I regularly have problems with my lower back. Sometimes, a few times a year, I get such pain that I’m flat out for a week or more. The physiotherapist tells me I have herniated disc and I should have it operated on, but that doesn’t feel good to me. Is there anything else to be done?

First of all, my own story. I was about 22 when my back first gave out on me. Despite many different treatments by physiotherapists, acupuncturists and – much later – chiropractors and other health practitioners, it took another 30 years or so before I started discovering the actual source of the pain and weakness. Even today I still occasionally experience some weakness in my lower back, but because of what I’ve learned I can take action faster and limit the extent of the discomfort and the degree to which I’m out of action.

Please note that the suggestions below involve situations where there is no evident physical damage as from a collision in a car or falling off a ladder or out of a tree.

In very simple terms, if the adrenals are unhappy, then the kidneys are going to be unhappy, and in turn, the liver. This chain stress reaction is what causes the weakness in the main muscles on either side of the vertebral column and the painful collapse that is so well known to many of us. It’s Nature’s way of forcing us to slow down, because apparently we’ve ignored the signals up till then. It’s therefore no wonder that so many who have back problems are those who are hard-working and goal-oriented individuals who are used to functioning under significant stress.

When one of the three organs gets stressed (and the most common is the kidneys) and the back muscles are weakened, the vertebrae lose the support that keeps them nicely positioned one on top of the other. Pressure is exerted on nerves that are normally well protected and that’s where the pain starts, often leading to radiated pain in the knees and even to temporary paralysis of the legs.

There are various steps you can take:

  • Painkillers and sleeping-pills will help you to get some rest.
  • Make an appointment as fast as possible with a chiropractor/osteopath/manual therapist – this is their speciality.
  • If you must get around, you’ll find supporting belts very useful (I use one, similar to the kidney support belt worn by some motorcyclists) when I notice my back feels weak); there are plenty of models available; for sitting, there’s nothing better than this model which until now I’ve only been able to find in the USA.
  • As soon as you can, apply an ice-pack (wrapped in a towel) to the painful area.

The next task is to find out what caused the stress that caused the collapse and all the pain. You might want to investigate this as soon as you sense any weakness in your back!
Is it your liver? Then you’ll probably benefit from some herbal supplements and acupuncture to support your liver function.
The same applies to the adrenals.
However, more than 80% of everyday lower back problems result from kidney stress. Realise that most people simply do not drink sufficient water – as much as 2 litres a day can be what they’re missing! Most of these have kidney gravel, the precursors of kidney stones. (N.B. Not everyone who has kidney gravel will develop the really painful kidney stones, but may suffer other physical discomforts.) There are also many people whose food choices, combined with too little water and often too much coffee, lead to acidity in the body which exacerbates the formation of kidney gravel. (See also the section on bladder infections.)
Stress in the kidneys, combined with the presence of kidney gravel (chiefly crystals of uric acid but often the much harder crystals of oxalic acid), is sufficient to weaken the back muscles. There are various simple, specific herbal remedies available which dissolve the gravel. For many people it’s enough to take these remedies for just 2-3 months – with the recommendation to continue with a low, daily maintenance dose; some body types simply have a more natural tendency towards forming these crystals.

Please note
NOT everyone who has backache has problems with the lever, kidneys or adrenals.
NOT everyone who has problems with the lever, kidneys or adrenals gets backache.
Compare: not every smoker gets lung cancer.

I travelled to Denmark for an intensive coaching session with David and arrived with a lot of pain and discomfort in my lower back. David set to work immediately and quickly found the cause: kidney gravel, causing localised stress. Although I was rather sceptical, I did take the herbal remedy David offered – an Ayurvedic compound that dissolves kidney gravel. The next day I was amazed that I could already notice the difference, and within two days… I remember it well, I was sitting at table actually enjoying the fact that all the discomfort had simply disappeared.
Dennis van A.

Vitamin D
It has recently been discovered that this so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ can play a remarkably significant role in resolving back problems. A research project in Saudi Arabia revealed that 80% of the patients with chronic back problems had an abnormally low level of vitamin D in their blood. Supplementation with vitamin D led to the disappearance of back pain in almost all the patients.
If you think this is interesting enough, it’s worth giving it a try: at least 5000 IU (1.25 mg) of vitamin D daily for a few weeks. By the way, research indicates that vitamin D supplementation is a good idea anyway, particularly in that period of the year when your skin is less exposed to sunlight.

Back problems and ammonia
Low energy, weak digestion, flatulence, itchy anus and disturbed sleep may just be part of the back problem. Without going into the biochemistry in detail, there’s a high probability that an excess of ammonia is at the root of all these symptoms.
Excess ammonia and windiness (excessive farting) are indications of a shortage of l-arginine. Supplementation, usually in combination with l-ornithine, perhaps with additional copper, phosphorus and creatine, should resolve the issue.
Excess ammonia in the brainstem will disturb the sleep pattern.
Ammonia causes narrowing of blood vessels, which results in restricted circulation that in turn can cause back problems.

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