—A Special Report from Victor Marchione, MD
Do you suffer from back pain? There are many, many who do. Back pain can be a challenge to treat, as it is often difficult to heal the root cause of pain that radiates from the spine. Back pain can be the result of many different types of health issues.
Back pain has been said to be the result of just about everything possible, from poor posture, to injury, an unsuitable sleeping mattress, wearing the wrong shoes, certain medical conditions, and even diet. With all of those possible causes, what can you do to alleviate chronic back pain? Of course you could try medication that dulls the pain, but it would be far preferable to treat the source of pain.
The problem is that medical experts disagree on the root cause of back pain — especially when back pain is the result of a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of your cartilage cracks, and pieces of the softer inner material of the disc protrude into your spinal canal.
Part of this mystery of the origin of back pain has finally been solved, however. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have discovered that an immune cell known to cause inflammation in autoimmune disorders may play a role in back pain associated with herniated discs.
The immune cell is known as cytokine molecule interleukin-17 (IL-17) and it appears to help set in motion the painful inflammation associated with disc disease.
By identifying these immune cells, it may soon be possible to halt the body’s inflammatory response to disc cells, the research team hopes. The researchers speculate that, by targeting a treatment to these specific cells involved in disc inflammation, back pain could be alleviated.
In the meantime, while this treatment is being studied and perfected, make sure you have remedied all the possible causes of your back pain. Go through the list above and rule out any obvious causes.