According to Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, and approximately 16 million of them (8%) experience persistent or chronic pain. In this post, we explore common causes of back pain and discuss how chiropractics can help you find relief and get back to enjoying life again.
Note: These are general guidelines to help you find effective treatment. Therefore, we highly recommend seeking a professional opinion to properly diagnose your condition.
Common causes of back pain
One of the most common causes of back pain is a disc injury of some kind. Your intervertebral discs are the little pads between the vertebrae in your back. Each one has a tough outer ring and a soft gel-like center. Their job is to both join and separate your vertebrae from one another. In other words, the discs act as cushions, so your bones don’t make contact with each other as you move around, carry large objects, and bend over. When you injure a disc, moving your upper torso will become painful and difficult. There are three common injuries that can occur:
- Protruding disc = disc becomes asymmetrical and gel is pushed out or bulging
- Herniated disc = ruptured to the point that the gel pushes outward
- Disc extrusion = worst type of injury; the gel balloons extensively into the area outside the vertebrae or breaks off from the disc
Each of these injuries usually results in considerable pain in the back and/or neck, along with things like numbness, weak legs or feet, and potential loss of bladder control. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a chiropractor immediately to avoid any further damage to your back. He or she will thoroughly assess your body to determine the extent of the issue and the appropriate treatment. This will keep the condition from getting any worse and will provide immediate relief.
Another common back injury many people experience is a subluxation. That is simply the medical term for a misalignment in your back. There are many different causes, including physical stress, trauma, and toxins. Subluxations are often quite painful and can disrupt normal movement. And yet, many doctors overlook them as the culprit of back pain. Well-trained chiropractors can identify and correct this issue using non-invasive adjustment techniques.
Muscular sprains and tendon/ligament strains
Strains and sprains most typically occur when we engage in tasks we aren’t used to. They can also happen if you were in a car accident. Additionally, lifting while twisting, or stretching past one’s limits are common causes to strains and sprains in the back. These can be extremely painful, and are often accompanied by swelling and bruising of the surrounding area. They tend to involve changes to the alignment of the spine and typically respond well to chiropractic care.
Stress And Back Pain
A fourth cause of back pain that is rather common is chronic stress. When your body releases stress hormones, you may notice increased muscle tension or spasms. The tension will often accumulate in what we call trigger points, which can cause a lot of pain and usually require professional attention to resolve. Chiropractors have the knowledge and tools to relieve stress from trigger points and deal with underlying nervous system imbalances that may be keeping your body locked in patterns of stress and pain.
Other issues that might cause back pain
Research shows that conditions like obesity, arthritis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections can cause symptoms of lower back pain. Many of these issues have their source in spinal misalignments and respond well to chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic care for back injuries
Chiropractics has a proven track record when it comes to providing both short-term back pain relief and long-term recovery. But what actually happens during chiropractic treatment? Typically, the doctor will assess your medical history and take x-rays. He or she may also conduct a physical exam to determine the extent of your back injury and the appropriate treatment. Your treatment plan is personalized and tailored to your body’s unique needs.
Whether the pain is mild or severe, you should seek a chiropractor as soon as possible so the issue does not progress and cause any permanent damage.