What is Back Pain?
While there are many causes of back pain and many reasons why people have it, the vast majority of pain is due to simple wear and tear and dysfunction. 80% of all back pain conditions are due to the simple act of aging, over use, injuries and repetition. These are the conditions we see mostly and treat and manage. The remaining 20% have more significant issues that may relate to neurological disorders, diseases or other more complex defects, those issues we cannot treat and when we do see them, we then refer out to the appropriate specialist to help you further.
At Back Pain Relief Center, we treat mechanical issues with the back and help people out of pain and back to normal as quickly as possible.
This post though will delve into the aspect of how back pain starts and the areas to be observant in.
How the Back Pain Starts?
If we understand how back pain starts then the ability to treat it becomes easier and better decisions can be made as to where to go for treatment. Back pain starts with compression of the spine in the neck, mid back and low back. The goal is to release this compression as early as possible to counteract these effects.
So what makes back pain begin in the first place?
Gravity, Lifestyle and Work Affects Back Pain
While we can’t do anything about gravity, it is a major contributor to back pain believe it or not. We are continually standing up against gravity as it pushes down on us. That alone is enough to compress the spine even if we are standing or sitting.
What we do in our leisure time also has an effect. If we are into fitness, weight lifting or active sports, all these elements can have an impact on compressing our spine.
Our jobs too, sitting at a desk all day or if we have a more physical job in a factory, lifting things, movement, all plays a role in compression of the spine. Law enforcement is also another job due to the heavy uniforms worn that impact the spine. And one step further, our military is also impacted in a big way with heavy weights being imposed on the body when training, exercises and active military duty too. And it’s a good thing that chiropractic care is readily available in the military and also to the VA.
All these things contribute in some way to compressing the spine and while compression alone isn’t the a problem in itself, it’s other elements in conjunction with this that do create issues.
Repetition and Injuries
Two of the leading issues with back pain come in the form of repetition and injuries. Repetition is where we perform a certain task over and over again, day in, day out. Using myself as a chiropractor as an example, I am constantly bending over people while I adjust them. This is a form of repetition and it does actually cause me some problems of my own, but I too use chiropractic treatment to help keep me in shape.
Injuries is another aspect that factors into this equation. Injuries can be from anything, simple injuries from falling over, auto accident, sports injury and more. The back in some way may have been damaged and causes it to slowly dysfunction.
Compression + repetition and/or injury = back pain.
How the Spine Dysfunctions
We briefly spoke about dysfunction in the previous section. It is this dysfunction that really causes the problems and the pain. As time goes by, our joints and our discs slowly wear down from every day life and use. The pressure on them slowly builds and along with injuries and repetitive actions, this slowly causes the spine to dysfunction.
Before getting into the mechanics of how the spine dysfunctions, it’s important understand what happens to the spine. The spine is “designed” a certain way to be able to naturally handle the normal rigours of use and activity. The joints are a set distance from one another, the discs sit in and are at a certain fluidity and flexibility and the ligaments and muscles all operate around the joint normally. They all do their job properly as long as all are in good shape.
When one or more of these elements stop working as they should, then the whole area dysfunctions and inflammation builds up. This inflammation causes pain.
The Effects of What Tends to Happen When Back Pain Starts
Typically at this point, most people tend to try and battle through the pain. Often it’s simply an annoyance and certainly not life threatening. In many cases, the pain may subside and come back again at another time, but the problem is that this becomes cyclic and often degenerates over time. The time to get it sorted is as soon as you feel the pain where the chances of recovery are much better as it’s simpler to treat.
The problem when the pain is ignored is that your back is not working properly. The joints, discs, ligaments and muscles that should be gliding smoothly and around each other do not. The dysfunction is compounded by further compression (gravity) and also by repetition (work, lifestyle etc) and also any injury that may have been sustained.
The actions together slowly cause inflammation which in turn creates pain.
It Becomes a Catch 22 Situation
Imagine rubbing your hands together. After a while, you feel heat generating and if you keep doing it, your hands get sorer, hotter and redder. Eventually it becomes painful and callouses form. This is exactly the same as your joint problem. The mechanics are out of balance and things constantly rub together which creates heat, soreness, inflammation and eventually internal callouses which we call scar tissue.
At this point, muscles begin to spasm, the whole area gets worse and much more compression occurs.
The compression then adds to the overall effect and the condition of your back pain deteriorates and becomes very painful.
Compression + repetition and/or injury = back pain.
That is how the majority of back pain is formed. Compression, dysfunction, inflammation, pain. And left untreated, the problem becomes worse.
How to Help Back Pain
Chiropractic treatment has been proven to help with back pain. The treatment’s primary goal is to essentially undo the compression, to allow muscles, ligaments and joints to return to their proper positions and function. When this happens, inflammation goes down and pain reduces.
When we do chiropractic treatment on patients we are decompressing their spines and allowing proper movement and function of the spine and its associate workings.
We see most people return to good health or improve significantly between 3 and 12 treatments. The majority of the time we see people good again after 6 visits, but it all depends on the severity of the case and what is going on. If it is an issue we can’t help with, we then refer out to someone who can, whether it be a physical therapist, orthopedic, pain management doctor or in rare cases, to a surgeon.
The good news is you don’t have to deal with back pain. When back pain starts, come in and see us at our Myrtle Beach practice as soon as you can. We love to help. Walk ins are welcome or you are more than welcome to send us a message through Facebook, or call us 843 804 8100.
Dr Ray Marquez DC
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