Why it’s is important to pay attention to the signs, back pain is adrenal pain…

Did you know that your adrenal glands directly impact the muscles that manage lower back and hips?

It’s funny that these tiny little baseball cap like glands which sit on top of our kidneys can play such an important role in back pain. 

When you are under stress, so are your adrenals and with them the surrounding nerves. This will also affect the nerves at a spinal level, meaning the ones surrounding the musculoskeletal system. To be super specific you will be affecting the 3rd lumbar vertebra and the muscles that surround that whole area, because those are the ones directly connected to, you guessed it… your adrenals

High levels of stress create a tension in the muscles which ultimately causes them to stiffen or lock up resulting in back pain. The crappy part is that you can get massaged until your back falls off and it isn’t going to fix the issue. You need to focus on the organ creating the pain and the muscles related. That means feeding and supporting your adrenals (don’t forget the liver too)

The hamstring, gracilis and the sartorius (a major pelvic stabilizer) are all affected. Many who venture into my practice complaining of back pain are simply suffering from taxed adrenals. *gasp*

Your adrenals affect every system in your body- from thyroid, to gut health all the way to ligaments (which hold your joints together), and muscles. So if these are affected you can only imagine how sore you are going to be. 

How do I fix this?

Well first things first is stop the band aid solutions (advil and tylenol are not your friend) they are likely making everything worse (they don’t help your gut flora that’s for sure). You want to address the chronic inflammation, tackle some serious stress management, improve your diet and look into testing to see what degree or phase of adrenal dysfunction you are in.

What are some of the signs?

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Heightened sense of smell, sensitivity to sound or light
  • Mornings suck but nights are awesome (high energy before bed)
  • Need for stimulants like coffee during the day
  • Sugar cravings especially around the 3 pm mark
  • Unexplained weight gain, the mid section muffin top
  • Wired and tired (exhausted at night but cannot fall asleep) 
  • Decreased sex drive (this is due to your sex hormones being depleted by pregnenolone steal)
  • Thirsty ALL the time
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or no appetite in the AM
  • Feeling exhausted even after a solid 8 hours of sleep
  • Emotional stress is a huge trigger, this is one of the leading causes of adrenal issues followed by food, yes food is a stressor. Stay away from those processed foods. 
  • Food intolerances are a massive triggers well
  • Over training, enough with the marathons already!
  • Too much caffeine….

How do you heal adrenal issues? First off you will want to see a board certified health practitioner such as myself to get a proper diagnosis. This will in many cases require diagnostic testing but isn’t always the case. Not that I am a fan of the guessing game, but sometimes it’s glaringly obvious and we can accomplish quite a bit from simple herbs and lifestyle changes.

 Things you can do in the meantime:

  • Have a proper bedtime routine
  • Supplement with topical magnesium, this is one of the top deficiencies affecting the general population today.
  • Find your bliss and chill the fuck out. You need to learn how to manage stress, it’s a simple as that. We cannot remove all of it from our life so learning techniques to manage it will become your best line of defence.
  • If you suffer from a severe adrenal phase you may need to opt out of the low carb diet craze… you need carbs to balance out the hormones but this can be done on carb up days. 
  • I still advocate high fat, even if you require an adapted version of a high fat/low carb lifestyle. Did you know coconut products have been proven to reduce the weight of an inflamed adrenal, this means it receives stress off the adrenal glands. This is part of the reason a high fat diet is essential. 
  • Get plenty of B vitamins, a good complex with B12. This is one of the deficiencies linked to adrenal issues.

At the end of the day you need to listen to the cues your body sends you, when you become a good listener you will find optimal health is easier to attain than you originally thought

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Holly Warner is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner who specializes in clinical nutritional therapy and functional diagnostic testing. As a functional diagnostic clinician she is able to run tests which are non-invasive to get to the root cause of what’s really going on with your health. From hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, gut health, adrenal dysfunction, metabolic syndrome, stress management and autoimmune disease.