So many people suffer with back pain, stuck in a cycle of pain medications, hours of therapy appointments, more prescription medications, over the counter medications, supplements, and more therapy, only to continue to suffer from continued back pain. The cycle is an attempt to manage the pain. You might think, “Of course, I want to manage the pain!” But what if there is a better way, and one that actually corrects the back pain problem, repairs the underlying source of pain, and resolves the pain? Chasing symptoms keeps the sufferer in the pain cycle. Correcting the problems stops the back pain cycle!
What Is the Reason Behind Most Back Pain?
Since back pain is so common and a leading cause of disability, it is important to look at the reason for it. The underlying cause of most back pain issues is spinal instability. What is spinal instability you might ask? When you bend and twist and tweak your back, you injure soft tissue, like muscle and ligaments. Muscles have a great blood supply, so they heal quickly. Ligaments have a poor blood supply, and take quite a while to heal. In fact, they heal quite poorly. Unhealed ligaments are weak and lax, similar to stretched out rubber bands. Ligaments connect bone to bone. So if the ligaments are weak, then the bone connection will be weak and wobbly. That bone connection or joint is then unstable. The bones in the back are vertebrae and make up the spine. So when the ligaments in the spine are weak or wobbly, that makes for spinal instability. When these ligaments remain unhealed, the problem gets worse and worse. The ligaments get more lax and the spine becomes more unstable. You can imagine that if the joints of the spine become wobbly, that the bony structures will have difficulty moving like they should. Smooth movement of the vertebral joint connections stops. The abnormal motion causes the joint structures to degenerate. Instability and abnormal joint motion is behind all types of painful back conditions, like bulging discs, arthritis, sciatica, and degenerative joint disease. The underlying problem is ligament weakness, which creates abnormal joint motion which will eventually damage the joint structures and elicit pain. Pain pills aren’t able to fix the weakened ligaments. Cortisone makes soft tissue weaker, so even if it provides some short-term relief, it will eventually worsen the problem in the long run. Massage can’t strengthen weakened ligaments either. What’s the solution? The degenerative condition needs a regenerative treatment. Regenerative Orthopedics, like Stem Cell Therapy, PRP, and Prolotherapy are all regenerative treatments that strengthen ligaments, restore normal joint motion, and regenerate joint structures.
Ligaments Are Structures that Provide Stability to the Joint
As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of unresolved back pain is spinal instability, due to weakened and stretched out ligaments. Ligaments are very important for stability of the spine and for proper motion. In fact, they are some of the main stabilizing structure for the joint. Sure, those with back pain will definitely complain of muscle spasms and tightness, because muscles help with stability too. But muscles will spasm because they are overcompensating for the inability of the injured ligaments to keep the spine in place. Treatments that relieve muscle spasms will give temporary reprieve of the spasms, but will not address the ligament weakness. Instability and pain will continue, because the ligaments are unable to hold the adjacent bones of the spine together properly.
How to Treat Unresolved Back Pain
Each year, thousands and thousands of people are disabled due to some type of painful back condition. Back pain is actually one of the main reasons people come to see us at OrthoRegen®. By the time they come to see us, they have usually tried numerous types of pills, treatments, and even surgery, but continue to experience pain. That’s because these other treatments only short-lived and temporary relief. Even surgical treatments end up with poor rates of success. Surgery may emphasize treatment of the disc, for example, but it misses treating the ligament injury which is the originating source of the pain. So pain continues.
The places where the ligaments attach to the bones are full of nerves, which elicit pain when stretched out or injured. Injured ligaments can send out referral pain down the back of the leg and even to the foot. They can also refer pain into the groin and pelvic floor. If weak ligaments exist, the physician knowledgeable in examination techniques can diagnose instability during the physical examination with varied maneuvers and positioning. Even palpating, or pressing with the thumb at the ligament attachments will elicit pain indicating ligament laxity.
Back pain is one of the easiest conditions to treat with Regenerative Orthopedics. Most often, the pain is located in the lower back, where the vertebrae of the lumbar spine meet the pelvis. Four structures adjoin there in a pretty small area, with all of it held together by ligaments, connecting the sacrum to the sides of the iliac crest and the ilium, while the lower part of the lumbar spine connects to the sacrum. Regenerative Orthopedics to the ligaments in this area strengthens the ligaments and their connecting attachments, making the whole area stronger, more stable, and alleviating the pain. Treatment to the back results in a high rate of improvement, with increased functional abilities, a return to desired activities and exercise, and a reduction and usually the elimination of the need for pain medication.