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Lower Back and Gut Pain: Are They Related?

Lower Back and Gut Pain:  Are They Related?

You have a second brain. 

If that’s not the coolest thing you’ve read today, you should take a nap and wake up to reread it. 

Not many people realize they can see a chiropractor for back and gut pain.  They are related systems, and therefore should be treated together.  It’s not something you will need drugs or surgery for; thus, chiropractors can help you manage and relieve those symptoms.

What’s most interesting about how quickly our patients recover under our care is the connection their food and drinking habits have on their back pain and mood.  Now we know why.  It’s because we have a brain inside our gut, and it communicates with everyone else.

The Brain-Gut

Remember the last time you had to give a presentation, go on a first date, or do something new, and you felt those butterflies in your stomach?  How about when you made a difficult decision based on a “gut feeling”? 

We often write these off as something that happens in our minds because we think about it.  But you’re getting signals from your second brain in the gut.  Scientists named this little brain the enteric nervous system, two thin layers made up of over 100 million nerve cells lining your tract from the esophagus to the rectum.  It communicates with and affects the central nervous system—the pain center in the skull brain. 

The gut brain’s primary role is to control the entire digestive process.  However, while the brain-gut can’t recite a speech or solve complex math problems, it still communicates with the other brain to help the body function. Issues within the enteric nervous system lead to familiar symptoms like:

·         Diarrhea

·         Irritable bowel syndrome

·         Leaky gut

·         Bloating

·         Pain and stomach upset

·         Constipation

Many people find that back pain goes away for at least a little while when they fix their digestive tract.  That’s a sign your back and gut pain are related.  The good news is now you can fix it. 

The Role of Diet in Back and Gut Pain

You are what you eat.  I know we’ve all heard it, but it’s just as accurate now as when it started circulating across our communities.  The food and drinks you put into your body are used or rejected by the two brains.  Something you’re eating is likely the reason for nearly every episode of back and gut pain.  Many people don’t realize that today’s food is not as nutritious as 50 years ago.  The soil and its vegetation are regularly leached of essential nutrients and treated with pesticides or forced to grow through genetic modification. 

Back pain is just one symptom closely related to food-related gut pain.  Food sensitivities or allergies include other symptoms as well, like:

·         Nausea and vomiting

·         Irritability and nervousness

·         Excessive gas and cramping

·         Heartburn

·         Headaches or migraines

What To Do For Back and Gut Pain

There are a couple things you can do now to start moving in the right direction:

1.       Start an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet.  Also called an elimination diet, it’s an effective way to determine which ingredient is causing the problem.  You start by removing all known and popular trigger foods like dairy, gluten, and sugar.  Then, you reintroduce them one at a time, very slowly, and journal how you feel for a couple of days.

2.       Get a food allergy test.  Most food allergy tests can be done from the comfort of your own home.  A simple skin prick test can determine if you have an allergic reaction to a specific food.  While this is helpful for allergies, it’s doesn’t reveal sensitivities. 

The goal is to start moving in the right direction of health.  Norwalk has many great activities, so we understand the importance of getting and staying on top of your game.  Receiving care at Slovin Chiropractic Center means you’ll work with a partner who can help you change behaviors outside the office, so you can stop the pain yourself.   

We’re here when you’re ready to get started. 

Sources:

Medical News Today: Can stomach problems cause lower back pain

Hopkins Medicine: The Brain-Gut ConnectionEveryday health: Lower back pain and digestive health


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