Four Causes Why You May Be Suffering From Back Pain
One of the most common ailments affecting Americans today is back pain. Over 65 million adults in the United States experience unrelenting and chronic discomfort in their lower, middle, or upper back. So what are the causes of back pain?
Due to the commonness of this condition, many businesses market items that are meant to reduce back-pain. You may be familiar with some of them: shoe insoles, specialized mattresses and pillows, pricey footwear, back supports that attach to chairs and objects, customized furniture, and of course, general stress management tools.
If you visit a traditional medical doctor, you may discover that your options for resolving back pain are limited. Back pain doctors in medicine are often general practitioners with limited expertise outside of severe or operable injuries. You may be referred to a back specialist by your general practicioner. Still, in the absence of a significant damage requiring surgery or other medical intervention, your doctor may only be able to prescribe or recommend pain medicine.
Back pain chiropractors in Alameda and Oakland are the experts of correcting the source causes of back pain. While a traditional medicine is intended to treat disease and discomfort with very specific interventions, chiropractors take a whole-body approach. An expert chiropractor will examine your lifestyle and overall physical condition prior to prescribing a treatment or solution. Chiropractors work mainly with the neuromusculoskeletal system, where back pain develops and is most effectively treated.
The Neuromusculoskeletal System
The neuromusculoskeletal system combines three interconnected systems of the human body: the nervous system, muscular system, and skeletal system. Chiropractors spend most of their academic time studying each of these systems and learning about the connected nature of their interactions with one another.
The skeletal system is recognized as the main system that chiropractors treat, yet it is deeply interconnected with the muscular system, stabilizing, insulating, and working in tandem with other body systems to support movement, mobility, and strength.
Just as the bones and the muscles work together to help the body to move, lift, and engage with the world, the nervous system plays a crucial role in skeletal and muscular activities. The nervous system controls impulses and instructions between the brain and spinal cord. The nervous system produces motor responses and processes sensory information. It is also responsible for regulating the production of hormones, function of the cardiovascular system, respiratory efficacy, and immune function.
The neuromusculoskeletal system plays a critical role in the function and well-being of the body. Chiropractic is one of the primary treatments that provides effective, safe, and healing neuromusculoskeletal support.
Back Pain in the Neuromusculoskeletal System
When the neuromusculoskeletal system is operating at level below normal, back pain can be one of the first symptoms that people notice. A specific injury or accident or arise as the byproduct of repetitive lifestyle can cause mild to severe back pain. Factors such as posture, a lack of ergonomic support, or an imbalance between too many sedentary or highly active pastimes can damage the neuromusculoskeletal system and cause pain and discomfort.
When back pain becomes noticeable, it’s typically because of an imbalance which has activated the nervous system. Abnormalities that disrupt the area’s natural balance can originate from misalignment, inflammation, constriction or tightness in the surrounding area, or degeneration of bones and joints. These imbalances can occur due to inflammation from an abnormality in the local area. If the normal alignment of bones and joints in the back becomes distubed, the nerves in the immediate area quickly become bruised, compressed, and damaged.
A bruised, constricted, or otherwise damaged nerve or bundle of nerves can result in various symptoms, one of which is a pain in the nearby area of the misalignment. Disrupted nerves can also create feelings of tingling, numbness, hot or cold sensations, and a loss of sensation. Damaged nerves can also cause sharp, shooting, aching, or soreness-like pain.
If you feel pain in your upper, middle, or lower back, below are four potential causes why you might be experiencing neuromusculoskeletal distress.
You’ve slipped or herniated a disc in your spine.
A slipped or herniated disc can occur due to injury, impulsive movement, or repeated automatic activity. When a “disc” slips or is herniated in the spine, this means that the cushioning interior of the spinal column has been forced out from the interior of the spinal column and is pushing through the joints and into the surrounding area. This phenomenon creates stress on local nerves and can result in all of the nerve pain described above.
A slipped or herniated disc can be treated by an expert chiropractor, who will utilize a variety of therapies and approaches to enable the disc and spine to return to a state of normality. Your chiropractor for slipped or herniated discs may use spinal traction, adjustments, at-home exercises, postures, positions, and a variety of in-office remedies to reduce or eradicate your back pain.
You’ve strained a muscle or ligament.
Muscle and ligament strains (back straining) are predominant in the neuromusculoskeletal system and frequently occur from too much of one posture or repeated activity. When the muscles and ligaments are weakened, this can cause bones and joints to be pulled out of alignment: tendons, ligaments, and muscles directly affect spinal structure. Muscle and ligament strain can also be caused by postural misalignment, which forces the body’s musculature to attempt to offset the misalignment and bring the body back into homeostasis.
Your chiropractor for muscle and ligament strain will likely utilize a variety of manual manipulations on your musculature to help decrease the tightness and stress occurring in the area. Manual manipulations may be completed with athletic tape, a brace, or another tool to isolate the area from further stress. Your chiropractor will help determine the origin of the position, activity, or injury that originated the damage and help you develop a plan for adjusting your lifestyle to prevent more pain.
Your body is experiencing inflammation.
When inflammation occurs in the body, it is usually the immune system’s attempt to address an imbalance, condition, or irregular occurrence in the body.
Inflammation may be caused by lifestyle factors, including exercise routines, your diet, sleep habits, posture, workplace ergonomics, genetic factors, and more. Inflammation is also typically the result of an injury, accident, or disease. While inflammation can initially help defeat invaders and heal wounds, the beneficial effects are canceled out in the event that inflammation becomes chronic. Instead of aiding in restoring homeostasis, chronic inflammation forces the body further away from homeostasis. Chronic inflammation can manifest as chronic pain, soreness and weakness in a specific area of the body, inflamed lymph nodes, poor immune response, and chronic fatigue.
By treating the neuromusculoskeletal system, your expert chiropractor can help to relieve inflammation. Chiropractic interventions improve circulation, detoxify stagnant and “stuck” areas of the body, and improve nerve function. When a chiropractic adjustment is performed, for example, the site of the body being addressed can purge cells and toxins, receive an influx of nutrients, oxygen, and fresh blood and lymph cells, and better facilitate the communication of nerve messages. This rejuvenating effect helps the body to reduce inflammation on its own, without the aid of medications or surgery.
Your body is experiencing spasms.
Spasms occur in the back when the tissues and muscles suddenly tighten or ease—often both, in different areas simultaneously. This is the body’s endeavor to defend itself from overuse, the most common causes of back pain. You may experience twinges in your back the day of a move; for example, bending, lifting, and pushing are occurring at a more aggressive rate than usual. Additionally, avid weight-lifters and athletes are commonly the victims of back spasms, which manifest as a sudden inability to lift the normal amount of weight, inexplicable “weakness” or loss of form, or limited range of movement due to hyper-contraction of surrounding muscles in the back.
Chiropractors for back spasms recognize that one of the fundamental causes of sudden muscle weakness, tightness, or strain is often a sudden lifestyle change or the beginning of a new activity. Expert chiropractors can also discern when a standard lifestyle activity has taken a toll and distinguish what area of the body has been under stress due to those specific activities. In addition to providing treatment, your expert chiropractor can help you develop a new lifestyle plan to ensure you still have time for your favorite occupations but know how to practice them safely. That way, you may still follow your goals without unnecessary pressure on your body.
Book An Appointment Today
If you’re tired of suffering from chronic back pain and feel like it’s time to get to the root causes of back pain, Symmetry Health Center is prepared to help. At Symmetry Health Center, we believe in providing the most customized, individualized care available. We strive to understand your unique experience and ensure that our treatments are designed just for you. We’re proud to offer the most ground-breaking chiropractic care in the Oakland and Alameda, CA areas.