Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Metal earrings and tooth fillings 'cause chronic back pain'

My father, an acupuncturist, was SOOOOO against me getting my ears pierced. So I waited until I was in college. It was kin dof a yucky process (and now my students have multiple piercings, eeek). The good thing is that when I was training for my black belt in Korea, I was working out 2x/day and didn't wear earrings at all because I'd have to take them out. So guess what, the holes closed. Now, clip ons are good enough for me.

Best not to fool with Mother Nature...

From the UK's Daily Mail:


Metal earrings and tooth fillings could be the cause of chronic back pain, experts claimed last night.

Pieces of metal that pierce or even just touch the skin could be setting off a massive chain reaction in the body, sending hundreds of muscles out of alignment.

And even the smallest bits of metal - such as tooth fillings - could be the cause of major agony in muscles far away.

Experts say the nervous system automatically tries to move body parts away from metal objects because they are uncomfortable to the skin that surrounds them.

The muscles used in that movement will then place strain on other, larger muscles as they constantly try to maintain a distance.

The result, according to a growing school of thought, is whole body stresses that cannot be cured by any amount of rest, exercise or nutrition.

However, experts say the good news is that something as simple as removing jewellery or having a metal filling replaced with an acrylic one could be all that is needed to end years of agony.

Chiropractor Simon King is one of around 250 professionals who are telling patients that the answer to their chronic back pain could be very straight-forward indeed.

"I've always been fascinated and confused that some people with massive injuries made a quick recovery while others with minor strains took forever to get better," he said.

"Then I made a remarkable discovery. Most patients who struggled to recover from pain or injury had metal touching or piercing their skin."

Mr King says earrings are a common cause of back and neck pain, dentistry and jewellery such as necklaces and watches can cause pain and arthritis.

read more here.


Anonymous said...

Any suggestions as to what to do about a metal wedding ring? Does it matter what kind of metal?

GreenFertility said...

I honestly don't know--I wear a metal watch b/c I thought it was les toxic than plastic! Have a very small, very thin plat. wedding band that I do wear all the time. It's something to thing about, though. In nature no one goes around touching metal all day! Yeep!

Anonymous said...

You need to look at research a bit closer. If metal caused aches and pains then everyone wearing metal would have aches and pains... which they don't

Only some people are affected by wearing metal. Otherwise they would have used metal for anything. There is more metal in your car than an earing, so the density of that would cause aches and pains.

Does this mean you can wear metal studs in every part of your body.No!

Earrings do go thorough Acupressure/Acupuncture points and can therefore cause a constant stimulation to these points and create problems.

However, if your spine is working well, metal will not aggravate it as there is nothing to aggravate.

Always look at research and then understand the terms "cause" compared to "irritate". Something that causes - causes all the time, metal obviously doesn't.

It is good to be informed but you still need logic as part of the reasoning.

Back pain is a matter of tight and weak muscles, tight joints, pelvic imbalance - all are simple to change your self whether you wear metal or not.

Dr Graeme Teague
The Back Pain Advisor

GreenFertility said...

Hi, You say:

>If metal caused aches and pains then everyone wearing metal would have aches and pains... which they don't

But I think everyone's different. That's why some people can smoke all day and never get lung cancer and other people get it when they don't smoke. My belief is that the body's inner ecosystem is all intertwined and wonderfully complex. When something gets shoved out of place...sometimes a domino effect ensues...

thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...


RealScience said...

Dr Graeme

I know your work and appreciate you are a very dedicated clinician but there are a couple of factors you may have overlooked.

1) With an 80% lifetime incidence of backpain, it is fairly safe to assume that nearly everyone exposed to skin contact or piercing with metal does go on to experience some degree of disability pain or injury.

2) The mechanism of injury is the sustained stimulation of the withdrawal reflex which is a hard-wired response of the muscles to skin stimulation whether by pain (a nail in the foot), temperature (hot or cold), tickling, or just pressure (a pebble in your shoe).

3) The amount of inhibition created by the withdrawal reflex (which creates facilitation of some muscles and inhibition of their opposites) is determined simply by the amount of nocioceptive input.

4) If a muscle is inhibited by just 10%, then as long as that muscle is only ever required to operate below 89% of it's potential, then no injury results. The patient remains pain free. The day they try to pick up the lawnmower or have a minor shunt in the car is the day they sustain an injury which is now much worse than if their reflexes had been working properly and protected them from the injury. Proper muscle tone is also essential to a quick recovery.

5) The research confirms more every day that the cause of osteoarthritis is muscle inhibition, so minor asymptomatic damage can occur.

6) The skin is so sensitive it can feel one hair move, it is not surprising that metal crowns, piercings and jewellery induce a reflex response.

7) No matter how well exercised any athlete is, if you stick a nail into their skin (piercing) they will flinch (facilitation and inhibition).

8) Even those whose business is exercise, still get injured (Dean Macey - one of the world's best decathletes, retired through injury and back pain)

9) Logic is great, but you always have to check it fits with reality

Anyone can check what i observed in developing my theories by checking siking1962 on youtube - and of course, reading the book.

Kindest regards

Simon King

PS It's only metal contact with skin that my theory addresses, not being in a car. And the theory of proprioceptive irritation explains acupuncture too, without using meridians and energy.