CHRONIC NECK PAIN FROM INJURED FASCIA
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WHY YOU HAD BETTER HAVE A "PLAN B" AS FAR AS ANTIBIOTICS ARE CONCERNED
Interestingly enough, BIG PHARMA is not doing much to bring new antibiotics to the table. Why not? Mostly because they are interested in high dollar drugs that people will either take for a lifetime or will spend hundreds of thousands on during the time they do take them (HERE). Currently, research shows that it takes at least a decade to bring a new drug to market. But that's just the beginning. Listen to Elizabeth Sukkar explaining this 'Catch-22' for the The Pharmaceutical Journal (Why are there so Few Antibiotics in the Research and Development Pipeline?)
"Although society wants pharmaceutical companies to research and develop new antibiotics, policy-makers do not want healthcare professionals to use them. In other words, products should sit on the shelf until they are really needed by patients because of the antimicrobial resistance problem through the imprudent use of antibiotics over the years. Furthermore, if antibiotics are used, they are generally used for the short-term, not like the long-term therapies that help bring in revenues for companies."
Think her take is an aberration? Do you wonder if this problem is really as big a deal as you've been hearing? Take a gander at a few of these CHERRY-PICKED tidbits and notice just how little things have really changed over the years (I was starting to hear about this phenomenon while in college at Kansas State University back in the 1980's).
"As of September 2017, an estimated 48 new antibiotics with the potential to treat serious bacterial infections are in clinical development. The success rate for clinical drug development is low; historical data show that, generally, only 1 in 5 infectious disease products that enter human testing will be approved for patients." From a 2014 issue of PEW (Antibiotics Currently in Global Clinical Development)
"The current crisis in antibiotic R&D is attributed to an industry pipeline with few late-stage candidates capable of combating the emergence and spread of novel, drug-resistant bacterial strains." From the press release for 2008's book by Dr. Leslie Pray (Antibiotic R&D:Resolving the Paradox between Unmet Medical Need and Commercial Incentive)
"New antibiotics are badly needed but have been seen as rather unsexy by big pharma over the past few decades because of the relatively poor return on investment in comparison with other fields, where approved products can command much higher prices." Richard Staines writing for PharmaPhorum in Feb of this year (EU Must do More to Promote Antibiotic R&D)
"The pipeline for new antibiotics remains perilously weak, largely because of issues with the current business model around their development. September marks 90 years since Fleming discovered Penicillium on petri dishes in his London lab. Only through scientific persistence and collaboration did that serendipitous find become a miracle medicine. Success sparked a short-lived golden-age of antibiotic discovery which petered out within two decades. Of greatest concern, there have been no innovative treatments for the most serious, Gram-negative, superbugs since 1962." Dr. Tim Jinks from the March 15, 2018 issue of The Telegraph (New Thinking is Required to Create Desperately Needed New Antibiotics. We Must Act Now)
"Antibiotic resistance has been a problem since the 1940s, but for most of that time, whenever bacteria defeated one drug, there was always a better one to take its place. It took until about the year 2000 for antibiotics manufacturers to become so discouraged by the pace of resistance and the price of developing new compounds that they decided, en masse, to leave the business. Antibiotic resistance kills 23,000 Americans each year and possibly 700,000 people around the globe. Once bacteria run through the drugs we’ve got now, we haven’t got any more." From a two year old issue of National Geographic (Millions Injected Into Push for New Antibiotics)
"There's a dire need for new drugs to fight the growing menace of superbugs, but few are in the works. What's going on here? Between the time penicillin was discovered in 1928 and the 1970s, 270 antibiotics were approved — a robust arsenal of powerful drugs that kept almost all bacterial infections at bay. But since then, research into new antibiotics has declined dramatically. The last truly new class of antibiotics that made it through approval was discovered more than 30 years ago.... Today, just five of the top 50 big drug companies are developing new antibiotics. The timing couldn't be worse." From a November 2016 issue of AARP (Where are the Antibiotics?)
"Concern continues to grow over the emergence of bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. Things are getting so alarming that political leaders such as President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron have made antibiotic resistance a top healthcare priority in their respective countries. Despite this crisis, many major pharmaceutical companies--the very organizations best poised to help solve this challenge--remain on the sidelines. With such an obvious medical need, why are these companies shying away from committing R&D resources to this fight? The answer lies in pharma’s business model. Companies thrive by growing their product sales. But, from a financial perspective, the potential market for new antibiotics is lackluster at best." From John LaMattina's June 2016 article in Forbes (A Proposal To Spur Pharma R&D Investment Into Antibiotics For 'Superbugs')
"Numerous major international and national initiatives aimed at financially incentivising the research and development (R&D) of antibiotics have been implemented. However, it remains unclear how to effectively strengthen the current set of incentive programmes to further accelerate antibiotic innovation. This study finds that incentive programmes are overly committed to early-stage push funding of basic science and preclinical research, while there is limited late-stage push funding of clinical development. Moreover, there are almost no pull incentives to facilitate transition of antibiotic products from early clinical phases to commercialisation." From the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Antibiotics (Incentivising Innovation in Antibiotic Drug Discovery and Development: Progress, Challenges and Next Steps)
"When we hear talk of courses of antibiotics costing thousands of dollars, we should begin to wonder how we will ensure access and stewardship for such an innovation pipeline. Antibiotics fare much worse than other therapeutics areas when it comes to the R&D pipeline, with only a 7 percent of yield for promising leads, compared to 80 percent yield in all therapeutic areas." Catherine Saez writing for the May 24, 2017 issue of Intellectual Property Watch (Antimicrobial Resistance Needs New R&D Models)
Before we leave this topic, I need to ask the John-Q casual reader a question regarding antibiotic safety. Just how safe (or dangerous if you want to look at it that way) are antibiotics --- a known SUPPRESSOR OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM and DESTROYER OF GUT HEALTH (the most important aspect of your overall health)? Unbeknownst to the average person, the way our society uses antibiotics makes them not only a killer and huge destroyer of our collective health (HERE are dozens of ways they can wreck your health), it's been predicted that within a decade they will be KILLING MORE PEOPLE THAN CANCER (currently our nation's number one leading cause of death) --- a disease that they actually cause (HERE). And really; let's all be honest with each other for a moment. This issue isn't going away even if we do come up with a couple of new ANTIBIOTICS. Why not?
Because in similar fashion to the way that the government always wants more of your money but has not shown an iota of responsibility in spending it; until we see that the practicing medical community is actually willing to follow THE GUIDELINES and not prescribe these drugs except in life-or-death cases, we've done nothing but move the apocalypse needle back a decade or so.
The point of today's article is to get you to once again realize that your health is up to you. In fact, if you were aware of THIS ONE SIMPLE FACT, you wouldn't likely need (or more accurately, feel you need) the antibiotics you are taking anyway. If you know people who could benefit from the totally free information provided on our website, be sure to spread the wealth. The easiest way to reach the individuals you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK.
SYSTEMICALLY ADHESED FASCIA AND CHRONIC NAUSEA
And while he had made some headway, physical traumas he had had endured in his childhood left him not so much with chronic pain but with chronic nausea that he felt was the result of severe all-over FASCIAL ADHESIONS (never discount fascia as a potential cause or contributing factor of almost any physical issue you care to name --- HERE). When it comes to people with SYSTEMIC FASCIAL ADHESIONS I'm very choosy about whom I treat. Why? For the simple reason that most of these cases have underlying causes, many being based in underlying AUTOIMMUNITY or other CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE PROCESSES. Gus convinced me that this was not the case with him and came out and spent a couple of weeks with us from San Fran. The improvements he made were astounding.
Rather than letting me tell you about it, I'll let Gus tell you. BTW, if you know people in similar situations, be sure and get this information in front of them. Besides forwarding them the link, one of the best ways to reach the folks you love and care most about is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK. I enjoyed our time together Gus and wish you the best! Oh; if your reading this and want to see more of these sorts of videos, be sure and take a look at some of the HUNDREDS OF OTHERS I have on my site.
CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE
WHAT ARE THE COMMON DENOMINATORS?
When you see the term "Parkonsonism," it is not the same as Parkinson's Disease, but is instead referring to a distinct set of symptoms that are ubiquitous to over 25 neurodegenerative diseases. These symptoms include various sorts of tremors, diminished ability to move, rigid, tense, or spastic muscles, and various forms of balance / stability problems and DISTORTED PROPRIOCEPTIVE ABILITIES or kinesthetic sense (people cannot tell where their body is at in space) which, while not VERTIGO, can in some ways act similarly. I mention all this because a couple of months ago the journal Frontiers in Neurology published a study by a group of rehab specialists and neurologists called What If Low Back Pain Is the Most Prevalent Parkinsonism in the World?
While the title alone should make one stop and think for a moment, it's what's inside the study that BEING A CHIROPRACTOR, literally stopped me in my tracks. "Low back pain (LBP) has a point prevalence of nearly 10% and ranks highest in global disease burden for years lived with disability; Parkinson’s disease ranks in the top 100 most disabling health conditions for years lost and years lived with disability. Recent evidence suggests that people with chronic, recurrent LBP exhibit many postural impairments reminiscent of a neurological postural disorder such as Parkinson's."
Essentially, these doctors are making the point that not only is Chronic Low Back Pain the number one disability-causing health problem on the planet, it has many characteristics that make it 'Parkinson's-like'. On top of this, even though there is pain with Parkinson's, it is rarely talked about nor is it the focus of treatment. The authors went on to discuss the fact that even though care given by rehab specialists to patients with Parkinson's is geared toward retraining and improving gait, posture, and balance, when it comes to LBP the focus is more about managing said pain and / or addressing flexibility and strength issues. Which brings us to the gist of their study.
Although they would never say they are the same thing (in similar fashion to the way that a growing part of the medical community is referring to Alzheimer's as Type III Diabetes --- HERE), the authors clearly stated that with both conditions, "the motor impairments seem more alike than different." Their point? They believe that patients with chronic LBP should be treated with some of the Parkinson's rehab and vice versa. "Overall, the similarities of LBP and PD in postural impairment and associated neurophysiology suggest it may not be so implausible to consider LBP as an axial parkinsonism, rendering it the most prevalent parkinsonism in the world." Suggestion; if you or a loved one has Parkinson's or chronic LBP, forward them this post so that they can read the study themselves.
Although there are many who debate it (for instance Time ran a 2016 story titled The Role of Boxing in the Death of Muhammad Ali Remains Unclear), studies on HEAD INJURIES --- particularly repeated head trauma --- as a risk factor for Parkinson's abound. Ali last fought in 1981 (he lost), and by 1991, the journal Movement Disorders had published a study whose title tells you all you really need to know; Head Trauma as a Risk Factor for Parkinson's Disease. The March 2015 issue of Neurobiology of Aging (Head Trauma in Sport and Neurodegenerative Disease: An Issue Whose Time has Come?) had this to say on the subject....
"A number of small studies and anecdotal reports have been suggested that sports involving repeated head trauma may have long-term risks of neurodegenerative disease. There are now plausible mechanisms for these effects, and a recognition that these problems do not just occur in former boxers, but in a variety of sports involving repeated concussions, and possibly also in sports in which low-level head trauma is common. These neurodegenerative effects potentially include increased risks of impaired cognitive function and dementia, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."
With what we are learning about the seriousness of head injuries from FOOTBALL, HOCKEY or even SOCCER (can anyone say CTE?), we can't possibly be surprised that boxing or other full contact sports such as MMA affect the brain similarly. But.... What if I told you that boxing --- or at least training like a boxer --- has been shown to be an effective treatment for Parkinson's? Back in 2011, the journal Physical Therapy (Boxing Training for Patients with Parkinson Disease: A Case Series) said this of 2-3 sessions per week of boxing training for those dealing with Parkinson's.
"The 90-minute sessions included boxing drills and traditional stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercises. Despite the progressive nature of PD, the patients in this case series showed short-term and long-term improvements in balance, gait, activities of daily living, and quality of life after the boxing training program. A longer duration of training was necessary for patients with moderate to severe PD to show maximal training outcomes. The boxing training program was feasible and safe for these patients with PD."
In 2013, Neurorehabilitation (Community-Based Group Exercise for Persons with Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial) showed something similar. Compared to individuals who were doing TRADITIONAL STRENGTH AND CARDIO TRAINING, along with balance training (A GREAT TOOL TO ADD TO ANY PROTOCOL), "Only the boxing group demonstrated significant improvements in gait velocity and endurance over time with a medium between-group effect size for the gait endurance. Both groups demonstrated significant improvements with the balance, mobility, and quality of life with large within-group effect sizes. While groups significantly differed in balance confidence after training, both groups demonstrated improvements in most outcome measures. Supporting options for long-term community-based group exercise for persons with PD will be an important future consideration for rehabilitation professionals."
And while there is evidence from peer-review that programs like "ROCK STEADY" are working, there are literally mountains of anecdotal evidence from the tens of thousands of people who are already doing this very thing --- training as boxers for the express purpose of kicking Parkinson's ass. And honestly, what have you got to lose?
These are training sessions, not fights. In other words, you don't have to worry about getting hit. And not only can you do these workouts corporately, they could easily be modified and done on some level with a partner at home, with a minimal investment in equipment or space. If you know or love someone with Parkinson's (or it runs in your family like it does mine --- HERE) be sure to share today's post with them. And since Parkinson's is an autoimmune disease, be sure to at least browse my 'UNIVERSAL CURE' POST as well. The best way to reach the people you love and care about most? FACEBOOK, of course (just tag them).
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SYSTEMICALLY TETHERED FASCIA
A CASE HISTORY
As far as my LONG-DISTANCE PATIENTS are concerned (HERE is another example of an LDP), I'm amazed at how many of them have been intensely working on their overall health in trying to battle whatever problem they are battling. Although I have shown you any number of CASE STUDIES in the past, this one is a bit different because it's S's journey to find a solution. By the way, thanks for letting me publish this S; I promise that someone somewhere will be helped.
Hello Dr. Schierling,
I wanted to share my story with you because I know you will find it intriguing. I found your website shortly after I cracked my own mystery and was seeking help to untwist me. Twenty six years of issues. Symptoms piling up and becoming difficult to live with. I managed to work, then have 4 children and work more, but energy is low, autoimmune issues and vertigo so it's a little more interesting. I had a strong feeling that it was all physical, but couldn't put my finger on it.
4.5 years ago I started a physical treatment that shed a big light on what was going on. But it had no source or reason behind it. Treatment focused on my upper back, right shoulder and hand that had muscle atrophy (top part, I was compensating with the bottom. In fact I was compensating throughout my whole body, with different directions...). It included deep, extra deep tissue massage, to break the inflammation out of the sleeping muscles. (maybe a coma would be a better word), electric pulses to restart muscle movement and laser to wake up the nerves. 3 months into a 3 times a week very painful treatment, I started feeling the pain. Pain I didn't have for years in some parts of my body. It was mostly discomfort and tightness everywhere.
This treatment made me make a list of all my issues. I created a table, chronologically sorted, of everything I remember about my body. 3.5 pages of them [She attached this record which included things like AUTOIMMUNITY, MIGRAINE HEADACHES, A MOTORCYCLE CRASH (WHIPLASH) EAR INFECTIONS, SEVERAL SURGERIES (including the appendectomy, which caused an ABDOMINAL WALL ISSUE), several SHOULDER INJURIES, LOW BACK PAIN, VERTIGO, CHRONIC NECK PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, numerous FOOD INTOLERANCES ---- and this is just hitting some of the high points].
I also saw a Visceral Osteopath that mentioned the word fascia as related to internal organs being pulled. Nice ah? I was thinking about my appendectomy scar (1992) as a possible source for my issues, and there it was - I googled "fascia appendix scar" and wow.... It explained how my chronic neck pain and pulling sensation I was having are related to that painful scar. Yes after all these years it still hurts sometimes.
Since the article I found was related to craniosacral , I tried that. It made a minor change but nothing major. I went to a functional medicine doctor, she helped me find I have a slight leg length discrepancy (6mm). Wearing my orthotics for 3 months made my BPPV [vertigo] go away since my head wasn't constantly trying to sync with my hips. I was able to lie down without the spinning room... But my left ear balance nerve has 54% damage, so I still get dizzy and ears popping.
October 2017 I saw a physiotherapist in Israel during a family visit, who specializes in fascia - he does fascial manipulation. He recommended this treatment for me. During the treatment I found that not only the appendectomy scar is pulling my right side, but the bunion surgery I had on my left foot (8 months after appendix, at the age of 17!) is pulling down on my left. Did I say twisted? The treatment is slowly helping me gain more movement range, I stretch a lot and hope to have a straight back and normal metabolism, normal gut, normal skin... maybe just normal.
I would love to get your feedback and to send your my famous list...which my practitioner was very impressed with. So I'm pretty proud I was able to find the cause and treatment. I'm hoping it's the right one. It feels like it.
What do I have to offer you S? Other than the information in the links I provided, it's important to remember that breaking adhesed fascia is similar to playing a certain old-fashioned carnival game (HERE). There is a threshold that must be reached to break SCAR TISSUE. Fail to reach this threshold and you have done nothing to truly help the patient beyond making them feel good for the brief time they were on your table.
One of the major difference I noticed in what you've been doing and what I do in my clinic is the length of treatment time. Don't get me wrong, I have had people that I have done significant work on. However, not only is that not the norm, but people know within a treatment or two whether or not what I do is going to work (HERE). By the way, don't be afraid to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a fantastic way to reach those you love and care about most with information that could potentially be transformational for them.
GENERALLY REGARDED AS SAFE
WHY G.R.A.S IS AN OUTDATED CONCEPT
As far as the FAA was concerned for food manufacturers, getting grandfathered in on the GRAS list (Generally Regarded As Safe) was everything. As long as a food additive was in wide use prior to 1958 with no known side effects or dangers, it made the list. For instance, this meant that things like salt and pepper were on the list. But it also meant that TRANS FATS, MSG, and any number of funky additives (nitates, nitrites, BHA, etc, etc) made the list as well. Although it's possible to remove things from this list that was originally about 700 substances long, it's not easy (why do you think it took until 2015 to remove trans fats?), and new foods are being added all the time, with less regulatory oversight than you might think. Hopefully this is changing.
Days ago, the journal Pediatrics published a position paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics titled Food Additives and Child Health, which questioned the way we've been doing GRAS. Here is the opening paragraph.
"Today, more than 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food contact materials in the United States, either directly or indirectly, under the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Many of these were grandfathered in for use by the federal government before the 1958 amendment, and an estimated 1,000 chemicals are used under a 'generally recognized as safe' (GRAS) designation process without US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Yet, suggested in accumulating evidence from nonhuman laboratory and human epidemiological studies is that chemicals used in food and food contact materials may contribute to disease and disability. Children may be particularly susceptible to the effects of these compounds, given that they have higher relative exposures compared with adults (because of greater dietary intake per pound), their metabolic (ie, detoxification) systems are still developing, and key organ systems are undergoing substantial changes and maturation that are vulnerable to disruptions."
The gist of this study is that because we know more now than we did six decades ago when the original rules were written, there needs to be some re-testing performed. Why? because in a table of "foods" that were listed under GRAS, many are considered to be or cause (I am quoting here) "OBESIGENIC / ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, IMMUNOSUPPRESSION, THYROID DISPRUPTORS, CARDIOTOXIC, CARCINOGENIC, and issues with NEURODEVELOPMENT". And that's just for starters. And while toxic chemicals are not good for anyone, children, without fully developed detoxification systems (BIOTRANSFORMATION SYSTEMS) get the short shrift. The paper ends with a list of things you can do to help your family avoid exposure.
Is this call to action going to go anywhere? Not if the bigs have their way (Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Chemical / Big Oil, etc). That's why it would be a good idea to contact your elected representatives on this issue ("some recommendations could be accomplished by the FDA, whereas others may require congressional action to change the current law"). At the very least, make sure people learn about this issue by helping it make the rounds on FACEBOOK. Thanks!
WHY SHOULD YOU WORK TO AVOID BACK SURGERY / BACK INJURY?
THE THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA
The TLF is a girdling structure consisting of several aponeurotic and fascial layers that separates the paraspinal muscles from the muscles of the posterior abdominal wall. The superficial lamina of the posterior layer of the TLF (PLF) is dominated by the aponeuroses of the latissimus dorsi and the serratus posterior inferior. The deeper lamina of the PLF forms an encapsulating retinacular sheath around the paraspinal muscles. The middle layer of the TLF (MLF) appears to derive from an intermuscular septum that developmentally separates the epaxial from the hypaxial musculature. This septum forms during the fifth and sixth weeks of gestation. The paraspinal retinacular sheath (PRS) is in a key position to act as a ‘hydraulic amplifier’, assisting the paraspinal muscles in supporting the lumbosacral spine. This sheath forms a lumbar interfascial triangle (LIFT) with the MLF and PLF. Along the lateral border of the PRS, a raphe forms where the sheath meets the aponeurosis of the transversus abdominis. This lateral raphe is a thickened complex of dense connective tissue marked by the presence of the LIFT, and represents the junction of the hypaxial myofascial compartment (the abdominal muscles) with the paraspinal sheath of the epaxial muscles. The lateral raphe is in a position to distribute tension from the surrounding hypaxial and extremity muscles into the layers of the TLF. This complex composite of fascia and aponeurotic tissue is continuous with paraspinal fascia in the thoracic and cervical regions, eventually fusing to the cranial base. Numerous trunk and extremity muscles with a wide range of thicknesses and geometries insert into the connective tissue planes of the TLF, and can play a role in modulating the tension and stiffness of this structure
Although this is a lot to digest, I want you to take away three main concepts: firstly, that the Thoracolumbar Fascia is intimately related to structures as distant as the CERVICAL FASCIA. Secondly, "what is traditionally labeled as TLF is in reality a complex arrangement of multilayered fascial planes and aponeurotic sheets". In other words, the Thoracolumbar Fascia is made up of at least three large layers of fascia and "APONEUROSES" that are not strictly attached together, but actually glide on each other. Or at least they should glide on each other in people not struggling with chronic low back pain (take 10 seconds to play THESE VIDEOS side by side in order to see the difference in the TLF of those with low back pain -vs- those without). And thirdly, fascia is used as a leverage tool to gain mechanical advantage for both movement and structural support (FASCIA IN BIOMECHANICS).
Thanks to our national OBESITY EPIDEMIC, the fact that we are the INFLAMMATION NATION (which always ends up causing scar tissue and fibrosis --- HERE), too much sitting and staring at screens, sedentary lifestyles, spending way to much time on CONCRETE or other hard surfaces, etc, etc; not only are back problems common, but back surgeries are common as well. This most recent study (Acute Surgical Injury Alters the Tensile Properties of Thoracolumbar Fascia in a Porcine Model), published in the October 2018 issue of Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, came to some conclusions which, if you've been following research on the TL spine, will not surprise you.
In this study, pigs were used because their Thoracolumbar Fascia has been shown to "produce similar results to those observed in humans". It's now common knowledge that injured fascia (it doesn't matter how the fascia is injured --- acute, chronic, surgical, etc) becomes thickened and dense (HERE and HERE). Controls were compared to pigs with "microsurgically induced local injury," with only one side of the TLF of the experimental group of pigs being 'injured'. After a healing process, tissue was harvested from the "noninjured side of vertebral level L3-4 in pigs randomized into either control or injured groups." What did the team discover?
After putting the harvested tissues through a wide range of intricate tests to check the biomechanical integrity of the TLF, it was determined that the uninjured side of the experimental group's thoracolumbar fascia had "more tissue stiffness, less energy dissipation, and less stress decay [it took longer for the injured TLF to dissipate the energy it could dissipate]." Bottom line, the authors stated that "These findings suggest that a focal thoracolumbar injury can produce impairments in tissue mechanical properties away from the injured area itself. This could contribute to some of the functional abnormalities observed in human LBP." Bear in mind that while the "injuries" for this study were created surgically, the gist of the study was not necessarily surgery but back injuries in general.
I realize that in some cases surgery is inevitable --- I get it. However, studies like this show that disruption of the fascia can screw people up in ways that no one (particularly those in the surgical field) was thinking about just one short decade ago. And here's the kicker --- creating problems in the Thoracolumbar Fascia can mimic signs of disc problems (chronic severe pain and SCIATICA), the very reason people tend to have surgery in the first place. Listen to this piece taken from the 2015 book, Nerves and Nerve Injuries: Pain, Treatment, Injury, Disease and Future Directions (Vol 2).....
"The superior cluneal nerves arise from the dorsal rami of the first three levels of the lumbar spine. There are typically three superior cluneal nerves.... The medial superior cluneal nerve arises from the L1. The intermediate superior cluneal nerve arises from the L2 and the lateral superior cluneal nerve arises from the L3. Each of these pass through the psoas major muscle and then the paraspinal muscles to run in the plane between the quadratus lumborum muscle and the anterior layer of the thoracolumbar fascia. They then pierce the inferior aspect of the latissimus dorsi muscle and travel through the thoracolumbar fascia before crossing the posterior iliac crest."
I show you this because PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME is frequently mistaken for disc herniations (MOST OF WHICH ARE HARMLESS ANYWAY). Furthermore, PS is frequently not recognized for what it really is, CLUNEAL NERVE ENTRAPMENT. Where could the three cluneal nerve branches become entrapped? As you saw in the quote above, the TLF would be the most likely culprit (see link). There are two ideas I want you to take away from this study.
The first is that as you learn more and more about FASCIA, you start to see why years ago Dr. Langevin (a Harvard-trained neurologist and renowned acupuncturist) was already saying that problems in the fascia are at the very root not only of pain, but of sickness and disease as well (HERE). Secondly, there are action steps you can be taking to either avoid ending up with serious back issues, or just as importantly, taking control of your life if you've already had a back surgery.
Although I would strongly suggest you talk to your physician before reading any further, THIS POST ON THE THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA happens to have a list that could help you in this endeavor --- a list that is actually a specialized portion of THIS LIST. If you like what you are seeing on our site, be sure to spread the wealth by showing us some love on FACEBOOK. And for those of you who consider yourself "fascia hounds," you might want to take a look at our FASCIA SUPER-POST --- it contains all 175+ posts I've written on the subject neatly categorized for easy access.
QUICK AND AMAZING RESULTS TREATING A PERSON WHO STRUGGLED WITH DECADES OF CHRONIC BACK AND NECK PAINRead Now
CHRONIC BACK & NECK PAIN: RESULTS RULE
A VIDEO TESTIMONIAL
Dean has dealt with CHRONIC BACK & NECK PAIN, in his words, since he was 15 years old. After treating him for the first time back in the winter (yesterday was either his second or third visit), I asked if he would be willing to do a video for us, talking about his experience here. He agreed, and although he didn't think he did a good job (he walked away from the camera at the end saying "that was stupid"), his testimonial is anything but.
In fact, Dean did an excellent job of conveying what sets our clinic apart from so many others --- the fact that we work to solve people's chronic issues QUICKLY. No games. No sales pitches or pre-pays. And no long care plans. Just click the link to see what I'm talking about. What's doubly crazy about Dean's story is that his wife actually came in first and got even better results than he did (we'll try and get a video up next week).
If you know someone who who is struggling with chronic pain; someone who needs to see this or OTHER SIMILAR, for Pete's sake, get it in front of them! One of the easiest ways to reach the people you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK. Oh; be sure to catch Dean and some of our unnamed friends from On Time (V & S, we love you) speaking about the scourge of human trafficking at Timber Ridge Baptist Church in Marshfield (HERE).
THE SACROILIAC JOINT
A COMMON CAUSE OF PAIN IN THE HIP, BUTT, AND PELVIS
The Sacroiliac Joint is just that ---- an articulation between the sacrum (tailbone) and the illiacus / illium (the bones you put your hands on when you put your hands on your "hips"), which looks like an earthquake fault on either side of the Sacrum. When the SI becomes dysfunctional, the end result is usually local pain (pain as the SI joint). However, because such a huge percentage of the body's muscles attach to the pelvic girdle, it's not uncommon to get an array of symptoms that can be confusing because they are distant to the sacroiliac.
If you stand up and feel at your belt line just above and lateral to the very tip top of the crack of your rear end, you will notice a bony bump on either side. These are the Sacroiliac Joints (SI's), and the bony bumps are called the PSIS's (Posterior Superior Illiac Spine's). Sacroiliac Joints are incredibly strong because they are held together with lots and lots of heavy duty ligaments that cover both the outside of the joint, front and back, as well as the inside of the joint. Because of the great number of ligaments, sprains and strains of the SI are common.
Pictured below are the ligaments that cover the SI Joints. The huge ligament at the lower portion of the sacrum (the sacrotuberous ligament that runs from the sacrum to the ischial tuberosity or "butt bone" / sits bone) is so strong that in over 50% of the population there are actually large muscle groups that anchor themselves to it --- namely the long head of the hamstring muscle. This means that chronic hamstring problems can contribute to chronic pelvis or sacroiliac problems and vice versa.
Bear in mind that because PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME and sacroiliac problems can look so similar to each other (they both cause SCIATICA as well), they are frequently mistaken for DISC HERNIATIONS or DEGENERATIVE DISCS. Part of this confusion is created by the fact that if you were to shoot lumbosacral MRI's of the adult population --- 50-75% of these MRI's will show both degeneration and disc herniation ---- even though they have zero pain or symptoms (HERE). Even though he was specifically talking about SHOULDER / ROTATOR CUFF PROBLEMS, this is what led history's greatest sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, of Birmingham, Alabama to proclaim, "if you want an excuse to do surgery, just do an MRI."
Due to abnormal gait patterns, old injuries, falls, pulled hamstrings, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, hormonal changes, poor posture, pregnancies, or just plain being female (yep; on top of everything else, women get the short end of the stick with sacroiliac problems as well), the SI joints can begin moving and functioning improperly. Bear in mind that there are several disease process that can also result in sacroiliac dysfunction (Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, etc). These are not the thrust of this article.
Although there are plenty of people whose SI problem creates a sharp and severe type of pain, a far more common scenario is having a dull, nagging ache in the area of the buttock and PSIS. In my experience, the majority of these cases are relieved with activity and movement (walking, stretching, horseback riding, etc) ----- while sitting or lying down often seems to make it worse. As is the case with virtually any joint dysfunction, the longer it goes on, the greater the chances of wearing the joint and developing JOINT DEGENERATION. It's a particularly big deal because loss of normal joint function causes deterioration, and deterioration causes loss of normal joint function.
The medical community's "Gold Standard" for diagnosing a chronic sacroiliac problem is to put injections into the SI joint (often guided by a CT SCAN) and see if it relieves the pain. If so, you can officially say that you have an SI problem. For the record, this is yet another arena where numerous studies have shown that diagnostic imaging does not correlate well to patient symptoms (HERE).
One quick note; in similar fashion to piriformis syndrome, SI problems do not respond to Spinal Decompression Therapy. I bring this up because along with CLUNEAL NERVE ENTRAPMENTS, they are frequently mistaken for disc issues because they are ONE OF THE MANY POTENTIAL CAUSES OF SCIATICA, and also happen to be a common cause of BUTTOCK AND / OR HIP PAIN as well.
PELVIC TORQUE SEEN VIA X-RAY
Part of the reason I spent today discussing the SI joint is because this problem is so common (it's not terribly uncommon to see people resorting to braces and SI belts). Furthermore, I see many people struggling for years --- sometimes decades --- with what's been labeled as an SI problem. Be aware that it is ultra common for these to actually be caused by FASCIAL ADHESIONS in the muscles that anchor to the pelvic girdle (HIP FLEXOR included). If you aren't sure what's going on with your SI, come see me and let's see if we can get it figured out.
What separates my clinic from many others is that I don't mess around --- in most cases you will know in a single visit if I can help you with your pain --- even if your particular issue is long-standing and chronic (HERE). And if your problem is chronic, I may recommend some ancillary forms of treatment that you can do on your own to help balance your core and reduce the flood of inflammation that's likely contributing to your pain and dysfunction (HERE). If you know someone who could benefit from the work we do here, be sure and forward this information to them. And don't be afraid to show us some love on FACEBOOK either, as it is a great way to reach those you love and care about most.
ANTIBIOTICS AND THE BROKEN RECORD
DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM, DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM, DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM.....
I realize that antibiotics can and do save lives. However, the antibiotics prescribed in America in non-hospital settings have nothing whatsoever to do with saving lives. The harsh reality is that every time you take antibiotics, you set yourself up for the next round of antibiotics. How so? Because 80% of your immune system resides in your Gut in the form of bacteria. Kill these bacteria and you end up not only with immune system dysfunction (yes, antibiotics are heavily linked to AUTOIMMUNITY), but you are more likely to wind up with an array of nasty health issues, including asthma, allergies, obesity and cancer (HERE).
Yet another study (this one from yesterday's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine --- Comparison of Antibiotic Prescribing in Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Emergency Departments, and Traditional Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States) gave us still another taste of just how screwed up things really are in the arena of antibiotic prescription.
"Only 60% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the United States are written in traditional ambulatory care settings ('medical offices') and emergency departments (EDs). Antibiotic prescriptions were linked to 39% of 2.7 million urgent care center visits 36.4% of 58,206 retail clinic visits, 13.8% of 4.8 million ED visits, and 7.1% of 148.5 million medical office visits. Among visits for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses, antibiotic prescribing was highest in urgent care centers."
How bad was the "inappropriate" antibiotic prescription issue in the urgent care setting? If you were given antibiotics, which as you can see above, 4 of 10 patients were, nearly 1 in 2 was by definition, unnecessary (the ED was 25%). Again, this shows that despite decades of attempting to educate both physicians and the general public about this issue, the message continues to hit a brick wall.
"Previous work [LAST YEAR] demonstrated that in the 2010-2011 period at least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions written in physician offices and EDs were unnecessary. The finding of the present study that antibiotic prescribing for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses was highest in urgent care centers suggests that unnecessary antibiotic prescribing nationally in all outpatient settings may be higher than the estimated 30%."
Look folks, it's 2018, and if you're taking antibiotics for non-life threatening issues (colds, FLU, upper respiratory infections which are virtually 100% viral, SINUS INFECTIONS, etc) --- EVEN "RARELY" --- stop it already! And if you are living the HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE on top of taking said antibiotics, you are providing the fuel for both the infection and the subsequent dysbiosis that's sure to follow (HERE). Looking for a better way? Want to get off the medical merry-go-round and start taking control of your life? HERE IS THE POST for you. And if you appreciate this sort of information, be sure to share it with those you love and care about most via FACEBOOK.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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