PureInsight | February 26, 2006
Tackling the Four Sources of Back Pain, Part 1
By Robert Gibson
Back pain and all forms of spinal malfunction are poorly understood by
most of us. This leads to delay in seeking early treatment, and can
also lead to inappropriate diagnosis and treatment. Back pain is often
referred pain, that is, the origin of the pain is not the back itself.
If you have an aching hip, the cause could be in your foot; if you get
blinding headaches, you may have a problem with your jaw; your
recurring back pain may come from your intestines and your sacroiliac
joint may be the cause of your sciatica.
A Compromised Organ
The ileocecal valve, normally a one-way valve, safely separates the
contents of the small intestine from the large intestine. When this
valve is malfunctioning, the following problems can occur:
palpitations, chest pains, back pain, pain in the right arm/shoulder,
migraines, swollen ankles, hemorrhoids, arthritis, skin and digestive
When this valve is the cause and the malfunction is corrected, these signs and symptoms will disappear.
Stress and other causes can make this valve malfunction. The one-way
flow of the valve is compromised and the toxic contents of the colon
push back into the small intestine, causing irritation.
Associated nerve fibers become inflamed and irritated, causing reflex
lesions of the spinal nerve roots. These occur at the spinal nerves of
lumber 1â€“2, thoracic 4â€“5 and/or cervical 3â€“4, causing the
Obviously, these symptoms can have other causes. Nevertheless, when
conventional diagnosis or treatment fails, the cause may be a
malfunctioning ileocecal valve. The incidence of this condition is
quite high among those with recurrent back pain.
Slipped Disc or Sacroiliac Slip?
The sacrum and iliac bones form the sacroiliac joint. The pitted
surfaces form interlocking irregularities, which limit and direct any
movement. Yet, the joint is lubricated, similar to a moving joint. In
the front of our bodies, about four inches below our navel, the pelvic
bones meet with a "disc-like" cartilage pad between, to form the joint
known as the symphysis pubis. This limited "play" in these two joints
is important in everyday walking and during childbirth. The main
function of this type of joint is to absorb the jarring shock of the
feet walking on hard ground.
When normal joint play is lost, the pain generated can be agonizingly
similar toâ€”and is often assumed to beâ€”a vertebral "disc" problem and
can lead to ineffective treatment.
The causes of sacroiliac "slip" are various; a blow to the heel, uneven
weight bearing on the pelvis, dental problems and childbirth are the
most frequent. Clinical experience and studies suggest that 50 to 70
percent of sciatica and low back pain are associated with sacroiliac
slip. The pain can be in the hip, buttocks or the thigh, since the
pyriformus muscle in spasm squeezes the sciatic nerve.
Acupressure Reduces Low Back Pain
By Rosemary Byfield
Acupressure effects significant improvement in severe low back pain
sufferers, concludes a study in Taiwan, published in The British
The 5,000-year-old healing art, also known as Tui Na, uses acupuncture
points on the body to apply pressure with hands or elbows, rather than
needles, to unblock and balance "chi" or energy where pain or illness
The Institute of Preventive Medicine at the National Taiwan University
in conjunction with Hsin Kao Mei Orthopedic Special Clinic, Taiwan,
conducted the study on 129 volunteers disabled by low back pain.
The volunteers were divided into two groups, half to receive
acupressure and the other half to receive conventional physical therapy.
Following six treatments, the 64 patients treated with acupressure
reported a considerable reduction in disability and pain and noted a
sustained improvement lasting six months.
Paul Robin, Chairman of The Acupuncture Society (U.K.) commented: "This
study is very positive. It proves acupressure works and the healing
effect of working the meridian system."
As to whether acupressure should now be the first choice for low back
pain sufferers Robin said: "Acupressure is a cop-out for not putting
needles in," and added, "Acupuncture works better and gives a definite