Research Suggests Pregabalin (Lyrica) Does Not Effectively Control Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a chronic condition that cannot be “cured,” although it often be improved and maintained over the long term. Patients can work with a doctor of chiropractic, to reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Stenosis:

  • Pain triggered by walking or prolonged standing, which is usually improved by sitting in a forward-leaning flexed position
  • Numbness, tingling, and hot or cold feelings in the legs
  • Muscle weakness and spasms

Older adults often are hunched over or walking with a cane or walker due to this pain, which is described as tingling or numbness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs.  

Recently, researchers analyzed the effects of Pregabalin on the leg symptoms of 29 spinal stenosis patients and found no differences in the time it took to experience moderate pain by walking on the treadmill whether receiving a placebo or Pregabalin.

“Chronic low back pain is one of the most common reasons why older adults go to the doctor and lumbar stenosis is the leading indication for surgery in this age group … while physicians have increasingly looked for medication alternatives to opioid pain medication like gabapentin and pregabalin to help these patients manage their pain, until now there has been no credible evidence as to whether or not these treatments are effective for this problem.”

Pregabalin (Lyrica) is an anti-seizure medication, often used as a chronic pain treatment for shingles, spinal cord injury, fibromyalgia, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but is also used as an off-label treatment for chronic low back pain syndromes like lumbar spinal stenosis.

 “Given the cost and potential side effects associated with pregabalin, it is critical that we understand the efficacy of this drug,” Markman continued. “This study convincingly demonstrates a lack of relief with pregabalin for the walking pain associated with lumbar spinal stenosis.”

In addition, Pregabalin (Lyrica) taken for a long time, will deplete Vitamin B1 and Vitamin D.  Chronic Vitamin B1 depletion can cause pricking and burning sensation in the toes and feet, leg cramps and atrophy or wasting of the muscles and difficulty walking – some of the same symptoms the drug is initially being prescribed for!

Chronic lack of Vitamin D  may also have a role in neurological disorders (movement disorders, lack of self-sufficiency) and worsening functional status due to muscle weakness, instability and falls.

Preliminary studies of chiropractic care for lumbar stenosis have all demonstrated positive results.

Surgery may not have a better outcome for stenosis than conservative care like chiropractic. A study of more than 650 spinal stenosis patients who had surgery or received nonsurgical treatment showed that for the first several years, patients who had surgery had better outcomes. However, after eight years of follow-up, there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of pain, functioning or disability, according to the study in the January 15, 2014, issue of the journal Spine. Furthermore, of the patients who had surgery, 18 percent had repeat surgery for recurrent spinal stenosis within eight years, said study leader Dr. Jon Lurie and colleagues in a journal news release. The study authors are from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

Neurology. 2015 Jan 20;84(3):265-72. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001168. Epub 2014 Dec 10.  Double-blind, randomized, controlled, crossover trial of pregabalin for neurogenic claudication.

Markman JD1, Frazer ME2, Rast SA2, McDermott MP2, Gewandter JS2, Chowdhry AK2, Czerniecka K2, Pilcher WH2, Simon LS2, Dworkin RH2.

J Chiropractic Med. 2009 Jun; 8(2): 77–85. doi:  10.1016/j.jcm.2009.02.001 PMCID: PMC2780929  Chiropractic treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis: a review of the literature Kent Stuber,a, Sandy Sajko,b and Kevyn Kristmansonc

Vnitr Lek. 2012 May;58(5):393-5. [Vitamin D and neurological diseases]. [Article in Czech]  Polívka J1, Polívka J Jr, Peterka M, Rohan V, Sevčík P, Topolčan O.

Lower Back Pain and Chiropractic Care

Many studies have shown that the use of Chiropractic care is safer and often more effective than surgery.

A common pain-sensing nerve of the spine is located in the facet joints,  two interlocking joints at each disc level that are located to the left and right behind the disc. The normally smooth surfaces on which these joints glide, can become rough, irritated, and inflamed when the biomechanics of the low back joints become impaired for any reason causing pain, loss of work and untold suffering.

Another cause of lower back pain can be a bulging or herniated disc putting pressure on the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root. The result is often numbness, tingling, or pain down in the leg. Cutting away the herniated disc tissue can permanently alter its ability to separate and cushion the underlying structural causes of the problem.

Stenosis is a diagnosis associated with chronic pain where the holes that contain either the spinal cord or nerve roots become smaller than they should be due to disc degeneration, arthritis or bones that slide forward (anterolisthesis). Surgical intervention should always be the last resort for this or any other type of back pain and often times even with severe disc degeneration or stenosis a patient can manage their condition quite well with Chiropractic and a good home exercise program.

Low back pain results in millions of dollars of lost work affecting up to 8 out of 10 adult Americans over their lifetime.

Many factors can be responsible for low back pain. Improper sitting or lifting, overexertion, trauma, and even inherited spinal abnormalities may contribute to the cause of low back pain.

The chiropractic approach is to help restore a normal motion and position of affected spinal bones with specific chiropractic adjustments. The simplicity and success of this approach have been documented in many studies and had helped countless patients avoid risky surgery.

Contact our Doctors of Chiropractic for your low back pain today!

Learning to Live with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain – kind of pain that is persistent and appears permanent, lasting longer than three to six months.

In my years of practice, I have had to deal with the results of overmedicating for chronic pain more often than I believe is necessary. I have seen patients with pain medication addiction issues, kidney issues and liver issues (hepatitis can occur even with over the counter pain medication if the doses are large enough for long enough.) As someone who has lived with chronic pain her entire life and made a career of helping others with chronic pain, I decided it’s time to address this issue.

In a poll recently released by the American Osteopathic Association, 70% of Americans stated they or someone they care for had experienced pain in the prior 30 days and that more than 76 million Americans live with chronic pain making chronic pain more common than heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

“Chronic pain is a very serious and unaddressed public health issue, and many people are reluctant to speak to their physician for fear of feeling hopeless, or simply not knowing how to initiate the conversation. It is important for physicians and their patients to work together to address the issue of pain,” said Dr. Robert I. Danoff, of Aria Health System in Philadelphia, in an AOA news release.

Here were some of the survey responses that shocked me:

  • 48 percent of surveyed respondents did not believe that proper treatment can ease chronic pain.
  • 41 percent believe pain is a normal part of aging, and 10 percent simply ignore the pain.
  • 31 percent would not speak to a doctor about their pain for fear they could not afford treatment.

Here are some of the responses that I personally agree with having had personal experience with managing my pain in early adulthood with acetaminophen with codeine that I could still be on today had I not decided to do things differently. (While there are some patients I do recommend pain medication care to, I spend more time helping people do better without them than with them.) Long-term pain medication should be the absolute last resort.

  • 36 percent would refuse doctor-recommended or doctor-prescribed pain medication for fear of becoming addicted.
  • 34 percent believe pain medications that cause side effects are worse than pain itself.

Proper treatment can ease chronic pain.
This is only true if you define what proper treatment is. The problem I find, with regular medicine is that because chronic pain doesn’t fit the acute uncomplicated “got pain, take a pill and let’s hope it resolves” profile that when it doesn’t resolve with medication the patient is often referred for physical therapy, which may help if it is what the patient needs. If medications and physical therapy fail, the physician is generally stymied and the patient becomes, by default, a candidate for long term narcotic pain medication or pain management.

So often these patients come to us not wanting narcotic drugs or pain shots. Proper treatment for these patients may end up involving the changing of their shoes (maybe they have great orthotics in shoes that are so worn they are bound to have back pain or maybe they just need orthotics). We may advocate a new mattress or different sleeping positions, we may have to determine when the pain is worse and what habit behavior they are involved in when it becomes worse (I can’t tell you how many patients with neck or low back pain that is worse at night get out of their recliner or off their favorite couch/chair and do better). Knowing our patients and what they want to do, try to do and the habit patterns involved in their pain means patients who have not responded to conventional treatment can begin to respond.

Pain is a normal part of aging and so it is OK to ignore the pain
YoYo Ma said, “if you live to be 40 and haven’t experienced pain, you haven’t lived.” I think this is a valid statement. That 10 percent who simply ignore pain, however, confounds me.
If you had a smoke detector going off in your house I hope you wouldn’t just pull the battery out of the alarm and say “problem resolved.” When we ignore pain, we do exactly that. Our bodies create the sensation of pain to tell us to slow down or stop this activity. Pain is the body’s way of telling the brain that in this moment the activity we are trying to do should not be done.

Now, I certainly don’t advocate bed rest or lack of motion as an answer to chronic pain, but I also do not recommend the taking of an over the counter or prescription pain medicine to alleviate the annoying or uncomfortable pain so that you can do the very task the pain is telling you not to do . . . . I am firmly convinced this is why so many can’t get better. They turn off the body’s smoke alarm with pain medication and then wonder why the pain consumes us much like fire will consume a home.

I won’t speak to the doctor because I can’t afford treatment
I know that in my practice we will work with anyone who is genuinely trying to work with us, being compliant with their care plan and working out affordable financing and I know that I am not the only physician out there who is like this.

This statement concerns me though when this belief is more of a value issue than a financial issue. I have heard patients say they can’t afford the care and in the next breath they are telling my staff about the trip they are planning, the car they are buying, the extra channels they want on their satellite TV. I am not saying that these patients shouldn’t have these things, but I am saying that if working to reduce their pain had value they would put these items on hold for a while and take care of themselves so they could really enjoy their trip, or get into and out of their new car, or sit to watch that new TV channel on a slightly different timeline. They would put their health first.

The Treatment of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain treatment needs to be as individualized as the patient. In my lifetime, I have experienced things that seemed to help and then as my needs changed so did the treatment. Orthopedic shoes gave me relief for a few years as a child. A heel lift gave me relief as a teen/young adult. Chiropractic and acupuncture have always given relief but not necessarily the same techniques of adjustments or listings for the adjustments and the acupuncture points have changed over time also. Treatment is always tailored to the needs of the body in that moment.

Other factors have become very apparent to me in dealing with my own chronic pain issues and they include:

Dehydration – if you want to feel pain, stay dehydrated. Up to 70% of Americans are dehydrated. They either just don’t consume enough water or they consume enough caffeine, salt, and sugar that the water they consume isn’t enough.
Sugar – the more you eat, the more you challenge your body. To get rid of excess sugar your body has to go into overdrive to remove the extra sugar from your bloodstream. This form of damage control leaves your body with less basic metabolic energy for healing and repair. Ask any diabetic how they feel overall when their sugar is high. They ache all over and they heal more slowly.
Caffeine – is a diuretic and as such will leave you dehydrated elevating your pain levels. Caffeine is also a stimulant and it will raise pain levels much as kerosene thrown on a fire will make the flames bigger and hotter. Want to hurt worse? Use caffeine (the only exceptions here would be certain types of headaches.) I personally love it when I ask how much caffeine a chronic pain patient consumes and hear about the 18-oz coffee and the 32-oz big gulp of caffeinated soda. By eliminating the caffeine altogether we often see a remarkable drop in pain levels. These patients generally have a really bad headache for a day or two also as they come off of the drug we call caffeine. Many who have high blood pressure will see it drop also as a result of removing caffeine from their diet.
Inflammatory foods – American’s love foods that are fully loaded with omega 6 fatty acids. These acids create an inflammatory response making it really hard for the pain to resolve. Nutritional counseling, the addition of omega 3 fatty acids and time for it all to register with the body, make this an important pain management tool for many patients.

Taking care of these four things and being evaluated for manual medicine should be alternatives to living with chronic pain that every American with chronic pain should consider.

Jenny L Crosby DC
www.crosbychiropractic.com
(636) 928-5588

Leaky Gut and Metabolic Syndrome

There are two types of fat in our bodies. Subcutaneous fat, (the fat you see on the back of your arms, your belly and your legs) and visceral fat which can’t be seen as it is in your abdominal cavity surrounding your organs.

Overabundance of visceral fat, in conjunction with high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, a high A1c, blood glucose levels that are too high (or are erratic) and high levels of cholesterol make up what we call “metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome can be deadly, as it greatly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Diet and exercise will help keep visceral fat levels to a minimum, however having a healthy digestive tract may help also.

New research from Sweden has discovered a link between leaky gut (intestinal permeability) and visceral fat. Leaky gut is a condition that occurs because of spaces in the membrane lining your intestinal wall. These tiny spaces allow materials that should never leave your digestive tract to escape into your bloodstream. Candida yeast overgrowth, food sensitivities, undigested food particles or waste products will inflame and irritate your intestinal lining, eventually compromising its integrity and allowing a flow of particles to “leak out” into your bloodstream. The leaking particles, in turn, prompt an inflammatory reaction from your body that can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

Leaky gut syndrome is often associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, but even healthy people can have varying degrees of intestinal permeability. In fact, Swedish study involved healthy women, not those with a health condition that would normally signal a problem with leaky gut. This becomes important because it may mean that you could have a leaky gut causing you to carry higher levels of visceral fat, which may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Anything that can upset the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract can encourage damage to your intestinal lining resulting in leaky gut. Too much sugar, antibiotics, food sensitivities to name a few are things that can result in your gut flora being out of balance Simply altering your diet to avoid processed foods and focusing on whole (ideally locally grown organic) foods will make a big dent! That change alone will dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and fructose you consume, as well as automatically limit your exposure to antibiotics and agricultural chemical.

The following symptoms are all signs that unhealthy bacteria are dominating your gastrointestinal tract and may be associated with leaky gut: gas/bloating, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, sugar cravings.

Testing can be done to ascertain if you have yeast overgrowth, a food sensitivity or a bacterial imbalance that may be predisposing you to metabolic syndrome and leaky gut. Prebiotics and probiotics as foods or supplements may be incorporated as part of treatment.

One of the simplest and most effective steps you can take for your health and weight is to limit your intake of sugar and grains, as they serve as food sources for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi, which crowd our your good bacteria and upset the delicate balance in your gut.

Exercise not only lowers inflammation in your body, it is also a great way to combat visceral fat.

So while the dietary approaches mentioned above will be key for preventing and recovering from leaky gut, a comprehensively diagnostic work up that identifies gut health issues and a treatment plan that identified foods to avoid and exercise programs will be the best way for keeping away dangerous visceral fat, minimizing the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

Dr Crosby and the Doctors at Crosby Chiropractic Centre can do these evaluations for any patient, (636) 928-5588

 

Part One: Iodine and Thyroid Health

Most of us think of iodine as a topical antiseptic agent used to prevent skin infections. Iodine also has many critical functions inside the body, one of which is to enable the cells of the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development. Iodine is critical in these roles in neonatal development and in infants and children. In addition, iodine functions as an antioxidant and has a role in the healthy functioning of brain, breast, stomach, heart, and prostate tissue (These functions of iodine will be addressed in Part Two). Iodine may also help with immunity and it may reduce diabetes risk. Low levels of iodine cause hypothyroidism, goiter, mental retardation and other developmental abnormalities.

Americans traditionally feel that they obtain enough iodine through iodized salt. With many people on salt restricted diets or using Kosher salt, and with the amount of iodine in soil varying substantially by region iodine deficiency has actually become a very real concern.1 Worldwide, it’s thought that up to 40 percent of the population is at risk for having low iodine levels.2 Low levels of iodine in young (childbearing) women is of particular concern because this population is most at risk for deficiency and iodine deficiency while pregnant carries a high risk of developmental abnormalities of the brain.3

The American Thyroid Association recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women take a vitamin with iodine because low iodine can increase the risk of miscarriage and thyroid problems in moms, in addition to mental disabilities in babies.

The thyroid gland absorbs iodine from the blood and uses it to make thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which contain three and four atoms of iodine per molecule respectively. This mineral is therefore absolutely critical for normal thyroid hormone production.

What Causes Iodine Deficiency?

Foods high in iodine include dried seaweed, cod, iodized salt (fortified), baked potato with peel, milk, shrimp, fish sticks, turkey breast, navy beans, tuna canned in oil, and boiled eggs. However, many substances we are exposed to daily compete with iodine for absorption in the body. Some of the foods we consider to be the healthiest such broccoli, arugula, cabbage and Brussels sprouts – are all goitrogens, preventing the uptake and use of iodine. Spinach and peaches also act as weak goitrogens.

Additionally, iodine is a halide and other members of the halide family – bromide, chlorine and fluoride – compete with iodine for absorption. So drinking chlorinated and fluoridated water and using fluoridated toothpaste or other dental hygiene products make it harder for us to absorb iodine. When iodine is deficient, these other halides, each of them toxic, will take iodine’s place in the thyroid impairing the thyroids ability to produce thyroid hormones.4

Bromide has replaced iodine as a dough conditioner in many bread products so even ingesting bread can enable iodine deficiency. Bromide is also in some sodas such as Mountain Dew® and Sun Drop®, as well as some Gatorade® products and other citrus-flavored beverages, and bromide is commonly used in hot tubs and spas. Additionally, vegetables are often contaminated with bromide which is used as a fumigant in agriculture.

Restoring Iodine Levels

Iodine deficiency is a common but often undetected problem. Deficiency can be identified with a simple 24-hour urine test. Treating deficiency should include eating foods high in iodine, avoiding foods and halides that are detrimental to iodine uptake and supplementing with selenium, magnesium, Vitamin C and glutathione to allow for better use of iodine within the body.

Trace Minerals/B12, Iodomere and Prolamine Iodine by Standard Process are the 3 food based sources of iodine used by our doctors. If you have the symptoms of hypothyroid and are concerned they may be due to an iodine deficiency, it is simple to order an iodine urine test and get you started on the appropriate source of iodine, should you be insufficient. Call (636)928-5588 to schedule an appointment today!

References:

  1. Hetzel BS and Clugston GA. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th edition. Shils M, et al. eds. Baltimore, MD. Williams & Wilkins. 1999; 253-64.
  2. http://www.thyroid.org/faq-iodine-deficiency/
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/pdf/4Page_%202nd%20Nutrition%20Report_508_032912.pdf
  4. Velicky J, et al. Ann Anat. 1997:179(5):421-31.

 

 

 

 

What Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers Need To Know About Chiropractic Care

Multiple sclerosis can be a moderate inconvenience to one person while being life changing to someone else. Every day, research advances bring new medications to light for MS patients.

One not-so-new treatment that many MS patient find relief with would be chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care is a wonderful option for the MS patient who wants to reduce pain without using more medication to do so.

Recently, Erin Elster, D.C. published a study in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research that showed correction of upper neck injuries may be able to reverse the progression of MS. Dr. Elster, gathered data from 44 MS patients who had been receiving chiropractic care over a period of 5 years, and established that 91% of them showed an improvement in their pain and their MS symptoms.

While this study is too small to predict whether or not MS symptoms can be alleviated or reversed through chiropractic care, the fact that chiropractic is a safe way to minimize pain associated with altered neurologic function and altered mechanics have been shown to be effective.

If you suffer from MS, please discuss your chiropractic options with your health care provider. If you’re not currently seeing a Doctor of Chiropractic, you are welcome to chat with our doctors in a 15 minute, no charge consultation and we can start to explore how our doctors may be able to help you.

 

Resolving to Quit Smoking?

1. Acupuncture Is Very Effective To Help Stop Smoking.
In a recent study, “Alternative Smoking Cessation Aids: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” researchers gathered data from 14 different studies to see which alternative techniques helped patients stop smoking. The acupuncture studies examined 823 different patients. The researchers concluded that both acupuncture and hypnotherapy may help patients quit smoking.
Acupuncture stops jitters, curbs cravings, lessens irritability and restlessness, increases relaxation and helps detoxify the body. It can also restore balance in your constitution and jumpstart the healing process.

2. Acupuncture Can Reduce Cravings, But It Can’t Change Habits.
Physical cravings are only one aspect of cigarette addiction. Many times, the habit of smoking is harder to stop than the physical addiction.
If smoking is part of a daily ritual, not smoking can make your day feel “off.” All of this is normal and challenging. Get rid of the ashtrays, re-arrange your favorite smoking areas to make them smoker unfriendly, get your car detailed and make it smoke free, tell your friends, family and co-workers your quit date. Recruit the smokers closest to you to quit with you.

Use all the support systems you have available. Get help from family and friends. Join a support group. Exercise. Find new smoke-free activities.
Stopping a smoking addiction requires support—physically, emotionally and socially.

3. Supplements Can Help With Cravings.
Smoking, like sugar, raises serotonin levels (one reasons why those who quit smoking gain weight). Serotonin building blocks like 5-HTP help support serotonin levels. We offer pharmaceutical grade 5-HTP sources tailored to your needs.

Avoiding Anemia

Feel tired all the time? You may be anemic!

If you feel tired and weak you may have anemia. When the number of red blood cells or your hemoglobin level is too low, your body can’t get all of the oxygen it needs, this can leave you feeling very tired and may even affect your ability to concentrate. Anemia can also cause shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, pale skin, or cold hands and feet.

Anemia may be mild and short term but can become serious if left untreated for a long period of time. Anemia is often easily preventable or correctable if it is due to lack of specific nutrients. The most common forms of anemia are blood loss anemia, folic acid deficiency, B12 deficiency and iron deficiency.

Anemia is very common and occurs in all age, racial, and ethnic groups. Both men and women can have anemia although women of childbearing age are at higher risk for anemia due to their menstrual cycles.

In addition to needing iron, folic acid (folate), or vitamin B12 your body also needs small amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, and copper to make red blood cells. Issues of malabsorption can make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients required to making enough red blood cells.

Iron rich foods include beef and other red meats, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and shellfish, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, peas; lentils; white, red, and baked beans; soybeans; and chickpeas, prunes, raisins, apricots, prune juice and dried fruit.

Foods rich in folic acid, can be found in citrus fruits and juices, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, and fortified breads, cereals, and pasta and rice, black-eyed peas and dried beans, beef liver and eggs.

Vitamin B12 is found in clams, liver, beef, fortified breakfast cereals, trout, salmon, tuna, haddock, milk, yogurt, cheese, ham, eggs, and chicken.

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Good sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. Fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and juices usually have more vitamin C than canned ones. Other fruits rich in vitamin C include kiwi fruit, strawberries, and cantaloupes. Vegetables rich in vitamin C include broccoli, peppers, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables like turnip greens and spinach.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) can be found in fortified cereals and energy bars, spirulina, (dry seaweed), whey, maple syrup, venison, caviar, liver, milk, peas, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, tempeh (fermented soy), Greek yogurt, bean sprouts, and soymilk.

Copper, a trace mineral, like riboflavin is required for blood formation and, like vitamin C helps the body absorb and use iron. Sources of copper include spirulina, trail mix, quail, tortilla chips, radicchio, soy chips, dried coconut, puffed millet, granola bars, roasted buckwheat, kamut, chestnuts, peanut butter, grape leaves, bacon, salami, paprika, molasses, ground ginger, chili powder, soybean sprouts, medjool dates, and wakame seaweed.

Many people living with anemia may not realize they have it. They might have mild symptoms or none at all. A doctor can determine whether you have anemia by a simple blood test. If you have the symptoms of anemia but are not checked for all these nutrients in your blood testing, you may find you missed the actual cause of your symptoms!

Lack of sleep may cause back pain!

Many adults suffer from lack of sleep and back pain, and University of Haifa researchers who collaborated with colleagues from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have linked the two ailments for the first time.

“Our findings point to the importance of integrated treatment for the two to prevent back pain and improve the quality of sleep,” the researchers said.

Dr. Ma’ayan Agmon of the university’s nursing department and Dr. Galit Armon of the psychology department, together with Prof. Shlomo Berliner and Prof. Yitzhak Shapira of Sourasky, discovered that lack of sleep actually leads to back pain. Their study looked at 2,131 people with an average age of 46, an average educational level of 15.8 years in school who worked an average of 9.6 hours a day.

The risk of back pain rises significantly among people who suffer from sleep disturbances, they said, adding that they couldn’t be sure how one problem causes the other. We do however know that the neurotransmitters involved in pain are counterbalanced by neurotransmitters involved in sleep.

Among women, the link between sleeplessness and back pain was noted as being even greater.

The authors suggested that one of the reasons lack of sleep and back pain may be connected is due to people with sleep problems describing their lives as being “pressured.” They felt that the chronic lack of rest can lead to muscle tension. It may also be due to malabsorption of B complex vitamins while under stress. B vitamins are essential for the formation of neurotransmitters associated with deep sleep and with correct nerve function (which may impact pain).

“After neutralizing other factors such as socioeconomic levels, lifestyles and more, we reached the conclusion that sleeplessness predicts back pain – but the opposite is not true,” Agmon and Armon said.

A person’s sensitivity to pain rises if that person wakes up too early or spends hours awake instead of sleeping, and often feels pain simultaneously and more powerfully compared to other people.

Schedule an appointment with Dr Crosby at (636)928-5588 to discuss your poor quality sleep and pain issues. Some simple tests and supplements may be all you need to sleep better and feel better!