Dr. Young’s 9 Have-to-Knows of Back Pain


Loren Fishman, MD, Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City, and the author of, Cure Back Pain with Yoga, posted on May 10, 2011 on the Huffington Post, an article titled “The 10 Commandments of Back Pain.” I just had to see what he wrote …, and then I just had to write my own version titled “Dr. Young’s 9 Have-to-Knows of Back Pain.”

But first, Dr. Fishman’s 10 Commandments (in quotes), followed by my brief commentaries:

1 – “Like the common cold, back pain will hit you at some point another, so don’t panic.” Makes it sound like the occurrence of back pain is random, when it is not.

2 – “Too much rest or too much exercise can make your backache worse, so do both in moderation.” Americans neither get too much rest, nor too much exercise.

3 – “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories” Why not, if used briefly?

4 – “Take notes. Observe your pain so that you can report it accurately to your physician.” Great recommendation. Also nice because you could begin to understand yourself.

5 – “Get a diagnosis.” Diagnoses are overrated. A diagnosis is usually a simple naming of a condition; providing no understanding of what caused the condition. If offered a choice, you are better off knowing what caused your back pain, rather than the name of the flavor that you have.

6 – “Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Physical Therapy” Or, don’t underestimate the value of finally beginning to exercise during your physical therapy treatment?

7 – “Do Yoga”  You bet.

8 – “Get acupuncture.”  Absolutely. As long as you can afford yet another therapy.

9 – “Try the Alexander Technique”  Yet another valuable approach.

10 – “Consent to surgery if …”  For the very few who would need it, I agree. Just be sure you have seen a functional medicine chiropractor first.


And now, my 9 Have-to-Knows:

1 – Everyone is going to have back pain at some time because few have learned the causes of back pain and few take care of their health. A great functional medicine chiropractor can help you monitor and maintain your health, and a healthy back.

2 – Remove all dairy products, gluten and sugar from your diet until the episode is over.

3 – Take oral magnesium glycinate or SlowMag to relax muscles, and bathe in epsom salts to do the same.

4 – Gentle (and I mean gentle) stretching + general movement.

5 – Ibuprofen or aspirin as needed.

6 – Chronic gut inflammation (even if unfelt) is an extremely common cause of back pain. Treatments can include; removing food allergens, taking magnesium to improve gut motility, probiotics, yoga, and more.

7 – Acknowledge your major stresses and your combined multitude of little ones.

8 – Low levels of Vitamin D correlate with a higher incidence of back pain. Most Americans have insufficient Vitamin D in their blood. Everyone, young and old should have their Vitamin D levels tested.

9 – Excellent chiropractic spinal adjustment can speed recovery.


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