If you’re experiencing back pain, it’s important to take it seriously. Your spine encases and protects some of the most critical pieces of your Central Nervous System. The best place to start when addressing back pain is by understanding the types of back pain, the different symptoms involved and the underlying causes.
Types of Back Pain
Pain is most often a sign that something is wrong. Being able to tell the difference between the types of pain and the severity helps you on the way to fixing it. If you’re able to come in and give your chiropractor an idea of the type of pain you’re experiencing, they’ll be able to address it more accurately.
Acute Back Pain
Simply put, acute pain is a short-term pain. It may last only moments, or it may last months, but it’s a temporary pain caused by tissue damage. An example of this would be a scrape or fall. Certain types of acute pain, if left alone, have the risk of developing into longer lasting, or chronic, pain.
Chronic Back Pain
Chronic pain is the term used for pain that lasts between three and six months or longer. The tissue has healed from the injury, but the pain is still there. There is much more of a gray area surrounding chronic pain, as it is often not from an obvious cause.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain has a number of symptoms. This could look like a dull ache in the lower back or a sharper pain that shoots down the leg and foot. If it is severe, you may have difficulty standing straight without intense pain. Back pain also often causes a limited range of motion and difficulty when attempting to flex your back muscles.
Back pain itself can be a symptom of more significant issues. If you’re experiencing the above symptoms along with a loss of bladder control, weakness or numbness in your legs, unexpected weight loss, a throbbing abdomen, or a fever, consult your doctor.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Falls, heavy lifting, or even a strange movement can cause pain in your back.
The misalignment of the spinal column, called vertebral subluxation, is difficult for a doctor to diagnose as it’s not always visible from an X-ray. Vertebral subluxation can be caused by a car accident, bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle, or even stress and drug or alcohol usage. This causes back and sometimes neck pain as well.
An immense strain or significant injury can cause a herniated disc, leading to significant back pain. Most common in the lower back or the neck, a herniated disc occurs when the discs that cushion the vertebrae push into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture. The pain comes from this disc pressing on the spinal nerves. Pain from a herniated disc can be severe.
Chiropractic Care for Back Pain
Chiropractic care has a long history of offering instant and lasting relief from both acute and chronic back pain. Once you make an appointment, we’ll go through the following steps to address the causes and symptoms of your back pain.
A comprehensive exam at a chiropractor is very similar to a standard exam from your regular health care provider. You can expect to start with a brief discussion with the chiropractor regarding your reasons for visiting. Having answers prepared to the following will facilitate this process: how long you’ve been experiencing the pain, what type of pain and where, and what makes it feel better and what makes it feel worse. You will also go over your case history with your chiropractor, including your family history, diet, and past treatment information.
Following the consultation, a physical examination will occur in order to determine the areas of your spine that need treatment. Depending on the condition of your back, the chiropractor may utilize additional tests, such as an x-ray.
Individualized Treatment Plan
One of the most excellent benefits you can receive from a chiropractor is an individualized treatment plan. Every client is different, even if two patients are experiencing acute back pain in the same area, they will likely require entirely different treatment. Based on the results of your comprehensive exam, we will create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically for you and the pain that you are experiencing.
An individualized treatment plan will take into account your age, gender, lifestyle and habits, and past treatment history, as well as the pain that you are experiencing. It may include adjustments, stretching and strengthening movements, assistance with posture improvement, massage, and nutrition information. It’s our goal to benefit you in the short-term by reducing your pain and restoring healthy function and balance, but also in the long-term by integrating this into your daily health.
We use spinal adjustments to correct the alignment or function. These are specifically meant to address vertebral subluxations. By manipulating spinal joints, we can affect the role of the spine and both ease and improve its functioning.
If you’ve never experienced a spinal adjustment, it is a process where a trained chiropractor applies controlled pressure to a spinal joint. This process can ease back pain, neck pain, and headaches.