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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness September/October 2013 : Page 34

“It hurt to get out of bed. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand. It hurt to sit. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t bike. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. Of anything, really, other than the pain. The pain drained me of energy, stripped me of my competitive nature, and robbed me of zest for life. But the worst of it was that I believed I’d have to spend the rest of my life feeling this kind of pain. I was 19 years old.” Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of my ath-letic or running career, let alone my story. In fact, it was the beginning of one of my life’s great journeys, and in fervently searching for a way to heal my own body, I embarked on a path that would let me also help others. Whether you suffer from the occasional stiff back or chronic, debilitating back pain like I did, with the cor-rect diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, you too can find permanent relief. Other than occasionally “throwing my back out,” I never suffered from prolonged back pain throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until I went to college, put on 50 pounds of muscle, frequently squatted compact cars, and regularly slammed myself against men up to twice my size that I started noticing a little problem. I wish someone had warned me that football players, namely linemen, injure their low back more fre-quently than any other ath-lete. 2 Though a warning probably wouldn’t have stopped me, a colli-sion injury did, and after taking a year off from the team, spending most of my days in doc-tors’ and therapists’ offices, and then giving it another go as a pass-rusher at The University of Tulsa, I finally had to cut my career short The Pain That Keeps Coming BACK! By Chris Barnes, DC, ART, CKTP, FMS, NKT, SFMA Figure 1 because of my in-juries. My doctors didn’t know why I was hurt, and therefore, couldn’t help me recover from, let alone prevent, in-jury; this frustration (that so many others also feel) lit a fire in me to find the answers for my -self and then help others. Fast forward many painful years later and there I was, halfway through my chiropractic training, having my back adjusted daily, and yet the pain persisted… not exactly the role model for spinal care. Yet every time I randomly threw my back out when I was young, my chiroprac-tor adjusted me, and, like magic, I was brand new. Why was this different? I began asking myself: is this how I’m going to take care of my patients? Are they going to have to rely on me (daily) just to function? If an adjustment Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and the second most common reason for missed work. It is estimated that nearly 80% of the population will experience a back problem during their lives. 1 Back pain is one of the most complicated mysteries in the medical world. There are several types of back pain, several factors that can cause it, and most testing procedures (including advanced imaging) are inadequate in finding the cause of back pain that most people suffer from. Describing all types of back pain and their causes would be impossible for this article; for our purposes, I will primarily focus on what professionals call “non-specific back pain,” which I believe to be the most common type to our readers. Other forms of back pain that should be ruled out by a trained professional include, but are not limited to: lumbar disc injuries, sciatica, SI joint dysfunction, cauda equina syndrome, female-specific conditions, prostate disorders, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, fractures, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. 34 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2013 | OKSPORTSANDFITNESS.COM

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