Got back pain?

Are you struggling with back pain? Whether it is your upper, middle, or lower back, it is likely that you will experience some form of back pain in your life. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 32 million Americans are experiencing back pain at this moment, and that approximately 80% of the population will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. With numbers like this, it’s not surprising that back pain has grown to be the #1 cause of disability in the United States.  What causes back pain, and what is the best and most effective treatment? Chiropractic aims to use this article to guide you in the right direction to answer those questions and more.

What causes back pain?

The number of injuries, misalignment, and conditions that cause back pain seems endless. The back is a very complex structure that is required to absorb stress while permitting movement. Many elements of this structure such as tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones can become irritated or damaged resulting in pain. Sometimes it is severe trauma, such as a car accident, that can result in back pain. Other times it is minor repetitive stresses from your job, weak back muscles, or even just sitting at a desk job all day.  And believe it or not, even collapsing arches in your feet can be the main cause of your back pain, causing your pelvis to go out of alignment resulting in a short leg. We determine this by scanning every patients feet with a 3-D laser scanner to see if this is a contributing cause. To learn more about how your feet can be involved, click on this link for more information. >> Orthotics page

With all of these possibilities, it is important to find a doctor that takes into account all aspects of health to reach an accurate diagnosis. Fortunately, here at Barrick Family Chiropractic and Dr. Barrick’s many years of education and clinical experience, we are able to determine the correct diagnosis, whether it be a disc herniation, pelvic misalignment causing short leg syndrome, or just generalized low back pain. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment, even the most minor conditions can develop into serious lifelong conditions and should be evaluated and treated.

Disc herniations

One of the most common and painful causes of back pain is a disc herniation, which is a more serious condition than a disc bulge.  It is important to recognize that disc bulges do not necessarily result in pain. It has been found through MRI studies that as much as 37% of the American population has a disc bulge, and the vast majority of them are experiencing no pain or other related symptoms. However, with people who are experiencing a disc herniation, a more serious condition, the pain is often described as severe and intense.

The type of pain that is experienced due to a disc herniation depends on the type and position of the herniation. If the damaged disc is irritating or compressing a surrounding nerve, shooting pain and weakness into the legs may develop. The discomfort is often described as stabbing and lightning-like. To understand how a disc herniation develops, it is best to think of the disc as a jelly donut. If the outer edges of the donut (disc) is weakened and  damaged over time, most typically from wear and tear, the jelly in the middle of the disc can escape. At Barrick Family Chiropractic, we are able to treat most disc herniations with a special table and procedure known as Cox Flexion/Distraction. This procedure can literally push the disc back into place over time allowing it to heal, with the patient recovering 100%. We have helped many patients avoid back surgery over the years with this procedure.  However, there are cases that will not respond with this treatment, and therefore we refer them to trusted orthopedists for further treatment options.

Spinal misalignment and stress

People who are chronically under stress have a very different physiological profile then those who are not. When our bodies are under intense stress, they release various stress hormones to adapt to the situation. Elevated stress levels have been shown to contribute to the development of back pain, as well as a host of many other ailments. All of the tension produced by the stress hormones causes a contraction of muscle tissue that produces “myofascial trigger points”. These trigger points can be extremely painful and refer pain to other parts of the body such as the low back and buttocks, but we can successfully treat them in our office.

When health care professionals, such as chiropractors, treat the cause of back pain rather than the symptoms, the treatment of back pain becomes less complicated. All of the above stated causes of back pain have one factor in common, misalignments of the vertebrae in the spine. Luckily, our outstanding team is specially trained in their treatment.

As with any condition, it is recommended to take a conservative, effective, and non-invasive approach to the treatment of back pain first. If you are suffering from back pain or have any further questions, please contact us at Barrick Family Chiropractic today to schedule a consultation.