June 26, 2014

Low Back Pain

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

Chronic low back pain and chronic pain from any source severely affects your body in many ways. Biomechanical changes have been known to occur, but the extent of why it occurs and what other non-mechanical changes occur are just beginning to show up in the literature. Chronic low back pain has effects on brain size, nerve sensitivity, and which parts of the brain perceive and react to pain stimuli. Let’s take a look at what happens to chronic back pain patients and how chiropractic is the best answer to help those people return to a more normal life.

Inactivity and sitting lead to chronic back pain(LBP) in many, many people. It is no wonder, then, that chronic back pain has been proven to decrease brain size in the prefrontal and thalamic gray matter. Chronic back pain patients are characterized by alterations in brain structure and function. The brain changes can be categorized as neurological, structural, or functional. Certain areas of the brain that show less brain cells are correlated with more pain intensity and unpleasantness. These brain changes super sensitize the nerve endings and result in an over-the-top response to any pain stimulation. So even a small movement or tweak that doesn’t actually cause any damage results in a surge of pain that the brain perceives as severe.  This is why you still need to exercise to some degree even when you are in pain.

June 05, 2014

Brain Derived Neurotrohpic Factor

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

A few weekends ago I took a continuing education class titled “Validating Chiropractic; using cutting edge research to improve patient outcomes.” I spent 12 hours listening to the latest chiropractic related research. This week I’m going to pick a few astounding findings coming to light.

The first topic is Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This may get a little deep in the weeds, but stick with me, it’s cool information. BDNF is made by a part of the brain called the hippocampus and by muscle cells. It is a protein that acts to support the survival of brain cells and nerve cells. It is vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking. It is essential for long term memory.