"Conditions” may not be the real Cause – “Conditions” may be the results
or “symptoms” of metabolic imbalances, which have been linked to Aging and/or
“Premature” Aging factors.
The CAUSE of Back and Neck Pain (Orthodox Medical Model)
There is a high failure rate in the management and treatment
of back and neck pain. More than 40% of all people who ever experience back and
neck pain will go on to further pain episodes. When we consider that up to 98%
of all people will experience back or neck pain at some point in their lives –
44% is a very high figure. We think the numbers of these sufferers who move on
to pain that causes disability, job, social and family problems is far too high.
We question the millions of other sufferers who are having to experience
progressive back pain of any kind, especially if they are young under 50. In
order to try and reduce these numbers we present the following information for
you to consider. We believe this information may just help to explain why this
figure is higher then it needs to be and how people may be able to reduce all
these numbers and the normal intensity of frequency of episodes currently being
experienced by our population.
There are many “Causes” of back and neck pain one would not expect to see
as a part of orthodox medical causes, but they exist none the less and they are
causes that need to be examined. They all contribute to this ongoing problem of
too frequent pain and disability.
The major “causes” that need to be considered are
1. Pain-Causing Conditions
2. Improper diagnose and treatment (including Pain Treatment)
3. Lack of adequate and/or correct information
4. Ignoring the Signs/Lack of treatment
5. Underlying Metabolic Imbalances
6. Personal non-adherence to a specific treatment program
7. The "Pain" itself [undertreatment]
1. Pain-Causing Conditions:
On most back and neck pain sites you will find a section labeled as “Conditions”
under which are numerous links to names like Sciatica, Spondylolisthesis,
Sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, aging spine, cervical pain (whiplash),
degenerative disc dis-ease, degenerative spine dis-ease, herniated disc, lumbar
/ low back pain, pinched nerve, ruptured disc, slipped disc, stenosis,
fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, facet joint syndrome, and
Orthodox medicine explains that without a hereditary or genetic problem, the
majority (90 - 98%) of “back and neck pain” is due to Degenerative
Spinal Dis-ease - (degenerative, progressive, normal old age, changes and their
complications.) This implies a ‘breakdown,’ or lack of health and normal
function of a variety of tissues and supporting processes of the spine. This can
be bone, joints, cartilage, muscle, fluids, discs, ligaments, nerves, and the
like. Both patient and doctor have come to accept the belief that “oh, its old
age creeping up.” Or, “well there is not much we can do about this.” This
attitude by itself is like a secondary Cause and it may not be true. We will
discuss more about this under the heading of “Identifying Metabolic
Imbalances,.” But for now, its good to keep in mind.
We are told we can speed the development of such degenerative changes though
accident, job related repetitive motions, poor posture, and lack of proper
exercise, and here genetics would figure in. The degenerative changes that are
occurring result in the pain-causing Conditions associated with back and neck
pain listed at the beginning of this article. Each needs to be correctly
identified and properly treated.
Yet, it also tells us, “95% of all back pain has NO identifiable physical
It would appear we have a slight conflict of information. We know it sounds
silly, but if 98% of back pain is due to degenerative conditions, and 95% has no
identifiable physical cause – then what is causing all this pain?
Do we, or don’t we have the means to determine pain-cause Conditions of
back and neck pain? This is a very important question for those people who fall
into the 95% category of people with no identifiable physical cause. We know
that a high percentage of back and neck pain escalates in the level of pain, the
number of episodes, and the amount of disability experienced. If you can’t
find an identifiable cause how is it possible to prescribe corrective treatment
and stop this progress?
2. Improper Diagnoses and Treatment
It would appear that determining the correct diagnoses of an pain-creating
Condition is not as easy as one would think.
It would make sense to locate the CAUSE of the pain. Fix that. Voila, no more
If it were only that simple, it would be a truly wonderful world. Perhaps, if we
had greater success with diagnosing and treating even the pain-causing
conditions we are aware of, we might not have the staggering numbers of people,
now included in that awful statistic of 70 MILLION people suffering from Chronic
Pain, with many of those functionally disabled (US STAT.) A high number of these
people are back and neck pain sufferers. These are unnecessary numbers.
We have much greater control of this then we are led to believe.
It is possible that the use of such “diagnostic” terms may
account or contribute to the high rate of failure in determining exactly where
and what the source of the pain is? A doctor may identify a particular problem
in the spine that is expected to be a reason for the pain then a particular
label such as degenerative disc dis-ease is applied as a diagnostic explanation
for the source of a person’s pain. Often as not it may turn out to be the wrong
source of the pain. Many people will “show” the exact same type of degenerative
changes in the spine the person suffering with pain shows. However, many of
those people will never experience back and neck pain. That is a great
part of diagnostics – they are no guarantee that “what you see is what you get.”
Almost all diagnosis for the source of back pain is wrong
In fact according to studies 82% of patients seen for back pain will find the
first diagnosis given was incorrect.
Yet, treatment will usually be started based on that incorrect diagnosis.
Incorrect treatment, along with pain generating diagnostic procedures are also
causes of both new and increased back and neck pain. So, why don’t we find
either of these listed under normal pain causing “Conditions.”
Back and Neck Pain is one of humankind’s greatest problems. In spite of the new
science and research into pain and effective treatments, which we have tried to
present on this site - even with everything we know today - it remains the
hardest to define and treat effectively. No one has been able to fully explain
why 50% recover from their back and neck pain and 50% don’t. They may now
understand some of the contributing factors in this process, but they don’t
understand them all. The whole area of back and neck pain for orthodox medicine
today is still extremely nebulous and as a result for many back pain
sufferers, chances for long-term, adequate relief are abysmal.
A person does not have to be confined to a wheelchair to qualify as disabled by
back or neck pain. If it interferes with the quality and quantity of your life
in any way – it is disabling.
This leads us to a discussion about the Lack of Adequate Information.
3. Lack of Adequate and/or Correct Information
It is said that less than 2% of all back and neck pain is due to a “serious”
pain-causing condition, such as fractures, disc dis-ease, impinged nerves,
stenosis, for example. Many straight talking orthodox surgeons will tell you
that even with these problems less than 1% need to be surgically corrected.
If you look up information on the web about back and/or neck pain you will find
it tells us 90 to 98 percent of acute pain episodes will “clear up” within 1 day
to 1 month with little or no treatment, (or 3 to 6 months depending on
the physician you talk to.)
Is this Encouraging and Accurate Information?
This information certainly appears to be encouraging, but it is not truthful.
This flawed information leads people to believe their first time, acute (Eudynia)
back or neck pain episode is hardly anything to worry about. This belief is made
worse, because the majority of first time back PAIN actually does get
better, even though it may take more time and care then indicated.
Many Orthodox physicians also provide the patient with this same information
because they have come to believe it themselves. Worse, the doctor, too often
has little regard for the absolute importance of adequate first-time pain
treatment. The patient notices the physician’s lack of concern about their pain
and will tend to try to “tough the pain out”. After all, “it won’t last long and
then it will all be gone.” Won’t it? Besides, “a little pain never hurt
anyone.” Did it? “Don’t be a wimp, pain builds character.” Doesn’t it?
(Remember, under-treated pain contributes to ongoing pain and the possibility
of developing the dis-ease of pain, Maldynia. Yet, we do not see PAIN listed as
a “cause” of back and neck pain, either)
If another episode crops up, they are surprised – after all 90 to 98 percent of
all people are supposed to get better.
The Real Numbers
This incorrect information is based on one flawed study from years ago.
Recently, a number of similar, but more detailed scientific studies determined
that, at a minimum, once back pain first strikes this 90-98% of the
A minimum of 30-32% of them will have 1 or more
episodes within the next 12 months and
An additional 12-14% more will have 1 or more
episodes in the next 24 months.
That’s a total of 44%. Almost half of the entire
population who are first struck with a back or neck pain experience. That’s a
lot of people with recurring episodes of back and neck pain that were supposed
to be “completely healed in 1 day to 3 months”.
This flawed information can lead a person to think that they must have a much
more serious problem when they end up experiencing another episode.
Does it mean they have a really serious problem?Certainly not.
But many incorrectly believe they do have a more serious problem.
This type of worry has been proven to add to the intensity
and length of the pain experience and slow healing down, and this, too,
helps to convince the person they are suffering from a serious problem.
4. Ignoring the Signs/Lack of Proper Treatment
Well, 98% might have recovered from the PAIN but a minimum of 44% did not stay
that way. This is a part of the overall information you need to be aware of in
order to help with resolution of ongoing back pain.
Knowing your repeat episode is very unlikely to indicate a more serious problem
is comforting information for those who are especially concerned about their
lack of expected healing.
However, there are another group of people who don’t give any consideration to
their first, second, third, or more back pain episodes until they cause serious
interference in their lives and work. We need to get the word out to these
people as well –
Ignoring the signs can increase the chances of repeated episodes and/or
progression of pain. The best way to manage back and neck pain is to intervene
as soon as you experience your first episode of acute back pain. Or, as soon as
you begin noticing those small, nagging, painful, tight muscles becoming more
irritating and frequent after work or play activities.
We have discussed the importance of immediate treatment in a number of previous
articles, but if you have not read any of these we suggest you have a look at
the information that is included in “Identifying
Pain.” or “Pain
Relief Cheat Sheet.”
The sooner treatment begins the better the overall outcome. Back or neck pain
can be an indication of more extensive degenerative metabolic changes taking
place then just what is showing up in the back or neck. The sooner you find out
the extent of those changes the better. This brings us to Underlying Metabolic
Imbalances as a “cause”
Underlying Metabolic Imbalances
All of these pain-causing “Conditions,” and others, may be a reason a
person is suffering with back and neck pain, but metabolic changes, premature
aging factors can be the Underlying Cause, especially if these pain-causing
conditions are not related to genetics and are happening to people under age 50.
Once this science of aging and premature aging is examined then we can
understand the hypothesis that science considers such “conditions” are but
symptoms or the result of metabolic disorders.
Various natural metabolic disorders have been identified as ‘markers’ of the
normal evolutionary stages of degenerative “Aging.” Many of these
metabolic changes have also been found in younger people. Metabolic changes that
are present can be the cause of, or they can complicate degenerative spine
So, how young is young? According to Scientists who study aging, (without
hereditary or genetic conditions) biologically, we should all be able to live to
age 100 or 120, in relatively good health. Degenerative changes in the spine
that accompany back and neck pain creating “Conditions” are rarely found before
the age of 50 in centenarian societies. Certainly many of the above listed types
of back and neck pain “Conditions” found in our western societies are never
found in these societies. The majority of back and neck pain appears to be
linked to degenerative (old age) Conditions, and we are told such degenerative
changes are to be expected in people as young as 30. If this is correct, then
such changes must be connected to ‘premature’ aging changes, not normal old age
6. Personal non-adherence to a specific treatment program
Non-Adherence to treatment programs usually exists for three main reasons.
The “treatment” can “appear” to make the pain worse
(not reading the body correctly.) The person stops treatment
The “treatment” is making the pain worse (incorrect
treatment) The person stops treatment and sometimes will not tell
The “treatment” involves modifications to life styles
that the person is not willing to take responsibility for.
Finding Effective Treatments for Back and Neck Pain
To find the most effective treatment means we need to correctly locate and
The pain-causing Condition and
Any underlying metabolic imbalance
We have already discussed in great detail how important it
is to treat the pain. Pain Causes Pain.
The next part of recovery is one of treatment of the pain-causing condition.
Both orthodox and natural physicians usually recommend conservative treatment to
begin with. Such treatment involves a period of recovery from the acute pain,
any tissue damage, and inflammation that has occurred.
After that, there are any number of conservative treatment options. These can
involve Chiropractic, Osteopathic, or sacro-cranial adjustments for spinal
imbalances (frequent cause) along with specific strengthening exercises,
additional physical activity, and other life style changes to help manage diet,
and stress – which are some of the contributors to the causes of metabolic
imbalances, which we have control over.
Even correct treatments that involve adjustments and exercises may
“appear” to create more pain. Learning to “read” your body is important at this
point. Often muscles that have not been used for some time will rebel – but
there is a big difference between this type of temporary new pain and the acute
pain you were suffering from. When this happens, if the pain is simply
uncomfortable – ease back on the exercises or adjustments – you are not in a
race of any kind. Be gentle with your body. Use of the Heat Treat Backpack
during or even before these treatments is very helpful.
Nothing you are doing within any treatment should be creating worse or
long-lasting pain. But you must give these treatments time – if your pain is due
to lack of conditioning, which didn’t happen overnight repairing the body’s
conditioning will take time as well.
Incorrect treatment is easy to identify and non-adherence is
understandable. Incorrect treatments will always cause an increase in the level
of pain and that pain level will not reduce over a few hours or a day. If this
increased pain has occurred during a first treatment - wait a few days – if the
pain is again under control, and you wish to retry the treatment – proceed. If
the same thing again happens, - stop this type of treatment – BUT let your
doctor know exactly what happened. Do be clear you were not able to relate this
pain increase to “normal” or new muscle use pain. Because of the high level of
non-adherence with back pain treatments, many physicians may think you are
simply fearful of the new pain and that the treatment they prescribed is still
correct and will advise you to continue.
The Biggest Cause of Personal Non-Adherence revolves around necessary
life-style changes and there are always life-style changes As we noted
above, such changes are often recommended by Chiropractors and Osteopaths. Such
changes are often recommended even without looking into possible metabolic
imbalances that may be at the heart of the degenerative changes. If you are “out
of condition” and exercises or body strengthening is recommended but you are not
willing to do this part of treatment, don’t be surprised if your pain-causing
condition gets worse.
There is absolutely no point in looking into possible metabolic imbalances if
you are not willing to take the responsibility you will be required to in order
to help turn those imbalances around.
In Conclusion, we hope that identifying some of the major “causes” that
all contribute to back and neck pain will prove helpful. There are a number of
other causes, while perhaps more secondary in nature also should be looked at
just to see if any might be a part of what is happening to you.
Not allowing the body sufficient time to completely
heal damaged tissues.
Doing things that further damage incompletely healed
Fear of the pain
Some Metabolic Contributors:
Other contributing secondary reasons for pain are both consequences and creators
of metabolic imbalance. For instance, it is well known:
Pain, creates pain
Pain creates inflammation and muscle spasm
Inflammation creates more pain
Pain and Inflammation create stress
Stress, pain, and inflammation eventually depress, or
over activate the immune system.
Stress creates more pain, more inflammation,
emotional and mental depression.
Depression and stress create food cravings
Well, it just gets much worse from here.
A metabolic imbalance in any single area of body function results in imbalances
in many other areas. Recent endocrinology studies by themselves, has proved,
beyond doubt, that orthodox medicine can no longer view or treat dis-ease in
isolation. But, it still is treating dis-ease in isolation. It has always been
and continues to be folly to expect true healing or even good health by treating
anything in isolation.
When you consider the pain, inflammation, stress, depression, pain, metabolic
merry-go-round, don’t forget how effective the
Heat Treat Backpack is for
dealing with PAIN, inflammation and stress – all with the need for less or no
You bet we are proud this product can provide such an effective all-inclusive
pain relief “System” for people.
Speed Your Own Diagnosis.
Besides specific metabolic testing there is also another method you can use that
helps to determine if your back and neck pain is an actual symptom of metabolic
This is done by evaluating a list of important symptoms that appear long
before a body has progressed to more life-threatening dis-eases and disorders.
If you notice, back pain is one of those listed symptoms.
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
We define the new meaning of “degenerative (dis-eases) conditions” and
take our first look at their identified and easily
changed causes in the article on Degenerative Back and Neck Conditions.
FURTHER SUGGESTED READING:
There are also many other pain-causing “Conditions,” identified with back and
neck pain, one does not normally see listed. We listed some of these in the
Low back,Upper Back and,
Neck Pain. Many of these are also now being considered symptoms of
degenerative, old-age dis-ease or the symptoms of dis-ease complications.
Finding and Managing Your Best Treatment Process
Long-term truly effective back and neck pain relief hinges on locating and
treating any metabolic imbalances. From there it is relatively easy to determine
what caused those imbalances and “treat” them as well.
Deciding upon the medical model you believe can best help you achieve your
personal goals in all this is also required. We have a look at how current
medical models are best able to achieve personal health and pain relief goals.
Why Should You Believe This Concept?
We don’t expect anyone to blindly accept the concept we are putting forth for a
new direction in back and neck pain treatment, and so we felt the best place to
help start an understanding is to show you where we first started to see answers
to all our questions. “Aging
and the Mitochondria.”
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