How Could My Digestive System Be Causing My Back Pain?

This article reveals one of the major hidden causes of back pain, particularly lower back pain. This problem is a common reason why pain keeps coming back, even after physical treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage.

The underlying cause that I’m talking about is a little valve between the large and small intestine called the Ileocaecal Valve, or ICV. When this valve dysfunctions it causes a very important stabilizing muscle in the lower back called illiacus to become “switched off”. This destabilizes the lumbar spine and causes the discs to be placed under strain.

When this happens we are very vulnerable to injury. It only takes the slightest twist, lift, strain or sudden movement in the wrong direction and we are in trouble. Often people with this problem even say “I didn’t even do anything, my back just started hurting.”
When those muscles are switched off it can also cause your back to feel very tired or fatigued after sitting for a long period.

The confusing thing is that you can have this problem with absolutely no digestive symptoms, although people with ICV problems often do experience bloating, gas, abdominal cramping and tenderness. There is also often tenderness over the area of the valve, which is located about half way between the belly button and the right hip.

One of the most classic signs of this condition is pain or stiffness first thing in the morning that goes away once you get moving, but is back again the next morning. The pain is most often in the lower back, but can affect anywhere that you have a problem- the neck is also a common area. If you wake up each morning with a stiff neck that seems to loosen up after a hot shower but comes back the next day then it’s likely you have an ICV problem.

There are many factors that can cause ICV problems, such as allergies (especially food allergies and intolerances), gut parasites, stress, physical pressure, toxicity, nutritional deficiency and dysfunction of the kidneys, bladder or gall bladder.

If any of the above sounds like you, the first thing to try would be to get some probiotics- beneficial bacteria for the gut. Make sure these are kept in the fridge where you purchase them to ensure you get live bacteria. Often an anti-parasitic herb or homeopathic remedy is needed also- if you consult a chiropractor trained in Applied Kinesiology or Neuro Emotional Technique they will be able to test what you need.

It can also to helpful to massage gently but firmly over the area of the valve in a clockwise direction.
Doing what you can to decrease your stress levels is also helpful.

There are two basic ways that the ICV can dysfunction- it can fail to open properly, in which case waste material is retained for a long time before it is passed (even though you may be regular); or it fail to close properly, in which case the bowel contents can come back up into the digestive system.

Either way, this causes the body to become toxic. One of the body’s responses to this is to retain fluid, which can cause other problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and tingling or numbness in hands and feet. It can also cause headaches. However back pain is by far the most common symptom.

If you have recurring back pain, especially lower back pain, then it might be time to visit a chiropractor who specialises in Applied Kinesiology.

Andrew Powell is a chiropractor in Castle Hill, Sydney who believes in balancing mind and body to achieve real wellness.

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