You’re not alone.
It may surprise you to learn that back pain affects some 80% of Americans at some time in their lives. So you’re not alone. The causes range from genetic issues to injury, to disease and stress, but all back pain sufferers share one thing in common, they want relief and they want it NOW!
Most back pain symptoms can be treated naturally without risky surgeries or dangerous drugs by working with your body's innate healing powers.
Causes of Back Pain
Because the muscles, ligaments, bones, discs and nerves that comprise your spinal column are so interconnected, it's often difficult to determine without a comprehensive exam exactly what the cause of your pain may be.
Also, an injury or stress in one area can lead to additional problems in a kind of a "domino effect." For instance, a simple muscle strain may cause you to compensate by carrying your weight differently which can lead to an overall imbalance in the spine or strain on different muscles creating additional problems.
Because the muscles, ligaments, bones, discs and nerves that comprise your spinal column are so interconnected, it’s often difficult to determine without a comprehensive exam and X-rays, exactly what the cause of your pain may be.
Here are a few of the most common causes of back pain:
- Injury or overuse: If you've been injured in an auto, work, or recreational accident, get help at once . Since injury can affect muscles, ligaments, bones or discs around the spine, it's important that you get a proper diagnosis and treatment before the dominos begin to fall. Repetitive motion and overuse of muscles and joints due to excessive bending, lifting, or other unusual exercise can also cause damage, injury or pain. These symptoms may disappear in time, but if structural damage has occurred, they or other seemingly unrelated symptoms could flare up later. A spinal exam or assessment is recommended to determine of this is the case.
- Nerve Pressure or Damage: Pressure on nerve roots in the spinal canal can be caused in a variety of ways; from injury or overuse as mentioned above or from disease or degeneration as follows:
- Herniated, bulging, or compressed discs: Spinal discs are round, flat discs of tissue that cushion the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. If discs get damaged from injury, disease or even the normal process of aging, they can be compressed, bulged or even rupture. This can interfere with nerve function and create pain, numbness or weakness in the back or extremities.
- Osteoarthritis : This refers to degeneration of the small facet joints of the spine that can cause further misalignment and pain. Typically a result of the natural aging process.
- Spinal stenosis: Another condition that is often a process of aging whereby the spinal canal narrows, squeezing or irritating nerves. This condition can be the result of degeneration and/or excessive bone growth or thickening of cartilage and other tissues in the canal. Left untreated, spinal stenosis can lead to serious nerve damage or even paralysis.
- Spinal misalignments called subluxations can also pinch nerves creating pain, or cause nerve interference that can actually affect other bodily functions.
- Emotional and Physical Stress: Stress in life can cause muscle tension and set off a vicious cycle of pain. As muscles contract, fatigue can cause muscle aches or pain. Pain and discomfort can lead to sleeplessness with its associated problems such as irritability, depression, and reduced immune function. And so the problems perpetuate.
- Bed Rest
However sensible getting off your back may seem, studies show that bed rest is NOT superior to remaining (conservatively) active to treat a low back injury. In fact, prolonged bed rest can actually lead to increased stiffness and pain and a reduced ability to function. Periodic short rests can be helpful and your healthcare provider may advise a reduction of normal activity.
- Heat and Ice
Immediately after an injury, ice your back for about 15 minutes at least 3 to 4 times a day to reduce or prevent inflammation and swelling. After 2 to 3 days, if symptoms persist, use moist heat ( but never a dry heating pad) for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Then, if pain continues, see a healthcare professional.
Non-prescription pain relievers such asacetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS (i.e. ibuprofen) may be helpful for temporary relief, but are NOT advisable for chronic pain or long term use. Tylenol has recently been linked to liver disease and ibuprofen to bleeding ulcers. Doctors often prescribe stronger drugs for pain, but of course, these have other risky side effects including mental or physical impairment, behavioral effects, and addiction. Extreme caution should be used when undergoing any chemical therapy for pain.
Most back pain problems can be treated effectively without costly and risky surgeries. In fact, one recent study shows that up to 40% of back surgery patients report a DIS-satisfactory result within 4 years of treatment. For this reason, other more natural, less invasive treatments should be explored or exhausted before choosing surgical intervention.
Chiropractic is a natural form of treatment that operates on the premise that the body is designed to heal itself. Chiropractors actually have more training than a traditional general or family care physician. Chiropractors use gentle spinal adjustments to correct spinal misalignment and relieve pressure on sensitive nerves. They often combine this form of treatment with other non-invasive modalities such as muscle stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and physical therapy to relieve symptoms and rebuild core strength and maintain permanent correction. The chiropractor's goal is always to correct the problem, not simply hide the symptoms.
Complimentary Consultation- Back Pain Relief Assessment
The first, most important step toward full recovery and prevention of serious long-term back problems is an accurate diagnosis and assessment of your condition with a recommended treatment plan. With this special Internet offer, you can receive a Complimentary Consultation in our office simply by contacting us.
Consultation will include:
- Comprehensive Health History
- Accident description, documentation, and assessment
- Treatment recommendations
- Insurance evaluation, fees, and payment options