As a Grand Rapids Chiropractor I know the debilitating effects of back pain. Though some people try to “ignore” their back pain in the hopes that it will go away on its own, the majority of individuals know that back pain is difficult, if not impossible, to ignore. Back pain is a constant. It interferes with a person’s ability to work and to enjoy daily life, and it makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, many people know that untreated back pain can cause further musculoskeletal problems. But it will, no doubt, come as a surprise to almost everyone that unaddressed back pain that lingers six months or more has been linked with a loss of brain volume that’s equivalent to 10 to 20 years of normal aging. That’s right! According to new research at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, back pain can significantly age the brain! A. Vania Apkarian, Ph.D. and co-author of the study, said that the decline has to do with how the brain adapts to pain, and such decline can damage a person’s ability to assess emotional cues and control emotion.
If you are someone who needed one more reason to make an appointment with your chiropractor to get the treatment you need for your back pain, the possibility of significant brain decline might just be the “inspiration” you needed! Be smart (and stay smart) by calling our office today!