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Low Back Pain: Why do so many people have it?

Posted Jan 06 2011 12:00am

San Francisco Chiropractor Comments:

Back Pain Treatment San Francisco At any given point in time over 31 million Americans are suffering with low back pain. One half of all working Americans admit to having back pain each year. Experts estimate that over 80% of us will experience a back problem at some point in our lives. Why?

Well, when you consider that up to 70% of the population is overweight or obese, and obesity is a primary cause of back pain, we would have to consider obesity as a primary cause of back pain.

In addition, the typical American diet (high fat, high animal protein, processed foods, sugar)  which is responsible for the obesity epidemic is also pro-inflammatory, meaning it creates an internal environment in the body that constantly triggers your immune response, which is very harmful to your organs, joints, and tissues.

There are also other causes of inflammation .

This chronic inflammation can lead to conditions such as arthritis, spinal degeneration, and disc well as many organic disorders.

Then, there are the normal sports injuries, car accidents, bad posture habits, and work injuries that injure the low back...and this is a big number.

An often overlooked cause of low back pain is mental stress or the psychological component. This is more common than most doctors realize and needs to be considered as a primary cause of back pain.

What is the best treatment for low back pain?

Since most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer...chiropractic makes the most amount of sense (at least in my biased opinion).

Chiropractic is's's done by hand to correct physical misalignments (mechanical) of the spine. If you have a pebble in your shoe...that's physical. The solution is not chemical. Sure,  you can take a drug (chemical) so you don't feel the pebble...but to fix the problem you need to remove the pebble (physical).

You also want to look at your lifestyle choices. If you are eating the typical American diet (or anything close) and are carrying too much weight and have chronic inflammation...this can lead to physical misalignment's that keep re-occuring. Most good chiropractors can help you lose weight. Personally, I prefer a plant based diet (which is anti-inflammatory)...and my #1 resource is Dr. John McDougall, MD

Many back pain patients are also out of shape and de-conditioned. Making regular exercise a part of your life can help with acute and chronic low back pain. Your chiropractor can also help put together an exercise plan for you.

For every effect there is a cause. For every cause there is an effect. Sure, low back pain can often be hard for doctors to understand and treat...but for your chiropractor, it's business as usual.

Dr. Eben Davis is clinic director of Executive Express Chiropractic in San Francisco (415-392-2225).

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