The presence of pain does not represent a strong indicator of a person’s overall health status. In other words, health cannot be accurately measured by the presence or absence of pain. Incredible amounts of research indicates that pain does not usually represent the root of a problem but alerts an individual to a greater problem that advanced far beyond the body’s ability to cope or manage. Pain usually represents a final symptom rather than a root cause. Achieving optimal health and healing means addressing the causes of health conditions rather than simply masking pain.

Many care providers agree that pain speaks loudest and stays longest. A problem existed long before the pain and demands attention before the pain will subside. Long term health and improvement without drugs or surgery require intervention that gets to the source. As a chiropractor I focus on finding and addressing the structural cause of painful problems rather than simply treating the symptoms or the effects of the cause.

Many parts, functions, and processes in the body cannot be felt. Cavities in teeth, plaque build-up in blood vessels, high cholesterol, and even cancer represent some of the many examples of silent problems that speak up loudly and painfully in the late stages of sickness. Consistent check-ups and teeth cleaning at the dentist, health physicals with the family physician, stress tests with the cardiologist, and cancer screenings serve as examples of health care providers understanding the immense value in proactive health care in advance of signs or symptoms. Regular spinal check-ups and adjustments with the chiropractor offer one of the most powerful forms of proactive health care available to men, women, and children.

The benefits of a chiropractic adjustment go far beyond pain relief, and the benefits begin to manifest in many ways that prevent pain from ever occurring.  Research from 2015 looked at spinal MRI scans of a large population of people who experienced no pain or symptoms. Over twenty percent of those studied were found to have disc degeneration, disc herniations, or protrusions in the spine with no symptoms. These ailments would eventually lead to chronic low back pain and the likelihood of needing to use powerful pharmaceuticals or invasive surgery. This example represents one of many ways in which a silent and unhealthy condition exists without pain until the condition becomes extremely advanced and nearly irreparable. 

The benefit of chiropractic has no prerequisite of pain. Kids, adults, and even infants of all ages experience the benefits of chiropractic without ever experiencing conditions in need of pain resolution. Chiropractic benefits everyone. Doctors of Chiropractic undergo extensive training and education that enables them to assess, diagnose, and begin the process of allowing the body to heal proactively. The proactive path to optimal health begins with chiropractic.


American Journal of Neuroradiology September 2015
MRI Findings of Disc Degeneration are More Prevalent in Adults with Low Back Pain than in Asymptomatic Controls: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”
W Brinjikji, F E Diehn, J G Jarvik, C M Carr, D F Kallmes, M H Murad, P H Luetmer

New Research Sheds Light On A Painful Topic

Disc herniations plague millions of people every year. The most common route taken by most seeking pain relief comes from strong medication, cortisone shots, and back surgery. Back pain can be so severe that many suffering from such stabbing and burning pain resort to anything that produces even the slightest bit of comfort. Sleep becomes a chore and evening rest tends to be the worst for those suffering from the pain of a disc herniation. No amount of positioning provides enough pain relief to sleep as the minutes dwindle by before the start of another pain-filled workday. Solutions outside of drugs and surgery exist that reduce pain and promote healing for those suffering from disc herniations.

Sometimes people call a herniation a slipped disc. That image proves inaccurate because the discs within the spine cannot slip. The discs in the spine look somewhat like two dinner plates stacked with a water balloon in between them. The plates represent the bones, and the water balloon represents the gel comprising an intervertebral disc. Injuries, degeneration, continuous wear and tear, or a combination of all these factors cause a part of the water balloon to tear. The tear forces the gel-like substance to protrude outside the balloon. This resembles the mechanism of what happens with a herniated disc.

The cartilage material on the outside of the disc tears, and a gel-like substance protrudes out into the spinal canal. Discomfort and pressure on the nerves produce burning and stabbing pain along the path of the nerve. Disc herniations can heal without surgery and many therapies have been proven to help people suffering from disc herniations. Disc decompression, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and natural therapies represent some pathways to success.

Research from 2014 studied a group of adults living with back pain, leg pain, and disc herniations (confirmed by an MRI). The patients receiving low back adjustments from a chiropractor achieved extraordinary results. The percentage of patients in this study reporting substantial improvement after one month of care was close to 80%. Approximately 90% of patients with back pain, leg pain, and disc herniations reported significant benefits from spinal adjustments after six months.

Unaddressed spinal subluxations also represent a cause of disc herniations. Proactive chiropractic care serves as a method of prevention evident in the research study. Chiropractors do not specifically target herniated discs or other symptoms related to the spine. A chiropractic adjustment improves spinal mobility and alignment and reduces interference in the nervous system to allow the body to better heal itself. Chiropractic represents a front-line option for those suffering from back pain, sciatica, or disc related issues. Options exist for those faced with a decision regarding whether or not to pursue invasive care like spinal surgery or the risk of powerful and addicting pharmaceuticals. Pain relief exists with chiropractic care.

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics March-April 2014
“Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude, spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one-year follow-up.” Serafin Leemann, Cynthia K Peterson, Christof Schmid, Bernard Anklin, Kim Humphreys

These are our three favorite exercises for strengthening the core for people with Back Pain, Sciatica and Disc Pain.

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