Melatonin. Mitochondria. Mitophagy. Autophagy. Oh my! Back pain links them all interestingly. Melatonin – a hormone secreted by the brain at night to regulate circadian rhythm – helps sleep which is vital to the body’s ability to recuperate from the day and prepare for the next. Mitophagy stimulates healthy turnover of mitochondria (the energy producers in cells). Mitophagy blocks the build-up of abnormal mitochondria in cells that may lead to cell degeneration. In the case of back pain, this would prevent such deterioration in the cells of the disc which may lead to disc degeneration. Autophagy is the normal bodily procedure that deals with cell destruction and creation in the body. When there is cellular stress, autophagy is amplified. (1) Moriarty Chiropractic presents findings that melatonin and light therapy may intervene in this process and promote Nashua back pain relief.
MITOCHONDRIA AND DISC DEGENERATION
Moriarty Chiropractic knows how disc degeneration involves oxidative stress on the cell, mitochondria problems and cell death (aka apoptosis). This is where researchers suggest melatonin may perform a beneficial role in the slowing 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 Nashua BACK PAIN
In a biological study of melatonin’s effect on intervertebral disc degeneration, melatonin sustained nucleus pulposus cells influenced by oxidative stress. Such stress leads to damage of these cells. Melatonin is an important neuroendocrine hormone with sound antioxidant effect that acts on biological clock regulation. (3) Chronic non-specific low back pain sufferers who included melatonin in their treatment plan found it to positively increase the effect of standard treatments on pain, sleep and depression. The reduced pain intensity when moving and resting signified that melatonin potentially offers pain relieving effect. (4) Melatonin may be another treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration.
LIGHT THERAPY AND BACK PAIN RELIEF
Since melatonin is triggered by light and its lack, light treatment assists patients handle chronic low back pain, its pain intensity, behavior, and threshold. It also assists 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 surely help Nashua back pain sufferers, too! These researchers think that this light treatment regulates the circadian timing of sleep which is mediated by melatonin. (5)
CONTACT Moriarty 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 Nashua chiropractic appointment for your Nashua back pain. Patients in Nashua with disc degeneration may discover additional relief with melatonin and light therapy alongside chiropractic treatment. Mitochondria, mitophagy, autophagy, melatonin and back pain are interestingly connected, are they not?