Dental / Low Back Pain Connection
Walter was in his early thirties when he was referred to our office in 1993. Walter presented with low back pain that prevented him from working. Walter was treated with conventional medical therapy. He received a cortisone injection which masked the low back pain for six months. The second cortisone injection lasted only six weeks and the third one had not effect at all. Walter was scheduled for low back surgery when his brother-in-law referred him to our office.
Walter’s brother-in-law had cervical pain for five years which did not respond to traditional medical therapy: osteopathic manipulation, pain medication, physical therapy, massage, cortisone injections, and chiropractic. After the brother-in-law’s bite was corrected the pain totally disappeared. So Walter was well educated and convinced about the virtues of alternative treatment which focused on resolving the underlying cause. Dentally Walter presented with a malocclusion that involved a 1.5 millimeter loss of vertical height from the posterior teeth. This seemingly insignificant amount was the underlying cause of Walter’s low back pain. A loss of vertical tooth height will cause compression of the spine. Such a “minor discrepancy” will be missed by 99.9% of all dentists. This functional relationship will also be missed by most orthopedic medical doctors, neurologists and even most chiropractors.
The dental/low back connection involves several functional links: muscles that connect the upper cervical area and a dural tube which surrounds the brain and passes through the base of the skull and connects all the way down to the sacrum. This craniosacral system works like a slinky. Distortions from above will influence structures below and visa versa. This functional connection has been observed and documented by this author as well as such researchers as Alred Fonder, DDS, Major Bertrand DeJarnnette, DC, Philip Green, DO and others.
Treatment must focus in on rebalancing the skull bones in conjunction with providing vertical support to the teeth in the form of resin overlays. The rational is based on the concept that the teeth are the self-correcting mechanism which resets the skull bones. Every time the teeth contact there is a rebalancing of the system. Restoration of the teeth requires a high skill level, which integrates cranial and dental concepts and the knowledge to balance both simultaneously. As a result of rebalancing Walter’s craniosacral system via correcting the dental component the patient has been pain free for the past 9 years.
The photograph (left) depicts Walter’s maxillae (upper arch) with resin overlays placed on the posterior teeth. This seemingly “simple” treatment eliminated the need for invasive surgery and has resulted in restoring the patient’s quality of life.
The dental/low back connection involves several functional links: muscles that connect the upper cervical area and a dural tube which surrounds the brain and passes through the base of the skull and connects all the way down to the sacrum.