Back pain is one of the most common complaints in our office. Once we know what is causing this back pain, we can decide how best to treat it.
Drugs can help take the edge off the back pain, but they tend to just mask the symptoms and do little to correct the underlying problem. They can’t correct the function of the spinal joints. Injections work the same way. They are just a higher dose of drug, injected directly into the affected area in the spine.
Surgery should be thought of as a last resort. There are cases where it is necessary, when all other options have been exhausted. Surgeries can range from the removal of a piece of the spinal disc or bone, through a small incision, to removal of entire discs and fusion of the bones.
In this office, we deal with the correction of mechanical and functional problems within the joints and discs of the spine, addressing the cause of lower back pain. This is done with chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy, exercise, stretching, massage, and patient education. Learning about your back and knowing the proper posture, ergonomics, and how to keep it strong will empower you to maintain a healthy spine.
Please feel free to contact our office for an appointment to diagnose your back pain and find the best solution.
It is estimated that over 80% of the population will experience lower back pain during their lifetime, and 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time.
The lower back is a complex structure made up of bones, discs, joints, ligaments, and muscles that are designed to protect the spinal nerves, support your upper body weight, and allow you mobility so you can bend and twist. Obviously, any number of things can and often do go wrong, leading to lower back pain.
Traumatic injuries, lifting, bending, or twisting, prolonged sitting at home or work, stress, and pregnancy are just a few examples of activities that can lead to lower back pain.
One of the common sources of lower back pain is improper movement of your facet joints. The facet joints connect the backside of the spinal bones together and are heavily supplied with pain producing nerves.
Another is the disc between each bone of the spine. They act as the major shock absorbers and are made up of two parts. The outer layer is a strong fibrous ring, and the inner a softer, more gel like substance. Damage to these discs can lead to pain from the nerves in the discs, the ligaments surrounding them, or the pressure they might put on the spinal cord or nerve roots (pinched nerves).
The mid-back gets very little attention compared to the neck and lower back, because it by far the least likely area of the back to give you problems.
The mid-back is made up of your thoracic spine, which has the same discs, joints, and ligaments that the neck and lower back have, but also have additional joints that attach the ribs. Because the thoracic spine is designed to move less than the cervical (neck) or lumbar spine (low-back), it tends to be more stable, and therefore have fewer problems.
Here are some common problem areas that cause mid-back pain:
1. The Costovertebral Joints – These are the joints attaching the ribs to the spine. If you’ve ever had a severe, stabbing pain at a very focal point along the side of you thoracic spine while taking a deep breath in, it’s often one of your costovertebral joints.
2. The Scapulae – The scapulae (shoulder blades) and the muscles surrounding them can also lead to mid back pain. The rotator cuff muscles and rhomboid muscles that move the support as well as move the scapulae can become strained, spasmed, and/or fatigued, leading to mid back pain.
3. Fractures – Trauma can lead to either a rib fracture or tearing of the connective tissue and nerves between the ribs that will give you to extreme pain that also increases with breathing in and out.
4. Osteoporosis – This can happen to anyone, but is definitely more prevalent among older females. The vertebrae of the thoracic spine have actually become so brittle that they fracture and collapse.
Complementary, the most common reasons for mid-back pain are:
• Long hours on a computer or at a desk
• Trauma from an auto accident, sports
• Weight lifting (too heavy, lose form, etc.)
• Pain referring into the mid back from an injury to the shoulder or neck
• A “rib is out”
• Having someone walk on your back or “pop” your back