Your Adrenal glands directly impact some of the muscles that manage the lower back and hip. This blew my mind when I first started reading about the affect your adrenal glands have on back pain. These tiny little glands that are posted up on top of your kidneys, play a huge roll when it comes to keeping the muscles in the hip and back happy. What I want you to learn today is how exactly the adrenal glands affect the pain in your lower back, the signs that you could be suffering from adrenal fatigue and exactly how your going to fix this major problem.
Your Adrenal Glands affect on your lower back pain isn’t something you hear being talked about over a cup of coffee. As a matter of fact, if you know anything about Adrenal Fatigue you definitely wouldn’t be talking about it with a mug of coffee in your hand (this will make sense later). Addressing Adrenal Fatigue in the fitness space would be considered a “next level” or only for the “advanced” gym goers. I can entertain that theory but this message needs to get to anyone dealing with back pain. Whether you are a desk jockey or avid gym goer this is something that you need to start addressing NOW.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when the Adrenal glands are so over loaded with stress that they don’t operate correctly. Medically, as of today, it’s just a collection of signs and symptoms even though Adrenal Fatigue affects millions of people around the world, the medical industry still hasn’t recognized it as an actual “syndrome”. Adrenal Fatigue is typically due to high and prolonged levels of stress. This could be stress at home, stress on the job, stress in a relationship and even stress from having a particular personality type. Any kind of stress directly affects the adrenal glands. Don’t worry though, these guys were designed to help manage the hormones that go along with these moderate stress levels so a little stress here and there isn’t bad. It’s when it’s on going and unrelenting that it becomes a problem and starts giving people issues like back pain.
Your adrenal glands help balance your blood sugar and inflammation along with other important hormones. Like I said above, the adrenals are your first line of defense when stuff hits the fan. So you need them in tip top shape to keep the body working at its peak.
Adrenal Fatigue and Back Pain
When the Adrenal Glands are under stress the nerves that innervate them are affected as well. An upset nerve not only will effect the source of the nerve at the spinal level but also will affect the surrounding musculo-skeletal systems. Specifically, the 3rd lumbar vertebra and the muscles that surround this area are directly affected by the same nerves that are connected with the Adrenal Glands. High levels of stress can create tension in the muscles causing them to stiffen or lock up resulting in back pain. All the soft tissue work in the world can’t fix this. You have to focus on the organ that could be affecting the area. I know this sounds crazy but there are some holistic doctors who can link specific pain or triggers in the body with organs that the nerves are linked to. My goal isn’t for you to stress over whether or not every pain is caused by a bad organ but this really supports the fact that a healthy diet can do some amazing things for your body.
When it comes to back pain and adrenal fatigue we have to look at the muscles that are directly related. In this case, the most common are the Hamstrings, Gracilis and the Sartorius. The Sartorius alone is a major pelvic stabilizer. You can imagine the imbalances you would have to deal with if this muscle was under stress or strain from the Adrenal Fatigue. I know for me, my issue is more inflammation of the L5-S1 area so managing my muscle imbalances is huge for me. If my adrenals were taxed and I didn’t know I would be beating my head against a wall trying to figure out what could be causing the pain.
Not only does Adrenal Fatigue affect organs and muscles but it affects ligaments. Ligaments are what hold your joints together so if these are compromised you can imagine the discomfort that comes with that. That’s not even all of it. Our musculoskelatal system works as one big giant chain. Everything affects everything in some way shape or form. If your sacroiliac joint has been compromised then the muscles that cross over that joint will be affected to. Everything works together to provide strength and stability. So it’s not uncommon for the lower back to be a source of discomfort if you are currently dealing with some level of Adrenal Fatigue simply because of the systems that are involved with that muscle group.
What are signs of adrenal fatigue?
To keep this from being one of those “I googled a symptom and now I think I have cancer” type of sources. I wanted to write down some of the most common, pin pointed signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. The actual list is exhausting and seems to describe anyone who works full time and has at least 1 kid. 🙂 Back pain is only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to dealing with Adrenal Fatigue. It’s an all consuming kind of thing where multiple facets of your life are affected by these powerful glands.
Take a look at this list of signs of Adrenal Fatigue
-Painful muscles and joints
-Heightened sense of smell
-Mornings are rough and nights are energetic
-Needing caffeine to keep going throughout the day
-Daily Tasks become extremely difficult
-Sugar, Caffeine cravings
-Unexplained weight gain
-Exhausted at night but have trouble falling asleep
-Feeling un-rested after a full nights sleep
-Un-Quenchable thirst and dry mouth
-Decreased sex drive
-Nausea/ no apatite in the am
For me personally when it comes to looking through signs and symptoms I try to look for the things that I have recently (over the past six months) have seen a true change in (for the bad). For example, lately I have been craving caffeine. I don’t drink crazy amounts of it but for the past 2+ months I feel like I have only been as good as my next cup of coffee. 3 Months ago I would drink one cup of coffee in the am and be fine the entire day. I have also had a number of stressors come up over the past 2 months that may have had a toll on my adrenal health. Chronic inflammation is another sign for me. Your story may be different so the best thing you can do is listen to your body and really pay close attention!
What are the causes of Adrenal Fatigue?
So we know that the adrenal glands are responsible for balancing hormones when it comes to stress. When chemicals like cortisol are released (which are not necessarily bad but in high amounts, over long periods of time they are) this loads the adrenal glands. Well, too much of this can over work and “stress” the Adrenal Glands to the point where they are basically unresponsive. Some of the major sources of Adrenal stress are:
4 Common causes of back pain due to Adrenal Fatigue
Emotional stress: Life, relationships ;cal of community in your life.
Food intolerance: Some of the most common gluten and gluten free grains, sugar, dairy
Over training: Constantly striving for that “beat down” style workout. Training hard 4-5 days a week. Stuck in this “more is better” mentality when it comes to training.
Too much caffeine: I love coffee but drinking it just to drink it can lead to addictions and dependency. Its when this dependency happens that adrenal glands begin to shut down and the caffeine creeps in to replace its function.
For the avid coffee drinkers…
Did you know your body actually produces cortisol after drinking coffee? It’s a natural response to the caffeine within the coffee. What tends to happen with coffee drinkers is they don’t allow their body to release the natural “rise and shine” morning hormones. Instead, they reach for the cup of coffee looking for that artificial energy boost caffeine gives us. Over time, the adrenal glands get burned out and are not able to function the way they were designed to. This leads to us drinking more coffee to replace these natural hormones. Avid coffee drinkers also are not able to enter into the deeper levels of sleep where the most rebuilding and repairs take place. So not only are you not sleeping as well, but you’re not able to wake up refreshed which again leaves you reaching for the coffee pot. It’s a cycle that just keeps repeating itself. The only way to break it is to stop drinking it long enough for your Adrenal Glands to heal and only drink minimal amounts of coffee.
If your one to challenge this and say that an addiction to coffee has no effect on your body I challenge you to give up coffee cold turkey for 30 days and report back to me how your body feels. I promise it will feel a world of difference.
Let’s be honest. The goal here is not to boycott coffee for the sake of our poor Adrenals. It’s about moderation. There is a difference between being a social drinker of coffee and being completely addicted!
So my back hurts and i’m pretty sure I have Adrenal Fatigue…What should I do?
Fixing your back pain takes a consistency and focus on one area at a time. Today we are focusing on the adrenals and the effects they have on our body. The name of the game here is to repair the function of our adrenals and allow the muscles, joints and other parts of the nervous system to heal and work properly.
How do I cure my Adrenal Fatigue?
For the sake of the average Americans attention span I am going to give you a spark notes version of what you can start doing TODAY to help heal your Adrenal Glands. Look over these common treatments and start implementing them into your daily life. If all at one time seems too much, pick one and make it a definite (3-4 weeks of consistency) change before moving on to the next.
Have a bed time routine: Our bodies operate better off of some kind of routine. Don’t be that guy/gal who says I just like to live life as it comes. That never works out. Ever. Be mindful and add some consistency to your bed time routine.
Magnesium: Fill a tub with 2-3 cups of Epsom salt and you will under stand the power of magnesium! You can also do it in spray form which I have done as well. I think the spray form gets into the blood stream the fastest.
Chill out: You have to find ways to relieve stress. It can be done you just have to make time for it. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day where you do what you love. It will change your life!
Eat carbs– Low carb diets actually put stress on the adrenals so don’t go all keto on your body. Feed it carbs!
Coconut products-coconut products have been proven to help reduce the weight of an inflamed adrenal gland (link to science). This basically will relief stress on the glands.
Vitamin B/B12-This is a little added bonus to help support a recovering adrenal gland. A B12 deficiency has been linked to adrenal stress. It wont fix everything but its definitely something to add to the diet!
Take out food intolerance: There are a few different ways to check for any food intolerance. Most of them are really inaccurate so this is what your going to do. Start paying close attention to how certain foods affect your body. If you want to start out easy, pay close attention to dairy, and gluten. Take one of these out of your diet completely for 4 weeks and see how things change. You should see a big difference once the source has had some time to get out of your system.
Whew! So that’s it. Back pain can be directly linked to an un-happy adrenal gland. Like I always say. You never know what your issue is until you look at all aspects of what could be causing it. Your food source is extremely powerful not only for a healthy back but a healthy body. Pick high nutrient foods and limit the things that could be wrecking your back. Take care of your Adrenal Glands and they will take care of you!
To your freedom from pain,
P.s What food source did you take out and have seen the best results from? Let me know below!