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"I could work again." "I threw my stick away." "My son played soccer again."
What’s going on to cause the pain in your back?
Lower back pain is something that many people experience. Back pain is the number one reason people visit a doctor and miss work. Back pain can strike even young children and is a leading cause worldwide of disability.
Back pain is more common as you age. Most Americans will experience back discomfort at some point in life. Some people can have back pain that is chronic.
These people may find Augusta chiropractic treatment to be a lifesaver.
What should I know regarding back pain?
The intensity of back pain can vary from a dull, constant ache, to a sharp, shooting or sudden stab. It can happen suddenly from an injury or lifting heavy objects, or it can become more common as we age. Back pain can also be caused by too much exercise and not enough resistance to it.
The lower back, where most back pain is felt, includes the five vertebrae (referred as L1-L5) located in the lumbar region. These five vertebrae support a large portion of the body’s weight. Intervertebral disks, which are rubbery, round pads that cushion the spine and act as shock absorbers throughout it, keep the spaces between the vertebrae. Ligaments hold the vertebrae in their place and tendons connect the muscles to the spine column. Thirty-one pairs nerves are rooted within the spinal cord. They control the body’s movements and transmit information to the brain.
A majority of acute low back pain is caused by mechanical causes. This means that the spine, muscles, intervertebral disks, and nerves are not working properly. The following are some examples of low back problems that may be caused by mechanical factors:
Muscle and ligament strain. Repeated lifting and sudden awkward movements can strain the spine and muscles. Constant strain on your back may cause muscle spasms if you’re not in good physical condition.
Bulging disks or ruptured disks. Disks act like cushions between bones (vertebrae), in your spine. A disk’s soft material can burst or rupture, putting pressure on nerves. It is possible to have a ruptured or bulging disk without experiencing back pain. The most common way disk disease is discovered is when you get spine X-rays.
Osteoarthritis could affect the lower back. Sometimes, arthritis of the spine can cause narrowing around the spinal cord. This condition is called spinal stenosis.
If your bones become porous and fragile, you could experience painful fractures to the spine.
If the cause is misuse or strain, symptoms of back pain are often temporary but can last for days to weeks.
If your back pain persists for more than 2 weeks, consult your doctor. Sometimes, back pain is a sign of serious medical problems.
When a serious condition is ruled out, and especially if you are only able to treat symptoms rather than the root cause, chiropractic treatment may be recommended.
Back pain: Home and professional remedies
Self-care and home treatment can often improve back pain within weeks. Contact your doctor if your back pain:
- Persists beyond a few weeks
- Severe and won’t improve with rest
- Spreads down one or both feet, especially if pain extends below knees
- Causes weakness, numbness, and tingling in one or both of the legs
- Unexplained weight gain
Back pain can be a sign of a serious medical condition in rare cases. Seek immediate care if your back pain:
- New bowel or bladder problems
- It is accompanied by a fever
- It can happen after a fall or blow to your back.
It is possible to rest from strenuous activities, but it can be helpful to move around, which will reduce stiffness, pain, and prevent muscle weakness.
Numerous products are available to help with back pain. Although there are many products that claim to help with back pain, such as special shoes or shoe inserts, it is not known if these products, along with specially-designed furniture and stress management programs, can be effective.
It doesn’t appear there’s one mattress that’s the best for back pain. It all comes down to personal preference.
There are many pain relief medications that can be purchased over-the counter (OTC), including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID), like ibuprofen.
Opioids, which are stronger pain medication that can be prescribed for severe pain, are available. These medications, including oxycodone or OxyContin and a combination (acetaminophen/hydrocodone) of acetaminophen/Vicodin, act on the body and brain to reduce pain.
While antidepressants like amitriptyline are sometimes prescribed, there is still much to be learned about their effectiveness.
Cortisone injections: These may be used in place of other options, such as injecting cortisone into the epidural spaces, which are located around the spinal chord. Cortisone acts as an anti-inflammatory medication. It is a painkiller that reduces inflammation near the nerve roots. It may also be possible to inject injections to treat pain.
Botox: Botox, also known as botulism toxin, is believed to reduce pain by paralyzing spasm-producing muscles. These injections can be used for up to four months.
Traction: For stretching the back, pulleys and weights are used. This could cause a herniated or bulging disk to shift back into the proper position. You can also feel relief from pain, provided that you apply traction.
Physical therapy: This may include heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
As the pain eases, the chiropractor may suggest some flexibility and strength exercises for the abdominal and back muscles. It is possible to improve posture.
For back pain prevention, the patient will be encouraged not to stop practicing the techniques after they have gone.
Experts believe that TENS can stimulate the body to make endorphins and block pain signals going back to it. There have been mixed results from TENS research. Some studies found no benefits, while others showed that it could prove beneficial for some.
Back pain surgery is extremely rare. It is very rare for a patient to have a herniated disk.
The best way to get lasting relief is to see a chiropractor.
Causes Of Back Pain
Many times, back pain does not have a cause. A test or imaging study can help diagnose the problem. An experienced chiropractor will often be able pinpoint the cause.
These conditions are often associated with back pain:
Strained muscles can often cause back discomfort. Strain is often caused by incorrect lifting heavy objects or sudden awkward movements.
Overactivity can also cause strain. A good example is stiffness and soreness from too much activity, such as yard work or playing sports.
Vertebrae, which are interlocking bones stacked one on top of the other, make up the spine. Discs are a type of tissue that cushions the space between vertebrae. Disc injuries can cause back pain.
Herniated or bulging discs can cause pain. Sciatica, or irritation of your sciatic nerve, can be caused by a bulging disc pressing down on the nerve running from your back to your legs. Sciatica may be felt in your leg:
Back pain can also be caused by spinal osteoarthritis. It occurs when the cartilage and joints of your lower back are damaged or degraded.
The osteoporosis process, which results in a loss of bone density or thinning, can cause small vertebrae fractures. These fractures, also known as compression fractures, can cause severe pain.
Although there are many possible causes for back pain, most of them are uncommon. If you are experiencing persistent back pain that doesn’t go away, it is important to consult a doctor.
Back pain can happen to anyone, even teenagers and children. These factors can increase your chances of suffering from back pain.
It can occur from injury, physical activity, and other medical conditions. There are many reasons why back pain can occur in people of any age. The likelihood of experiencing lower back pain as we age increases due to factors such a previous occupation or degenerative disk disease.
Lower back pain can be related to the bony spine, discs between vertebrae, ligaments surrounding the spine and discs and spinal cord and nerves.
Retaining a hunched or slanted position when using computers can cause back and shoulder problems.
Back pain symptoms
The most common symptom of back discomfort is a pain or ache in the back. Sometimes, it can even go all the way to the legs and buttocks.
How to prevent pain in the back
Regular exercise is a great way to build strength and maintain a healthy weight. Without straining the back or lifting heavy weights, aerobic exercise can be guided and low-impact. Talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.
Your abdominal and back muscles help you stay upright and support you during your daily activities. It is possible to strengthen your back and reduce the risk of injury, strain or pain.
Include core-focused strength training in your workouts a few times per week.
You need to ensure that your diet contains enough vitamin D as well as calcium. It is also important to control your weight.
Smoking Is Bad For Your
Smoking: An even higher proportion of smokers experience back pain than non-smokers.
Back pain can be affected by the weight and where you carry it. There is a significant difference in the risk of developing back pain between people who are obese and those who are normal weight. The risk of back pain is higher for those who are heavier in the abdomen than the hips or buttocks.
How You Carry Yourself
Bad posture can cause unnecessary strain and pressure on your spine. This can cause injury and pain.
Standing: Keep your pelvis neutral. Keep your head straight forward and your body balanced on both feet. Keep your legs straight, your head aligned with your spine and your head in line.
When sitting, be sure to maintain a straight spine. A good working seat should offer good back support and armrests. Sitting should be done with your knees and hips straight. You can also keep your feet flat on a hard surface, such as a table or a stool. You should be able to stand upright and have support in your lower back. When using a keyboard make sure your elbows are straight and your forearms are horizontal.
Lifting should be done with care
So that you can keep your balance, you should be able to straighten your back. You should only bend at your knees and hold your weight near your body. Then, straighten your legs and change the position of your back.
It is normal to bend your back at first. However, if you do, don’t stoop. Tighten your stomach muscles to pull your pelvis in. It is important to not straighten your legs when lifting. If you do, you will be using your back most of the time.
Do not lift and rotate simultaneously. Keep your eyes straight ahead while you lift, not looking up and down. The back of your neck should look like a straight line running from your spine.
Moving things: It’s better to use your leg strength and push the things along the floor than pull them.
Driving And Your Back
Proper support is essential for your back. You should ensure that the wing mirrors do not twist. The pedals should be directly in front your feet. You should take frequent breaks if you’re on a long trip. Walk around the area instead of getting in your car.
When It’s Time For Bed
A mattress that supports your spine and balances your weight should have a firm foundation. Be careful not to make your neck curve into a pillow.
Take Care Carrying Everyday Items
Over-heavy briefcases and laptop bags, as well as purses and wallets, can cause strain and unnecessary stress to your neck.
Use bags that have a more even weight distribution, such a backpack, to reduce the amount of things you need to transport. Use a bag with wheels if you are able to reduce the weight.
Back Pain Risk Factors
Sometimes back pain is caused by a problem in how your spine, muscles, discs and nerves move.
Although age is a factor, there are other factors that can cause low back pain, such as injuries, poor posture and illnesses.
Age: Low back pain usually starts between 30 and 50 years old. As you get older, the likelihood of experiencing back pain increases. In addition to causing fractures, osteoporosis can also lead to a decrease in muscle elasticity, tone, and bone strength. With the passage of time, intervertebral Discs start to lose fluid flexibility and fluidity. This reduces their ability for cushioning the vertebrae. As we age, the risk of spinal stenosis increases.
As we age, our bones, discs, and ligaments can become weaker. While this is a normal part of aging, it does not have to cause pain.
As we age, the discs in our spines become smaller and the space between the vertebrae becomes narrower. The edges of the vertebrae or facet joints may be surrounded by small bits of bone called osteophytes.
This medical term is spondylosis. It is similar to changes that osteoarthritis causes in other joints.
Maintaining a healthy spine and strong muscles around the spine, pelvis, and surrounding areas will help reduce the effects of spondylosis.
Fitness: Back pain is more common for those who aren’t physically fit. The spine may be not supported by weak abdominal and back muscles. Weekend warriors are those who exercise more than usual after being inactive. They are more likely be to sustain painful back injuries. Research has shown that aerobic exercise, which is low-impact, can help to maintain intervertebral health.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese or rapidly gaining weight can place stress on your back and lead directly to low back pain.
Genetics: Some back pain causes, such as ankylosing-spondylitis (a type of arthritis that involves fusion and immobilization of spinal joints), may have a genetic component.
Factors associated with your job: Any job that requires heavy lifting or pushing or pulling, or involves twisting or vibrating your spine, can lead injury or back pain. Poor posture or sitting in a slouchy chair can cause pain.
Overloaded backpacks can lead to muscular fatigue in children.
Your mental well-being can have an impact on the risk of backache. Anxiety, depression, and stress can make you more susceptible to back pain.
Weight Of Baby, Hormone Changes, Cause Back Stress
It is common to experience back pain in the third trimester of pregnancy. There are many causes. You should talk to your doctor if you feel the pain is related to something else.
As your baby grows, your center of gravity moves outward. The change in balance will affect your spine and back arch. This puts extra stress on your lower lumbar.
Weight gain can be an important part of pregnancy. However, even the slightest bit you do gain in those nine months can place more stress on your back.
As you prepare to have your baby, your body releases hormones which loosen the ligaments in your pelvis. The same hormones that cause pain and discomfort can also cause bones to shift in your spine.
Your Spine Is Awesome
The spine, also known by the backbone (or spinal column), is one the most strong parts of the body. It allows for great flexibility and strength.
It’s comprised of 24 bones known as vertebrae. These are the ones that sit on top of each other. These bones are supported with strong ligaments and muscles and have discs between. There are also bones in the tailbone that run down the back. They are fused together without any discs.
Many small joints, known as the facet joints, can be found on either side of the spine. They run from top to bottom.
The spinal chord connects to your brain via the base bone of your skull. Other nerves link to your body via spaces between the spine bones. These nerves are also known by the term nerve roots.