What is it?
Back pain is an ongoing aching, soreness, and/or strained feeling in the back anywhere from the shoulders to the hips. It occurs in everyone at some point in life. It can result from some acute injury as well as chronic strain from poor posture, excessive weight, or both. Some health conditions, such as kidney infection, can cause severe pain and soreness in the mid portion of the back. You should always consult with your doctor about any unexplained back pain to be sure that you are not suffering from some illness that requires immediate treatment.
What causes it?
For chronic back pain that results from ongoing strain due to weight, cause is related to your body’s attempts to adjust your form to your changing body shape. As weight increases, abdominal size expands forward, causing stress along the ligaments and muscles connecting the vertebrae and collagen discs; the result – chronic pain.
What role might cytokines play?
There is evidence that cytokines produced by fat cells may lead to direct injury of collagen, weakening the ligaments, tendons, and spinal discs. Fat cells also produce inflaming cytokine proteins that may damage the lining of joints, including the small joints separating each vertebrae that allow you to easily bend, twist, and stretch the spine.
What results could I expect with MNT?
The MNT Plan will reduce the excessive weight and cytokines that contribute to back strain. Based on over a decade of clinical experience, 67 percent of patients who visit our clinic can discontinue medication for back pain within six months after they begin using the MNT Plan combined with physical therapy or rehabilitative exercise. For those taking anti-inflammatory medications for back pain, there’s an added bonus of stomach complaints improving – both from the reduced need to take the anti-inflammatory medications AND from eliminating irritating foods using the MNT Food Phase approach to identify those causing digestive problems.
How can I measure symptom change on the plan?
First, you need to be clear about what is causing your back pain. If you’re overweight, work in a job that requires lifting and other strenuous activities, or have recently strained your back, you should talk to your doctor about the benefits of the MNT Plan as well as physical therapy / rehabilitative exercise. If your back pain has occurred recently without explanation or apparent cause, your doctor will need to determine if there might be a more serious illness causing your discomfort that requires treatment.
Next, you want to have a measurement of how severe your back pain is on a daily basis. This will give you a “baseline” to compare with future measurements.
Most importantly, you (and your doctor) need a way to measure progress over time. Talk with your doctor at each regular visit about your symptoms and how they have changed using the Plan.
As with any medical condition, treatment traditionally means taking medications to reduce symptoms. A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can be taken to reduce the pain and inflammation in your back. With MNT, you may find that you will need to take less medication OR perhaps discontinue your medications entirely. If you are taking prescription medicines, talk to your doctor about when and how to cut down on what you take BEFORE you make any changes.