A new study in the high impact orthopedic journal Spine discusses what we have seen for some time with patient care but have not been able to validate in the literature: oxidative stress contributes to low back pain.
This is a topic of huge importance. As our patients know, we use a Raman Spectrometer (Biophotonic Scanner), not unlike the one Yale uses in their studies, to determine the oxidative stress of our patients through means of a dermal carotenoid scan. The Raman Spectrometer (RS) has been determined in many studies to offer clinicians the optimal way to analyze oxidative stress as the test is not costly to perform, is not invasive, and it makes it easy to track changes in diet/nutrition/supplementation. This is important for all healthcare providers. Being a sports chiropractor, I find the RS to be an absolute necessity for all of us who work in the neuromusculoskeletal fields. Simply put, if we cannot assess oxidative stress, we have no idea if our patients are healthy and this directly affects clinical outcomes. This is not only limited to low back pain. We are not what we eat, but what we absorb. Working with unhealthy patients reduces the effectiveness of our treatments and we should know this before we commence treatment. This is only fair to the patient. They need to know if they have hindered healing ability or not.