Back pain has affected the lives of millions of people around the world. It is said that at least 85% of Americans are affected by back pain at some point in their lives. Shockingly, it is the second most common reason for people to visit their family doctors (the first, being respiratory disorders).
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain is a pretty common thing among people. It can range from a slight annoyance in the back that subsides on its own to excruciating pain that limits a person’s mobility. Many people who have chronic back pain become bedridden for years. So here’s what causes it:
- Wrong posture: It is the biggest cause of back pain. Being seated in an awkward position while at one’s desk, staying in a bent position for a long duration, etc. puts a lot of pressure on the spine. When it happens regularly, the nerves of the spine could get compressed and irritated, leading to back pain.
- External injuries: External trauma could include sports injuries, accidental falls, automobile accidents, etc. A hard blow to the spinal column could dislocate the vertebrae, giving rise to back pain.
- Repetitive stress: Athletes, especially long-distance runners, and people who work out at the gym subject their bodies to repetitive stresses. This could cause a lot of strain in the spinal column and the spinal cord could become aggravated.
- Herniated disc: When the cartilage surrounding the vertebral disc ruptures, it causes a condition called disc herniation. The pulp from within the disc gets squeezed out when the vertebrae press against the disc. The pulp applies pressure on the surrounding nerves, producing back and leg pain.
- Spondylitis:It is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the backbone.
Apart from these, back pain could also be caused by medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, myelopathy, radiculopathy, etc.
The doctor will read through your medical history, which would give him/her an outline of your state of health and any underlying issue that could be causing the pain. Next, the diagnosis may include taking X-rays, CT scans, and EMGs to determine the exact cause of the back pain.
When back pain is caused by a minor posture problem, it usually subsides in a few days’ time upon taking medication. But when people ignore the pain and expect it to just go away by itself, it could make the pain much worse and affect one’s mobility. The common ways to treat back pain are:
Medication: Several medications are available that provide instant relief from back pain. But they would be effective only if the condition is minor. If the pain is caused by a dislocated backbone or aggravated nerves in the spinal column, the pain would be persistent.
Chiropractic: Chiropractic treatment involves gentle adjustments to the spinal column that frees up the nerves in the region, providing almost instant and long-lasting relief. A chiropractor is a doctor who is trained in chiropractic treatment and makes sure the procedure is pain-free, noninvasive, and absolutely comfortable. If you’re looking for long-term relief from back pain, chiropractic treatment would be the best option for you.
Physical therapy could be needed to bring the body back to its original functional state. Also, stretching and exercising would help to keep the spinal column in a physically healthy state.
Discover more about back pain management by requesting a consultation with your Palo Alto chiropractor, Dr. Heshmat. Call our office at (650-470-0008) or request an appointment online.