Monday, 14 March 2011

What Do Chronic Back Pain and the BP Oil Spill Have In Common?

Unless you've been hiding under a rock in a secluded part of South American somewhere I'm sure you're well aware of the oil spill in the gulf that was pumping hundreds, if not thousands of gallons of crude, marine killing, environment destroying oil into the Atlantic Ocean. It's affected hundreds and thousands of people, ruined jobs, destroyed industries, and caused economic hardship all over the South Eastern seaboard.
Now let's hold up just a minute and say that there is a point to bring this up and how it affects you and your back pain. Before we go there, let's just say that this subject for some is on the verge of talking about religion and politics as far as the emotions that pop up. Its' a really sad state of events that's unfolded since the catastrophe. I'm sure that the juicy little tidbits of truth, gossip, and behind the scenes mayhem will continue for decades.
There's over 1,874,000,000 Reasons Why I'm Bringing This UP.
Why? That's a "crude" guess as to how many millions of gallons of oil have been pumped into the ocean. Not a small number by any means. 184 million of anything is a lot. When you look back at the good ole Exxon Valdez spill leaking into the Prince Williams Sound over 20 years ago, that was a mere 11,000,000 gallons of disaster that happened. What a nightmare this whole thing is.
The poor sea turtles, whales, dolphins, fish and a million other creatures of the sea - large and small, are paying the price. Not to mention, the ripple of effects on the people touched by it. The issues extend far beyond the wildlife in the underwater habitat. The 11 men that lost their lives, the families of those men, their parents, friends, and co-workers are just a smidgen of the lives that will be affected. Thousands of small business along the coast, thousands of jobs, which then effects tens of thousands of people, is taking it's toll on the economy and it's going to affect you for years to come.
How's It Going To Effect YOU?
There's' really two ways. The first way is probably quite obvious. Let's tackle that one first, then we'll roll right into the second. So the CEO of the good ole USA somehow (and we could probably have a whole other newsletter on this all together) got BP (British Petroleum) to cough up around 22 Billion - yes Billion with a B - to help clean this up. More on that in a few minute. That's not very much if you extrapolate how much it's REALLY going to cost. You see, the 22 billion is for "clean up" not for taking into consideration the loss of jobs, unemployment, failed business loans, bankruptcies and more that are going to come out of it. Hold on...
I'm Changing My Mind!
You can too, just like that. Change happens in an instant. I'm going to say that there are actually three ways. One is the tax money that's going to have to go for all this that the measly 22 billion isn't going to cover. The second way, is that guess where that 22 billion is going to come from? That's right. It's going to come from you and I filling our tanks each and ever day and week for years to come. A few cents difference over the long haul to make up for it. It's you and I that will pay a huge price for that spill. Now you're probably wondering what the third way is and how it's going to effect you. So let's get started and seed if in the next few minutes you can slowly begin to see how this major disaster is so much like your back pain it's scary.
So Exxon Valdez, BP, and Your Back Pain
This maybe a little stretched here, but roll with it for a minute and see if the big picture gently falls into place. So back pain overall is a disaster. It's tough to get rid of and wash your hands of, just like the oil in the ocean. Most people that end up with a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, or any type of back pain usually have a bout of back pain previous to the larger disaster. Kind of like the Exxon Valdez oil spill compared to this gulf of Mexico disaster.
So oil is tough to clean up right? Of course it is. Well maybe you've been reading this newsletter for a while and maybe not. If you have been you've probably hear me mention that back pain is the number two reason for doctors visits ever year over almost every other problem that people suffer from other than back pain and it's related conditions.
What Does That Really Mean?
It means that the entire medical community including surgeons, orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, neurologist, physiatrists and especially the family doctors are using methods that aren't providing significant relief to the "large" majority of people that are coming to them to find lasting, long-term relief! If they were then it would drop down the list of reasons people visit the doctors, but it's never does.
No matter what drug, surgery, or exercise they give people it doesn't normally work to truly resolve and eliminate the pain. Kind of like the oil. With all the money and focus on cleaning up the 184 million gallons of oil, is it ever going to go away? Especially when you consider there's only 119 dollars per gallon that been allocated to clean it up. It's never going to go away. Now if back pain is responsible for the majority of doctor visits, and we really were to get rid of it, how many doctors would be out of business? How many drugs would not be prescribed, and how many billions of dollars would be lost by major pharmaceutical companies?
I'm sure that this is all starting to make sense. With that said, this is the real part of our side-by-side comparison that will hit home for most reading this article.
Before we get to that, we've got to make one more small correlation. How many jobs have been lost and how many people are on unemployment and disability because of back pain? I don't know the number, but like you, I can only imagine that a large, probably enormous amount of our tax dollars go to funding the lives of those affected by back pain.
Here's How It Affects Us Right Here In Our Own Back Yard...
The back pain ripple effect. Someone hurts their back. Puts ice on it. It goes away and we forget about it. It comes back but worse. All the stretches, otc meds, ice rest, physical therapy, chiropractic visits and massage in the world don't even touch the severe pain. The boss starts to notice. Performance on the job suffers. Because the pain is there all the time you're short with your wife, spouse, and family.. They start to look and act differently when they're around you. It starts feeling like divorce. So you've got to do something. So you try the shots, then end up in surgery. You're better for a short period, then the pain is back. Same as before. Now you can't work. You're on disability. Your friends don't talk to you anymore because your attitude sucks and it's not fun to hang out with you any more. You've got more doctors visits and more drugs. Dreams are lost. Families are ruined. Tax dollars aren't going to help you and there's no solution in sight.
A Giant Shamwow for The Oil Spill??
Wouldn't that be the cats meow, the crme de la crme, the best thing since sliced bread if someone came up with a way to wipe out 80-90% of the 180,000,000 gallons of oil in the ocean? No suck luck yet for the gulf problem. But there is new hope for anyone with back pain. Even if you've been told you have to live with it, have had a failed surgery, or have been recommended surgery.
Introducing the "Back Pain Shamwow"!
No i'm just kidding. But there is non-surgical spinal decompression that helps, in some studies, up to around 90% of those with "serious and chronic spine pain" resolve the issue to a point where they can enjoy life, take on new activities, and be a contributing member of their families and communities again.
Slowly reversing pressure, rejuvenating discs, healing herniations, which are the cause of most back pain and spinal conditions. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression is changing the future of back pain, and affecting the lives of millions. Back pain doesn't have to be the apocalypse of your hopes and dreams. You may be able to achieve great things and a great life with Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.
Dr. Stephen C. Lembo, DC is clinic director of Northeast Spine & Rehab; a multi-specialty clinic utilizing (3) DRX 9000 non-surgical spinal decompression units to better serve back and neck pain sufferers throughout the Long Island area. Discover more at or call to schedule a no-charge consultation at (631) 406-6526.