Melatonin. Mitochondria. Mitophagy. Autophagy. Oh my! Back pain connects them all interestingly. Melatonin – a hormone secreted by the brain at night to regulate circadian rhythm – helps sleep which is essential to the body’s capability to recover from the day and get ready for the next. Mitophagy stimulates healthy turnover of mitochondria (the energy producers in cells). Mitophagy blocks the build-up of dysfunctional mitochondria in cells that may lead to cell degeneration. In the case of back pain, this would avoid such disc cell deterioration which could precede disc degeneration. Autophagy is a normal procedure that controls cell destruction and creation in the body. When there is cellular stress, autophagy is increased. (1) Young Chiropractic presents research that melatonin and light therapy may intervene in this process and help with Easley back pain relief.
MITOCHONDRIA AND DISC DEGENERATION
Young Chiropractic knows how disc degeneration involves oxidative stress on the cell, mitochondria issues and cell death (aka apoptosis). This is the area researchers imply melatonin may perform a beneficial role in the reduction of disc degeneration. Melatonin rids oxygen free radicals, adjusts mitochondria function and balance, hastens mitrophagy and slows apoptosis (cell death). Melatonin may help treat disc degeneration. (2)
MELATONIN AND LIGHT FOR DISC DEGENERATION AND Easley BACK PAIN
In a biological study of melatonin’s effect on intervertebral disc degeneration, melatonin maintained nucleus pulposus cells influenced by oxidative stress. Such stress leads to damage of these cells. Melatonin is an important neuroendocrine hormone with good antioxidant effect that works on biological clock regulation. (3) Chronic non-specific low back pain sufferers who added melatonin to their treatment plan experienced a positive increase on the effect of standard treatments on pain, sleep and depression. The decreased pain intensity when moving and resting indicated that melatonin possibly has pain relieving effect. (4) Melatonin may be another way to treat intervertebral disc degeneration.
LIGHT THERAPY AND BACK PAIN RELIEF
In so much as melatonin is produced by light and its lack, light treatment assists patients handle chronic low back pain, its pain intensity, behavior, and threshold. It also helps with post-traumatic stress disorders symptomatology and quality of sleep. All these were improved with morning bright light treatment of US veterans with chronic low back pain. (5) Such treatment could certainly help Easley back pain sufferers, too! These researchers suspect that this light treatment helps the circadian timing of sleep which is facilitated by melatonin. (5)
CONTACT Young Chiropractic
Listen to the PODCAST with Dr. Chris DeVeau on the Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson. A patient struggling with neck pain and arm pain found difficulty with sleep and relief with Cox® Technic.
Schedule a Easley chiropractic appointment for your Easley back pain. Patients in Easley with disc degeneration may find additional relief with melatonin and light therapy together with chiropractic treatment. Mitochondria, mitophagy, autophagy, melatonin and back pain are interestingly connected, are they not?