1. Symptom ≠ Cause
Avoid conflating each sign or symptom of low back pain (LBP) with its cause.
Symptoms and their causes are, of course, intimately related.
And in a manner which is direct, ordered, and - in retrospect, anyway - completely rational.
But how exactly can we discover how this relationship between cause and symptom?
That's the tough part.
Studies and reviews of large cohorts (groups) of patients with (LBP) have attempted to answer this question.
With underwhelming results.
In fact, such studies & reviews have underlined the perhaps counterintuitive conclusion that - with a few notable exceptions, such as in cases of low back pain secondary to seronegative spondylarthropathies - structural MRI & X-ray findings generally show very poor correlation with onset, severity, or prognosis of LBP.
In similar fashion:
- Disc pathology on MRI is poorly correlated with LBP symptomatology.
- Facet joint osteoarthritis on CT is only weakly correlated with LBP signs and symptoms.
- Even findings of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis on CT are common in those without low back pain, and are overall poorly correlated with LBP.
In short - X-ray and MRI diagnostics tell us little to nothing about the vast majority of LBP.
My clinical experience also supports that links between symptoms and underlying causes of LBP are - at least initially and superficially - non-obvious.
What does all of this mean?
It means that even seemingly-uncomplicated cases of LBP often require expertise and care to properly diagnose and treat in a lasting, curative manner.
But that's easy for me to say.
So what are you supposed to do if you can't receive such lasting, curative treatment of LBP from myself or another qualified, experienced practitioner?
What can you do to heal LBP yourself?
2. Think Outside The Box
"The box" here referring to the location of the LBP.
(apologies to those with non-rectangular pain distributions ...
... although "think outside the variously-dimensioned / amorphous region of pain distribution" would have been a little too on the nose).
Anyway, the location of the signs and symptoms of LBP are, in fact, frequently distant from the location of the cause.
This is understandably true for LBP secondary to deeper pathology, posture, injury, or subconscious patterning - such as that addressed by the Neuroemotional Technique (NET) and Neural Organizational Technique (NOT).
However, it is equally the case in seemingly-uncomplicated LBP.
My clinical experience also suggests that treatment which is delivered primarily to the region of pain itself typically provides transient and temporary relief at best.
Rather than truly curative, lasting healing.
So what could be better regions to treat to provide relief from LBP?
3. Treat Distant & Central Regions First
While individuals can most reliably obtain optimal healing through appropriately individualized naturopathic and homeopathic treatment, my clinical experience suggests that optimal treatment for a good proportion of patients, at least on the physical level, frequently involves treatment applied or performed to regions which are both in general relatively:
- Central along the body's axes, and
- Distant from the location of pain
"Distant", in this context, means "non-local".
As in something "outside the box".
As in I am not implying deep, curative naturopathic and homeopathic treatment of LBP involves focused treatment of the fingers, toes, or head!
... well, in most cases, anyway.
Indeed, the rare patient has required such truly "distant" treatment to address the underlying cause of their LBP, underlining the unique nature of every case and patient.
That said, the majority have benefited from treatment applyed first to some or all of the following general regions:
- Distant ("outside the box" of LBP) regions of the low back itself
- Erector spinae, most notably
- Adductor muscles (hip)
- Gluteal muscles
- Iliotibial band (IT band)
- Vastus lateralis & medialis
The ideal physical treatment modality for any given patient is, in my practice, likewise optimally individually determined.
In my practice, this physical treatment can take many forms, including:
- Bowen Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Naturopathic Manual Manipulation (naturopathic medicine's version of chiropractic)
4. Treat Bilaterally
A natural extension of the "distant & central" theme for LBP treatment.
On the other hand, there is a parallel extension of the individualization theme.
As in not every patient requires such bilateral treatment.
Completely symmetrical treatment is, in my clinical experience, extremely rare.
That said, most patients have benefited from at least some degree of treatment to both sides of the body.
Regardless of whether the complaint appears to be entirely one-sided.
"Both sides of the body", by the way, applies to all axes of the body equally.
- Top & Bottom
- Front & Back
- Left & Right
"Tolle totum", indeed.
5. What's The "P" In Your LBP?
More specifically, what's the sensation of that "P"?
How do you, as an individual, experience it?
And, for that matter - why exactly is LBP even a problem for you?
Hold your incredulity at such a seemingly-unnecessary question.
After all, I've received equally incredible answers.
Or, more precisely, equally individual answers.
6. Individualized Naturopathic & Homeopathic Treatment of LBP
Every patient ultimately deserves deep, constitutional, individualized naturopathic & homeopathic treatment.
Treatment that respects, accounts for, and supports your individuality to provide you with truly lasting, curative results.
Nowhere is this as true as for patients with LBP.
A condition so omnipresent, yet so diverse in its underlying causes.
Which is the reason X-ray and MRI diagnostics tell us next to nothing about LBP.
It's not the fault of the X-rays or MRIs.
It's the fault of a healthcare system seeking generalized, patentable, scalable and, above all, profitable answers to complex, diverse, and individual conditions.
Conditions like LBP.
Constraining a condition as complex, diverse, and individual as LBP into the "box" of that non-individualized healthcare system is restrictive, debilitating, and disempowering.
Not unlike LBP itself.
But you still have a choice.
And a chance.
A chance to get out of the box.
To embark on a new path.
Ultimately permitting safe, natural, lasting, and curative healing of LBP to be realized.
The choice is yours.
Whatever your choice, I look forward to assisting you on your healing journey in whatever capacity I may be of service.