An Introduction to Back Pain
More than 65 million Americans report instances of back pain each year—and that’s just the registered number. Many adults can relay an event or time in their life when they experienced back pain, either chronic (persisting for over six months) or acute (occurring immediately after a precipitating event).
Back pain manifests as a stabbing pain, sharp pain, aching pain, dull pain, temperature-like (hot or cold feeling) pain, or as shooting pain similar to that of sciatic pain. Common movements that trigger back pain include sitting, standing, bending, squatting, and carrying or transportating weight.
For many adults, resolving back pain is a matter of finding ways to “hack” the discomfort. Many people attempt to “hack” their back pain by using medication (prescription or over-the-counter), by avoiding specific movements and activities, and by using props (like portable seating) in events where they know they’ll be engaging in a pain-inducing activity or movement.
The truth is, “hacking” back pain isn’t an effective way of treating it long-term. Avoiding specific movements and activities can become a significant obstacle that impedes the quality of daily life. Overusing prescription or over-the-counter medications, which is a common back-pain “hack,” can backfire. The human body quickly builds a tolerance to substances and chemicals, and naturally requires that more or less pain medication be used for some time to achieve the early effects.
The best approach to back pain is to address the pain at its origin and treat it appropriately. Particularly in the case of injuries, untreated back pain typically results in more health complications in the future.
What areas of the back commonly experience pain?
Back pain occurs in three main areas of the back: the upper back, the lower back, and the middle back.
Lower Back Pain
The most common form of back pain, lower back pain can have many causes.
A common cause of low-back pain is misalignment in the bones and joints, or scoliosis.
Scoliosis is the presence of an unnatural s-shaped curvature in the spine. This unnatural s-shaped curve changes the ideal balance of the skeletal structure.
Scoliosis affects 1-2% of the population. It often originates in early childhood due to birth trauma or hereditary factors. Chiropractic BioPhysics® is a highly effective treatment method for helping ameliorate pain and correct the unnatural curve which is representative of scoliosis.
Simple subluxations (misalignment) in the spine also contributes to lower back pain for the same reasons as scoliosis, although it is usually more mild. When the spinal structure moves out of correct alignment, it places pressure on the nerves and tissues in the surrounding area.
Middle Back Pain
Middle back pain can result from scoliosis and misalignment, but it is commonly the result of overuse, muscle strain, and poor posture.
Poor posture can contribute to moderate back pain. When the posture is poor, the skeletal structure is no longer being used efficiently. This puts strain on all the muscles, tissues, and nerves in the area of the poor posture.
Hunched posture, slumped shoulders, and “text neck” (forward head posture) all contribute to tension in the middle back, which often feels like an oppressive ache or dull pressure that won’t go away.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is one of the rarest forms of back pain, but it still occurs, usually due to injury or imbalances in the neck, which is being compensated for by the shoulders.
When the body is injured, if sufficient time is not allowed for rehabilitation and recovery, chronic pain can arise and last forever until treated. All injuries always need sufficient recovery time and proper treatment to heal correctly. Injuries which contribute to upper back pain include lifting heavy items, excessive exercise, car accident trauma (which causes impact on the spine), and poor form during physical activities.
What is the true cause of back pain?
Back pain is caused by an imbalance in the neuromusculoskeletal system. The interaction between the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems is where pain arises from muscle-related injuries, skeletal-related imbalance, and nerve-related inflammation.
The area becomes inflamed when an injury occurs in the back, including the micro-muscle tears caused by poor posture. Inflammation is a natural immune response, but it can become chronic and detrimental when the body is not allowed time to heal.
What begins as an small or sudden injury often turns into chronic pain because the injury has not been given enough time to recover.
Other reasons for back pain include arthritis, joint degeneration, ruptured spinal discs, osteoporosis, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
What is the effect of chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is a treatment designed specifically to address the neuromusculoskeletal system. Although it is non-surgical and non-invasive, chiropractic care is a powerful intervention for the body. Working directly on the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems, chiropractic aids in rebalancing any dysfunction that has been created by injuries, disease, and poor posture.
A chiropractic care plan usually consists of a thorough examination, x-rays which aid in determining which areas of the spine and joints are misaligned, and a review of any relevant medical history. Additionally, a description of the current condition is essential.
Chiropractic care works most effectively when a customized treatment plan is in place.
Regular chiropractic treatment boosts the positive effects of the therapy, and helps the body to heal more efficiently with every session. An expert chiropractor may also find it helpful to send you home with exercises and tools to practice on your own, which will help to make the effectiveness of your treatment even higher.
Getting Started with Chiropractic
Chiropractic care is considered a highly effective form of treatment for a diverse range of discomfort and pain. This includes neck pain, back pain, muscular pain, and nerve pain. Chiropractic also helps to realign the spinal structure, increase flexibility and mobility, and boost overall wellness.
If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Orange County, CA, Dr. Tyler Meier of Coreposture Chiropractic is certified in a branch of chiropractic care called Chiropractic BioPhysics®. Chiropractic BioPhysics® is a distinct form of chiropractic treatment that utilizes mirror-image adjustments and individualized spinal traction setups to create long-term changes in the shape of the spine. This can help to reduce back pain by correcting the postural concerns which are the root cause of your discomfort.
Frequently referred to as the top-rated chiropractor in Newport Beach, Laguna Hills, Tustin, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Orange County areas, Dr. Tyler Meier focuses on creating individualized treatment plans based on your unique needs and conditions. If you’re ready to experience the highest quality of chiropractic care in the Orange County area, book your appointment today.