Lower Back Pain – The Back Surgery Alternative
Last week I got a more questions than usual about lower back pain. It prompted me to do some research and I was shocked to find these stats. I knew back pain was on the rise just from being in the industry and personally dealing with it since 2001. Some of the startling facts are:
- Roughly 80% of people in North America experience back pain. (The scary part of this is 90% of them never know the primary cause.)
- More than half of back pain sufferers work at a desk job so forget the overuse excuse. This points more to underuse.
- Lower back pain cases rose from 28.1% to 29% in people aged 18-65 and from 29.5% to 33.7% in 65 year and older between 1997 and 2013.
- The impact of back pain spans anywhere from inability to do daily tasks, to exercise and even sleep!
The stories I hear myself range from “I was brushing my tooth one morning and all of a sudden I was unable to straighten up” and “I stepped off a curb and my foot slipped and I almost collapsed from the shooting pain” to “I literally just sneezed and my lower back was stuck and painful for a week.”
Some of my clients have missed work because they woke up unable to actually get out of bed!
Other symptoms of low back pain I’ve heard include:
- Pain when bending forward
- Hard to get up from chairs
- Painful to even straighten up
- Avoiding every day things due to fear of more pain
- Missing out on social activities because of fear
- Missing work because of way too much pain
- Less effective at work because of pain
- Every day physical activity suffers
- Vitality decreases
- Slight depression sets in
Some of these symptoms go well beyond just pain. It affects you in multiple different dimensions because it robs you of social activities, connections with others and if you have kids it limits what you can do with them, especially activities that require you to be physical.
Unfortunately, you have 80% chance of getting lower back pain throughout your life. The chances get greater as you age. This is where an ounce of prevention is worth well over a pound of cure.
There are so many ways to get lower back pain, yet if you really look at the “cause” peeling back the layers, they all boil down to one thing. Something being out of balance. Discs are misaligned, muscles are atrophied or way too tight, lack of minerals or weak connective tissue… It could happen due to trauma, overuse, underuse, inflammation and even dehydration or food sensitivities.
What is lower back pain?
Lower back pain is a debilitating state where the general area of your lower back hurts enough to prevent you from living your life to the fullest. It could hurt in one spot, or could shoot down your leg or even both legs. The pain refers out towards your extremities if nerves are trapped or irritated by the imbalance. It prevents you from either bending forward or straightening up. Sometimes it hurts so much you’re unable to walk or even move.
The medical definition is:
“Low back pain is a common musculoskeletal symptom that may be either acute or chronic. It may be caused by a varietyof diseases and disorders that affect the lumbar spine. Low back pain is often accompanied by sciatica, which is pain that involves the sciatic nerve and is felt in the lower back, the buttocks, and the backs of the thighs.”
How can you prevent lower back pain?
1) Balance all muscle groups
2) Strengthen your inner unit
3) Learn to perform movements correctly
4) Learn to use the correct muscles for the needed movement patterns
5) Eliminate pro inflammatory foods that shut off core stabilizing muscles
How can you reduce lower back pain?
I hear you say, “That’s nice but what if I already have low back pain. What can I do now?”
Here are some quick actions you can take immediately to reduce your pain:
1) Drink more water (this is definitely number 1!)
2) Remove inflammatory foods
3) Go to bed earlier
4) Add more anti-inflammatory foods
5) Discover and balance out muscle imbalances
How can you repair your lower back in the long term?
This will take long term diligence.
1) Consume collagen in different forms.
2) Eat nutrient dense foods to supply your body the building blocks it needs to repair itself
3) Strengthen your postural muscles through corrective exercise
4) Load up on anti inflammatory herbs
5) Make sure you’re getting your micronutrients, the “mortar” or “glue” holding everything together
6) Get my daily checklist for reducing lower back pain
How to deal after post lower back surgery?
“I found your info too late, I already had surgery…. What now?”
You still have the power to improve, even after having surgery. You were likely sliced open and muscles were cut so you need to make sure you give your body all it needs to repair the intrusion so nutrition will be critical.
Rehabilitation is just as important because you want to regain the use of your muscles and motor control as soon as you can so you can avoid surgery in the future.
4) Amino acids
5) Anti inflammatory herbs
1) Corrective exercises appropriate for your current level of strength and abilities
And lastly, SLEEP! The earlier you go to bed, the greater opportunity you give your body to repair itself when all the building blocks are supplied.
“My doctor told me I must have surgery…”
Always listen to your doctor as well as get second and third opinions since surgeries are a BIG deal *which is why you’re asked to sign waivers before them. They’re also “irreversible” so the question I would ask any doctor is “what else can I do before committing to surgery?” Some of what I’ve written already would be a few. Correcting muscular imbalances are definitely on top of my list as well as hydration.
Keep a list of all the things you’ve already tried along with the results you got from them. Reading that list will give you insights you’ll never get from anywhere else. It may turn out all you need is some patience.
1) Get the daily checklist here:
Lower Back Pain Relief a daily checklist you can follow immediately
Sign Up now to get started relieving your lower back pain.
2) Drink the appropriate amount of water for you
3) Reduce inflammation by eating more anti inflammatory foods and herbs (fish oil, turmeric, withania, NRF2 activators)
4) Stop eating pro inflammatory foods (grains of all kinds, packaged/processed foods, processed sugar)
You can also contact me
for a more in-depth analysis of the cause of your lower back pain and what actions would give you specifically the greatest improvement.
Leave a comment with what you’ve already tried and how it worked for you.