medicine.
My advice…find a chiropractor that does it all. This way you have options.
You also want a chiropractor that will refer for medical second opinions and medical care when indicated…this is very important for severe back pain relief.
So…what should your next step be if you are looking for a spinal decompression doctor in your area? I would Google “spinal decompression” or “spinal disc decompression”. You can also email me at email@example.com and I will help you find a decompression doctor.
If your severe back pain is accompanied by loss of bladder function or came on suddenly and you feel sharp pain in the kidneys, you should go to the emergency room.
Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in San Francisco.