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Back Talk: Chronic back pain may be caused by your feet

By By Dr. Layne Towery
Jan. 7, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 6, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.

Layne Towery

I have been having chronic back and neck pain for years. My feet also hurt and give me a lot of pain. I have seen multiple medical doctors, podiatrists and specialists. I have had two MRIs and a computed tomography scan of my low back. All testing shows nothing is wrong with my back. Now, they want to send me for a procedure to deaden my nerves in my spine. What do you think about doing that to my body? I have never seen a chiropractor or acupuncturist, and I am really kind of scared. Can chiropractic treatment or acupuncture help me?

Everyone experiences fear of the unknown. I suggest you try every conservative option before letting somebody "burn your nerves." Just because you do not have any positive findings on your tests does not mean you do not have a problem. You obviously have problems: it's just nobody you have been to can figure it out.

That is where going to a different type of doctor may help. Chiropractors are spine specialists. We deal with patients with spinal problems all day, every day. We also deal with extremity problems like the shoulders, hands, hips, knees and feet. The first thing I would recommend is a thorough chiropractic spinal exam and a computerized scan of your feet to see how you carry your body weight.

Remember, the feet are the foundation of the body. While 99 percent of all feet are normal at birth, 8 percent develop troubles by the first year of age, 41 percent at age 5 and 80 percent by age 20. By age 40, nearly everyone has a foot condition of some sort.

Many foot conditions eventually contribute to health concerns farther up the kinetic chain, especially "back pain." Therefore, it is in your best interest to look at your feet first for the solution to your problems.

I am a 52-year-old female that has recently been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine. All the doctors say that it is just a matter of time before I need major back surgery. I have tried eight to 10 different drugs, but none seem to help. I have been going to physical therapy for more than three months with no lasting relief. Can chiropractic treatment or acupuncture help arthritis? How many treatments would I need? Does insurance pay?

Spinal osteoarthritis is nothing more than degeneration of the spine. If you have it in your lower back, you probably have it in all your joints to some degree. It is not a death wish. In general, osteoarthritis of the spine happens as people age.

For people younger than 45 years old, osteoarthritis is more common in men. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among females. People who are overweight are more prone to getting osteoarthritis because of the stress the excess weight puts on the joints.

There is no single test to confirm osteoarthritis. X-rays are usually helpful along with MRI and CT scans. As far as treatment for osteoarthritis, you have tried the medical recommendations with little results.

I suggest you now try chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture. These treatments will usually give you a lot of relief. The other suggestion would be to try water exercise therapy. Exercising in a non-weight-bearing environment can really helps.

Most insurances and medicare cover chiropractic treatment. It is recommended you receive a minimum of five to six treatments before you decide if this type of conservative care is helping.

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

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