Back Pain

Most people will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. It’s is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention and one of the biggest reasons people are forced to take time off work, and it is a leading cause of disability around the world.

Back pain doesn’t just affect our ability to work, but can steal time away from playing with our kids, enjoying the outdoors, everyday activity, and our overall enjoyment of life.

What is Back Pain?

Back pain encompasses anything from a mild and constant ache, to throbbing pain, to sharp bolts of pain that can radiate down the legs, making even the simplest tasks such as rolling over in bed extremely difficult. It can be chronic and increase over time, or be caused by an injury such as a sudden, strenuous or twisting movement, such as lifting something too heavy.

What Causes Back Pain?

Because of the complex, interconnected network of muscles, nerves, bones, discs and tendons around the spine, there are numerous causes of back pain. It becomes more common as you age, often striking first between the age of 30 and 40. Poor physical fitness and being overweight can contribute to back pain. Extra weight can add stress to the back and cause pain.

Heredity can cause back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis, for example, is a form of arthritis that affects the spine and has a genetic component. Other diseases such as arthritis and cancer can cause back pain. Physical exertion, such as pushing or lifting, or playing sports, can also cause back pain. Smoking can also be a contributor to back pain, because of both the smoker’s cough and due to the lack of nutrients to the discs in the spine.

The Symptoms of Back Pain

Common symptoms include difficulty moving that can become severe enough to prevent walking or even standing, pain that radiates around the groin, buttocks or upper thighs, pain that can be achy and dull, muscle spasms that can be severe, and local soreness to the touch.

The Treatment of Back Pain

Rest – ceasing activity for a few days – is a common treatment for back pain, because it allows the affected tissues and nerve roots to heal. Heat and ice packs can help relieve the pain by reducing inflammation, and medication is sometimes prescribed.

Spinal manipulation by a chiropractor is considered a safe and effective treatment for back pain. The treatment will involve one or more manual adjustments in which the chiropractor will manipulate the joints, using controlled force to improve range and quality of motion. Chiropractic goals include the restoration of function and prevention of further injury to relieve back pain.

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