San Francisco- If you suffer with low back pain, you are about
to discover some very important information about potential causes and
treatments. But first, researchers have
discovered something very important you should know about "anterior cruciate
ligament" (ACL) injuries…
The ACL is one of the major supporting ligaments
of the knee. You may or may not know,
but one of the most feared injuries an athlete (or anyone else) can suffer from
is a torn ACL.
When it is
torn, the knee is usually left unstable.
In other words, the ACL ligament helps keep the bones of the knee joint
together. When there is a tear, the
bones can actually separate or dislocate.
This can happen when an athlete or person lands from a jump, tries to
stop or attempts to change directions suddenly.
Sometimes, the knee will just “give out” without warning while simply
When a knee
is injured, an MRI is often used to help diagnose the problem. If the MRI shows a torn ACL, it has been
common practice for most doctors to recommend surgery to replace the ACL with
either a cadaver ACL or one made from the person’s own patellar tendon, or
MAJOR surgery with extensive and lengthy rehabilitation. Even an athlete in his or her physical prime
may not be able to resume their sport for a minimum of six months.
a torn ACL has been the common treatment because it was believed that once an
ACL was torn, it could not heal. Now
researchers say this is not true.
In fact, in
a study that appeared online before its publication in the journal Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy, researchers at the
Hospital for Special Surgery in New
York found that surgery shouldn’t be the first option
for some cases. They found solid evidence that the ACL can, in fact, heal
itself WITHOUT surgery.
Robert Marx, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in the Sports
Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), “Some patients who tear their ACL while skiing can get away
without surgery. Their ligament heals by
itself, they will have stable knees, and they will be able to do whatever they
want, including skiing. It is a huge deal to avoid surgery.”
also stated that patients who tear their ACL during recreational skiing should
not rush into surgery. They should wait
6-12 weeks and be re-evaluated unless there is another obvious reason for
found two orthopedic tests that should be performed by a skilled physician to
determine if the patient will need surgery or if the ACL can heal without it.
tests are “Lachman” and “pivot shift test.”
These tests assess the integrity of the ACL, and if these two tests are
negative, a good outcome and normal knee anterior laxity at more than 2 years
after the injury is expected… without surgery.
A quick and
important side note about this study: It
was performed on recreational Alpine skiers.
Researchers noted that ACL tears from skiing are often less traumatic
than other sports. For example, the
level of knee injury can be much greater in football or soccer.
not mean that an ACL tear from these sports cannot heal without surgery; it
means THIS PARTICULAR STUDY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. Of course, not all ACL tears in football,
soccer, and similar sports are super traumatic.
The answer is to have your knee examined by a qualified and skilled
physician who is up-to-date on the research and will assess your knee and give
you the best recommendation for your individual case.
All This Have To Do With Back Pain?
actually. There are two very big take
home messages from the information above.
doctors are not always right. The best
doctors use the best and most current research in an attempt to give the
patient the best recommendations and treatments possible.
That is, of
course, limited to the current research.
No matter what some people think, science (and research) is not
magic. It does not have all the answers,
especially when it comes to the complexities of the human body.
of the ACL to heal itself is a great example, but it is not the only one.
The body is
truly amazing, and one of the most amazing things is its incomprehensible
ability to heal itself.
means doing less, not more. This is one of the most difficult things for
injured or sick people to understand.
When sick or
injured, many people believe something must be done or the more treatment, the
better. In reality, in many cases, the
less the doctor does and the quicker he or she gets out of the way, the better.
This Is Often The Best Option
For Back And Neck Pain
Chiropractors are proud that their treatments help back and neck pain. This, however, is not true. If you understand how the body works and its
amazing ability to heal itself, you will also understand that the reason why
some Chiropractors have so much success with back and neck pain is because they
simply do as little as possible and then get out of the way and let the body do
understand that their “treatments” do not get rid of pain. Their “treatments” simply remove a roadblock
or roadblocks the body had to healing itself.
they will recommend the LEAST treatments possible and re-evaluate. Their goal is to get you out of pain and out
of their office as fast as possible… not commit you to huge and expensive
treatment plans that last months or even years.
some patients have more serious causes of back or neck pain and need more
care. Every case is individual and
should be approached that way. But the
results can be incredible if your Chiropractor simply removes the roadblock,
steps aside, and lets the REAL healer take over.