Dr. Mike’s Thoughts: If your brain is important to you, according to a study by Dr. A. Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University in Chicago, chronic back pain causes parts of the brain to shrink! But it’s not the back pain that you should be concerned about. It’s what is causing the back pain and the consequence of not addressing the underlying problem that worries us at the office. In most cases back pain is not a muscle problem, like a lot of people think it is. It’s usually because of an underlying health problem. The most common cause of back pain in science today is called the vertebral subluxation complex. Subluxations interfere with the proper function of your nervous system and CAN lead to “devastating” effects on your health and well-being if left uncorrected. Many people feel that they can just live with the pain. Most times the pain comes and goes or is mild in nature and the individual puts off care because “it’s not that bad.” This “living with the pain” may be the biggest mistake they make in their life. The pain may not be that bad, but what’s causing it is, as well as the long term health concerns. This mild chronic back pain may actually lead to permanent neurological problems and future disease. So, this month’s Health Tip highlights the urgency to help your acute or chronic back pain.