I glanced out into the reception
area a few days ago and saw Laura there looking uncomfortable and waiting
to see me. She had acute lower back pain and I could see by her
distorted sitting posture and her painful facial expression how agonizing
the condition had her in.
Laura is a woman approaching
middle age but a real fitness buff. In fact she is a trainer and
has been helping others get fit for many years. But her own health
history has been terrible over the past ten years that I have known
her. She has greatly improved her health since we first started
to treat and council her but she has her own ideas about lifestyle and
diet choices and her improvement has been mostly made through wrestling
with me and slowly giving up those stressors in her life that continually
pull us all down.
When her turn came she shuddered
to rise to a standing position and I intently watched as she took the
first few steps with a bent over body and a limping gait. So many
times this postural presentation happens in our offices and nearly always
it is a fundamentally unnecessary struggle. I am interested in
Laura’s pain, but not concerned about it. I’m interested in
Laura’s posture and how she has to grimace to walk those few steps,
but I am not concerned about that. What I am concerned about is
her inability to perform the work necessary to be and show herself healthy
to me. She is now another “wounded warrior.” She didn’t
fight fair and she didn’t think well in the “shield wall” of life
and is now presenting the injuries from her negligence during her battle.
We all must constantly answer to gravity, our Caesar.
I helped Laura onto the verti-lift
adjusting table and lowered her agonized body to level and then up to
height for examination. “I can’t be like this!” she exclaimed.
“I have clients to-day and can’t afford to miss them.”
“OK, how long have you been
like this this time?” I asked. She replied that the night before
she had reached around into the back of her car and lifted out a fairly
light sack of groceries when she felt her “back go out.” She
produced a fairly simple condition then. Likely she relied on
the lower serratus and diaphragm muscles to support her shoulder during
her back seat reach and when they couldn’t she then strained to subluxation
the lower ribs and upper lower back where they join. This backwards
twisting action can cause excruciating pain and lower back compromise
as the cardinal area of the lower thoracic twelfth vertebrae and its
rib unites with the first lumbar vertebrae and is prone to rotational
strain if not held by a healthy set of splinting muscles of the chest
wall. Remember our baby and the very first thing he does at birth
is gasp in a deep breath to splint the chest preparing himself for the
second step of thriving, that of levering his head and mouth and his
arms and legs about for food.
For us to do work a deep breath
comes first and sets the twenty-four ribs (see chiropractic and chest
pain) to a firmly locked splinted condition in a healthy person.
This muscular hardening allows us to use our firmed up chest wall as
a power take off for other functions like those of the lower back, shoulders,
neck and extremities. In a healthy condition all of these muscles
work to their capacity and we are then enabled to load ourselves further.
Laura failed at this further loading and was now on the table desperately
looking for relief.
My examination of her quickly
showed how her chest had failed to do the muscle work necessary to hold
the back ribs stable when she desired to use her spine to do further
work. I was interested in that inability to do the chest splinting but
was now concerned that Laura had produced a local bone injury of her
lower spine that might cause her long term structural compromise too.
Then I found it. Her bony misalignment patterned in an old familiar
way to me. She showed the usual spinal spasms and subluxations
when in this particular acute state of distress and the pattern suggested
intestinal injury. Laura’s body was exhibiting how she had failed
“Laura,” I said “where
were you yesterday and what did you have for your dinner?” Yesterday
was a Sunday and most backs strain after a weekend of lifestyle change
ups. She replied that she and her husband were home and didn’t
have anything out of the ordinary. “What about the day before?
Did you eat out somewhere and injure yourself?” Laura knew right
away that I had hit the nail on the head. A deep crimson glow
rose up her face and head as she blushed and looked away from me.
“You have lasagna back.” I gently intoned. Laura squeezed
her eyes shut and whispered, “I did it again didn’t I.”
And apparently she had. She and her husband had driven to the
west end of the island but had failed to connect up with their friends
for a cookout. They had then driven back into town and were now
hungry so they stopped off at a fast food place and she had their lasagna.
Being in practice is sometimes
like raising babies and wild youngsters. I remember my mother
and her frustrations as she would walk up to a wall and speak to it
as if she were addressing my brothers and I. Payback time mom?
Laura and I had been over this old ground time after time during the
past years. Our back has a front and if you don’t harmonize
the two on a continual basis one will always give up. Sometimes
it’s like she wasn’t even there with her mind only on her pain and
her understanding of “what she is and how she got here” not even
slightly of interest. But I had her full attention now, although
it was not the time or place for a lecture. I quickly and thoroughly
reset all of the structures of her subluxated spine, ribs and extremities.
I adjusted the bones back to her factory-blueprint-
In other words I put her skeleton back to a de-stressed position, one
without distortions, back where it should have been if she were healthy.
And yes I did adjust her lower back vertebrae when on manual muscle
testing she showed strong enough in her leg and trunk muscles to hold
Laura was raised up on the
verti-lift to a standing position and she was beaming. She stood
up tall and straight without any back pain. She easily bent over
to tie her shoes and immediately went back to the gym and to work.
Laura’s story is old and repetitive by most of my new or non complying
patients. “Lasagna back?” Absolutely. Lasagna
back is just the adult version of curry in mothers milk and babies colicky
anger for the next few days. Doing work while in “colicky anger”
doesn’t sound plausible does it? The fact is if you are in such
a compromised physiological condition the survival program for you is
to be “culled from the human herd.” Laura would not have survived
well with her condition in the wild.
Those of us with ongoing lower
back pain soon become compromised in a permanent manner. Deep
tissue injury occurs in the spine and its holding elements as we pass
from our having a “back condition” to developing an injury that
now creates a “back problem.” With spinal adjustments I was
able to shift Laura away from the potential of a back injury as well
as get her up and going again. But Laura must take heed of the
facts from this back pain and infirmary. She must think outside
of the pale and get to know that what she insists on letting go past
her senses into her stomach is literally going to prematurely kill her.
Laura, and I suggest many of
us may too have to change our thinking and develop a new and refreshing
health paradigm to give us better ongoing health and a shot at longevity.
From the previous four parts of “You and Your Lower Back Pain” we
learned in Part One that chronic inflammation causes most of the human
suffering and demise we witness to-day. And that demise is increasing
in numbers like never before. Taking vitamins and other compounds to
lower the inflammation of our tissues is like closing the barn door
after the animals have escaped. Preventing self injury of internal
tissues is the first line of both offence and defense we must learn
From Part Two of You and Your lower Back Pain we learned that we are
what we are. We evolved to do what we do and to do it well we
don’t need any help, just no interference. Our friend Shannon
revealed that she got her wellness on a long term continual basis only
when she did not allow food like stressors past her senses. Common
sense is included here and as Shannon complied and learned her lesson
she thrived. Now it is only a matter of rote for Shannon as she
instinctively applies her new found knowledge and avoids common stressors
naturally. We also learned in Part Two that our oldest “Granddad”
brain (our brain stem) is the one in charge of our breathing, our thirst
and hunger, it runs the intestines and it co-ordinates the muscle functions
and timing to smoothly get us down the trail to “dip and lick.”
Our old brain stem is the “boss” and if we don’t feed it just the
right sugar, glucose, then it struggles and shuts down, then we fail
to thrive. In this shut down condition should we wish to do work
we usually sprain and strain and develop lower back pain.
In Part Three we learned that
our brain and central nervous system along with the extremities mimic
the Roman roads and how it was necessary for every one to continually
contribute to the whole, with concord. And we found out that if
one of the nerves were resisted or inconvenienced by subluxation of
any bony joint then we shut down and stress. We have over three
hundred bony joints in our body. We now know that failure to
thrive compromises us in many ways including weakening our acupuncture
and muscle systems causing us to become unhealthy by our incapacity
to do work. And it is within this state of failure to thrive that
we subluxate in pattern and get among other things lower back strain
In Part Four we got exposure
to the hands and face and their acupuncture-organ-nerve relationship
and how if one of the parts gets compromised all of the family members
in the system fail to that lower level. The “weakest link”
of the chain denotes its potential strength under a load. Compromising
any of the body’s systems sets the benchmark of health potential for
the whole of the body. We know that evolution gave us the capacities
to assure that what we “hold on to” and “bring in” to “sniff
and lick,” then eat to make “great blood” for our health, can
be assured of being the highest quality only if we are constant and
never wavering in our “pushing away” every encountered food like
stressor. It takes respect for our innate and instinctive systems
as well as knowledge to become a master at thriving.
And finally in Part Five we
see Laura with her acute lower back pain from disregarding her intellect
and senses and eating for quick satisfaction of her primal hunger.
Laura disregarded the need to thrive in allowing her tastes to over
ride her sensibility. She then injured her internal organs and
dropped her level of healthy functioning down to a lower status.
While at this compromised lower level of health a usual simple turn
of her upper body to reach into the back seat, then lift a light load,
caused her to injure her back.
How do the many food like materials
we commonly eat but shouldn’t affect the gut and then cause the corresponding
inability to do work which challenges us and causes us to become ill?
How do these food like stressors physically cause us to get lower back
pain? And what are the food like stressors? Where do we
get them and in which forms are they constantly presenting themselves?
Next week in Part Six of You
and Your Lower Back Pain we will knit more of the answers together.
You and Your Back Pain - Part 1
You and Your Back Pain - Part 2
You and Your Back Pain - Part 3
You and Your Back Pain - Part 4
About the author:
Dr. Brian Blower has been a licensed chiropractor for 35 years
practicing Applied Kinesiology and has been in private practice on
Grand Bahama Island for the past
10 years. He is a founding member of Applied Kinesiology Canada and was
educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He has treated
many celebrities and also specializes in sports medicine. Dr Blower is
currently in practice at the
Center across from the Rand Hospital, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-351-5424 or 727-2454.
can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE
Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at BodyByBlower@yahoo.com