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BACK PAIN

Does your back go out more than you do?

At just about any age, it’s possible to experience back pain either at random or in a more chronic pattern.

Back pain can occur for a number of different reasons but you are not alone. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that one in six people had back problems in 2017-18.

While certain types of back pain may dissipate in time, chronic pain can have a major impact on your health. In Australia, it is a significant cause of pain, disability, loss of productivity, and the third-leading cause of disease burden.

Have you experienced the following symptoms?

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or dull pain in one or both sides of your back
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens when you bend, lift, stand or walk
  • Tingling or numbness that radiates to the legs and feet

At Advanced Chiropractic, we frequently see clients experiencing back pain and have been helping clients with the above symptoms and complaints with long term relief for over 25 years.

COMMON CAUSES OF BACK PAIN

MACROTRAUMA AND MICROTRAUMA

Back pain may be caused by macrotrauma or microtrauma. While these sound similar, they are different in nature.

Macrotrauma is often the result of falling or having an accident at work or during activity. This type of back pain begins at the time or shortly after these incidents.

Microtrauma is a form of overuse injury to the back which is caused by repetitive overuse of the muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons of the spine. Microtrauma can be a result of improper posture, slouching, poor lifting techniques and other factors.

In our experience we have found that back pain is often a combination of both macrotrauma and microtrauma.

Back pain is also categorised into either acute back pain – sudden pain, which lasts for six weeks or less – or chronic back pain, which lasts more than three months.

Whether back pain is caused by a specific factor or a combination of them, some of the most common causes of back pain we see at Advanced Chiropractic include:

SPRAINS AND STRAINS

A lower back sprain can happen suddenly or develop over time from repetitive movements. Surrounding the vertebral column are muscles, ligaments and tendons that may be subject to sprains and strains. Sprains and strains may occur from overloading the spine doing every day activities such as carrying boxes or even slouching in your chair at work. If you suffer from poor physical health, the constant strain can lead to painful muscle spasms.

BULGING OR RUPTURED DISCS

Intervertebral discs are the cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. This soft tissue can bulge or rupture and press on nerves, causing back pain. It is possible, however, to suffer from a bulging or ruptured disc without back pain.

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting the back. This occurs when there is a breakdown of cartilage in the facet joints, where the vertebrae join. It can affect people of all ages; however, it is most commonly observed in seniors.

It is also possible for Osteoarthritis in the spine to lead to spinal stenosis, which refers to the narrowing of the space around the spinal cord – another cause of back pain.

OSTEOPOROSIS

It is possible to experience back pain as a result of osteoporosis, which is where the spine’s vertebrae develop compression fractures when bones become brittle or porous.

STRESS

Believe it or not, stress can be a cause of back pain. This is especially true in the fast-paced world of the 21st century. When you are stressed, your nervous system responds by releasing hormones which prepare the body for fight or flight and as a result muscles in your body become tensed. Chronic stress can lead to tension-related back pain and fatigue muscles overtime.

TYPES OF BACK PAIN

AXIAL BACK PAIN

Also referred to as mechanical pain, axial back pain is generally located in one spot or location. The pain can be described as either dull or sharp. You may feel it from time to time or experience it as a constant or throbbing pain.

Axial back pain is the most common type of lower back pain. The pain can be described as follows:

  • Pain that tends to get worse during certain activities such as sports
  • Pain that seems to get worse in certain positions such as sitting for long periods
  • Pain that is often relieved by rest
  • Pain can be felt in the lower back, buttocks and sometimes the top of the legs

This type of back pain is often caused by muscle strain, facet joints, and tears in discs.

REFERRED BACK PAIN

Another type of pain felt in the lower back, this type of pain may be dull and achy, can move around and change in intensity. This pain is usually felt in the lower back region and tends to radiate into the groin, buttock and upper thigh. Degenerative discs may cause this type of pain in the hips and thighs.

RADICULAR BACK PAIN

Have you ever experienced back pain that feels similar to an electric shock?

Radicular pain is a pain that travels along the spinal nerve all the way down the spinal canal. Radicular pain is caused by an injury to a spinal nerve root, compression or inflammation arising from an underlying condition such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.

The most common symptom of radicular pain is usually called sciatica, pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve extending to the leg.

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HOW CAN CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT HELP?

While it is often thought back pain can resolve by itself, it’s not uncommon to experience pain for extended periods, even years. The Medical Journal of Australia reported that most people with an acute episode of back pain recover within 6–12 weeks, but at least a third go on to have a recurrent episode within 1 year.

Visiting a chiropractor early means back pain can be addressed sooner and the cause of back pain identified to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence. Given the importance of understanding the cause of pain, at Advanced Chiropractic we undertake a thorough health history, postural analysis, physical exam and refer you for diagnostic imaging when necessary.

At Advanced Chiropractic, our goal is to provide you with long-term relief from back pain and help return to good health. Ready for an appointment? Book an appointment with Chiropractor Dr Adam Gee.

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