STRUGGLING WITH BACK PAIN?
Whether it is located in your upper, middle, or lower back, most people will experience some form of back pain in their life. In fact, an estimated 32 million Americans are currently suffering with back pain at this moment. Back pain has become the #1 cause of disability in the United States and is quickly becoming a major concern for many people. This article will lay out what causes lower back pain, how to prevent it, and what the best form of treatment is once it has developed. Our experienced chiropractic team is here to help.
What is the Cause of Back Pain?
The number of potential injuries, misalignments, and conditions that could cause back pain seems endless. Tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones can all become irritated or damaged throughout a lifetime, through repetitive stress or sudden, severe trauma.
Conditions such as obesity, arthritis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections have been shown to cause symptoms of lower back pain, so these are all potential issues that you and your healthcare provider will need to take into account.
Disc Bulges or Herniation
One of the most common and painful causes of back pain is a disc bulge or herniation. A disc herniation is when the outer edges of the disc are worn away over time, ultimately exposing the nerves. According to MRI studies, as many as 37% of the American population have a disc bulge or herniation, with the vast majority of those diagnosed not reporting any pain. On the other hand, the people who are experiencing pain often describe it as severe and intense.
The type of pain that is experienced due to a disc herniation depends on the type and position of the herniation. If the damaged disc is irritating a surrounding nerve, shooting pain and weakness in the legs may develop.
Unfortunately, herniation can be very difficult to reverse, but chiropractic care has been shown to prevent the advancement of the herniation and provide relief from the associated pain.
Joint dysfunction is a mechanical problem in one or more of the spinal motion segments and their associated soft tissues and is a common a source of back symptoms. Motion of the entire spine is dependent on proper movement of each spinal segment. Joint dysfunctions can be caused by poor posture, repetitive motion, trauma and often just simple movements of the back. These dysfunctions are maintained by restrictions of the muscles or ligaments that surround these joints.
The initial treatment for cervical, thoracic, or lumbar dysfunction is mobilization or manipulation of the involved segments. An individualized exercise program to prevent recurrence of the dysfunction is just as important as manual therapy. Often, muscles are tight and need to be regularly stretched or strengthened to decrease the likelihood of recurrence.
Muscular Sprains and Tendon or Ligament Strains
Strains and sprains can occur in anyone, but they typically occur in people who engage in tasks that their body is not accustomed to or pushing themselves too hard. Ligament sprains are typically caused by stretching and tearing the ligament. Muscular strains are commonly caused by improper lifting form. Strains and sprains can be quite painful and are often accompanied by swelling and bruising of the surrounding area. On the upside, strains and sprains are rarely serious and typically respond very well to chiropractic care.
Stress and Back Pain
People with chronic stress have a very different physiological profile than those who don't. Elevated stress levels have been shown to contribute to the development of heart disease, digestive issues, depression, obesity, and back pain. The tension produced by chronic stress causes a contraction of muscle tissue creating “trigger points” which can be extremely painful.
If you are suffering from back pain in or have any further questions, please contact our chiropractic team at KC CORE today to schedule a consultation.