10 ways to prevent back pain: Repair your Gut


Welcome to our final post in our ten part blog series to preventing back pain. Please refer back to old posts to learn how to move better and feel better. Although this blog series is geared towards preventing back pain, many of the things we discussed are preventative for all sorts of pain and disease conditions.   If we move well, eat well, manage stress well, exercise, and get periodic soft tissue work and chiropractic work, many of aches, pains, and health conditions can easily resolve.

Whether you have digestion trouble or not, an unhealthy gut can lead to unhealthy bacteria in your gut and elsewhere in your body. Additionally, having digestive trouble can cause all sorts of pain and make it very hard to stabilize properly in the core musculature.

In 2008 Albert et al found foreign anaerobic bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococci in patients receiving surgery for lumbar disc herniation. He hypothesized that these foreign bacteria could be causing pain via early degeneration of the spine and the discs.

In 2013 the European Spine Journal published a study in which 40% of their study group of chronic low back sufferers had significant relief of pain after 100 days of antibiotic treatment to help eradicate foreign bacteria in the lumbar discs.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend 100 days of antibiotics due to many potential side effects and a relatively low chance of improvement at 40 percent, however this study was very informative about pathogenic bacteria possibly as a cause of back pain. The bacteria found in this study in the disc aren’t supposed to be there, so it is important we ask how did they get there?

To prevent bad bacteria from entering our bodies in the first place, it is important we have a strong border patrol through our air passages and digestive tract.

Having a healthy body and joints starts with having healthy mucous membranes and a gut full of healthy bacteria. There are more bacteria in your gut than there are cells in your body. If you have too much of the bad, more of the bad gets through into your blood, brain, tissues, joints, etc. In these low back patients these same bad bacteria found in their lumbar discs would also be found in elsewhere in the body and their digestive system.   Our digestive system makes up over 80 percent of our immune system. Unhealthy gut=unhealthy you

From a natural standpoint, what can we do to prevent bad bacteria from inhabiting our guts, joints, and body tissues? Proper exercise, nutrition, stress management, and nutrients/supplements/herbs to help repair our gut and keep our immune system strong.

Some supplements that can help with gut repair are:

Aloe vera, marshmallow, slippery elm, fiber, glutamine, curcumin, digestive enzymes, enteric-coated peppermint, hcl, probiotics, prebiotics, deglycerized licorice, and many others. For dosing and which ones are best for your condition, please consult your Doctor.

How do we know if we have a healthy gut?

This will be a topic for later blog posts, but if you suffer from aches, pains, digestion trouble, heartburn, irregular bowels, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, weight gain, fatigue, or pretty much any negative symptom you can think of, you might need to address your gut health in order to reach optimal health. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet as described in blog post #7 will be crucial to gut health, as well as stress relief, and the use of the proper supplements and herbs to aid in healing.

For those interested in getting a concrete picture of their gut health, there are many tests that can be performed to evaluate which bacteria and in what number are in your gut. For more information on this type of testing please call the office or visit gdx.org.

To help prevent back pain and many other conditions make sure to “Give your gut the proper food, herbs, and supplements to be healthy and pain free!!”

Thank you for joining us

Dr. Ryan Dunn D.C.

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