Early treatment of lower back pain may reverse more serious consequences

The root of back pain may start at the foot with a bunion

Back pain can start with a bunionLower back pain has many causes - from bunions that lead to hindered foot landing mechanics to herniated discs. Moreover, the consequences of such pain can be as serious as cognitive decline and other mental problems.

Now, researchers at McGill University have reported that fixing such back pain can actually reverse the toll the discomfort has taken on the brain.

The team of scientists tested the effects of pain alleviation on patients who had experienced serious lower back problems for at least six months. After receiving treatment, the patients not only had less pain but brain scans revealed improvements in cognitive function.

"If you can make the pain go away with effective treatment, you can reverse these abnormal changes in the brain," said senior author Laura S. Stone.

Results of this study suggest that it's important to take care of the root of back pain. Sometimes, lower back pain starts at the feet. Conditions like bunions or hammer toe may affect the way a person walks, leading to improper wear and tear on joints, tendons and ligaments. This imbalance can create a chain reaction of discomfort up the legs and to the back.

Individuals who experience hindered foot mobility due to bunions or hammer toe may want to consider using bunion splints or orthotics to help correct the conditions before they lead to lower back pain. 

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