Common Symptoms of a Back Condition
Reduced Range of Motion
Pain Radiating Down a Leg
WATCH AS DR. WINCHELL EXPLAINS BACK PAIN
Back Injuries and Back Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
The cause of your back pain often exists long before the pain begins.
There are many causes of back pain, and are sometimes unavoidable. They can occur at any point during your life and it may take years before causing pain or other noticeable symptoms. While traumatic events like accidents and sports injuries can lead to problematic back pain, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pen from the floor, can have painful results. As long as your back is healthy and functioning correctly, it can withstand tremendous forces without injury. A football player can take a 230 pound tackle. But, if your back is out of adjustment or has weak supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk can cause a back injury. In children, misalignments can initially occur during the birth process, learning to walk and during play.
Causes of Back Pain
According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) fit together and move.
Your spine is made up of a series of bones stacked like blocks on top of each other with cushions called discs in between to help absorb shock and weight. Facet joints are specialized joints that connect the vertebrae and allow us to twist and bend. In the center of each vertebra is a large opening, called the spinal canal, where the spinal cord and nerves pass. The vertebrae are held together by ligaments, which are fibrous tissues that connect bone to bone and help keep the spinal column in the correct position. From a side view, there are three natural curves to help distribute body weight and give us balance.
There are many issues that can develop from this delicate system. If your body does not realign even just one of these vertebrae, disease begins to develop.
Several common causes for spinal misalignments that are not easily detected, like an acute injury that is more obvious, include:
- Poor posture
- Repetitive movement, usually from a work task
- Short leg
- Poor sleeping habits
- Bending forward too long
- Holding a phone to your ear with your shoulder
- Carrying a heavy purse, briefcase or backpack
- A difficult pregnancy
- Difficult birth
- Improper bending, lifting or carrying
- Stress or anxiety
- Environmental toxins that stress the body, like high quantities of caffeine, processed foods, smoking, alcohol
What is a Spinal Misalignment or Subluxation?
Misalignments are the cause of many health issues, and are often called Pinched Nerves. Of course, potentially traumatic events, such as falls, accidents, sports activities and exercise expose people to risks of developing problematic subluxations. But almost any activity, like housework, working at a desk and even sleeping can produce subluxations of the spine. In simplest terms, a misalignment is when one or more of the bones of your spine move out of position and create pressure on or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then cause those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the nerves signals.
If left untreated, these normally smooth surfaces on which these joints glide become rough, irritated and inflamed causing degeneration of the spine. Much like tooth decay, most people will have a misalignment long before they notice any symptoms.
In North America, significant amounts of spinal degeneration can be detected in over one-third of the population by age 30. By age 70, spinal degeneration is present in nearly everyone and all too often in advanced stages. Early detection and treatment is key to the prevention of long term spinal decay.
A misalignment and mild malfunction of the spine. Because the body is so adaptable, this early phase can exist without the warning of pain or other symptoms. The response to chiropractic treatment is very good.
- loss of normal spinal curve
- disc, joint, muscle and nerve damage
- less energy
- posture is distorted
- height may decrease
Phase two is recognized on X-ray views of the spine by visible bone spurs and rough edges of the vertebrae. Soft tissues, such as discs and ligaments degenerate from the lack of normal joint movement. Pain or other symptoms may not be present.
- Increasing decay, disc narrowing and bone deformation
- Spinal canal narrowing (stenosis) may occur
- Aches and pains more common
- Height decrease continues
Years of neglect may cause the eventual fusion of the malfunctioning joints. Atrophy, permanent nerve damage, and soft tissue degeneration are common. Reduced mobility and impaired nervous system function become more obvious. Phase three can be very painful.
- Greater posture imbalance
- Increased nerve damage
- Advanced bone deformation
- Loss of energy
- Loss of height
The final stage of spinal degeneration is often irreversible and typically causes severe chronic pain and immobility.
- Degeneration of the cartilage and bone
- Bone fusion, constant pain and discomfort
- Permanent loss of height
- Inability to turn, bend and twist
- Physical and mental weakness and disability are distinct
Chiropractic Care #1 Choice for Conditions Like Back Injuries
Non-drug treatments, such as chiropractic, are recommended as the first treatment choice, before over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin and ibuprofen) or prescriptions for conditions like back pain, by new ACP guidelines.
Another big change to the guidelines is that acetaminophens (like Tylenol and Excedrin) should not be used at all, since recent evidence shows that these over-the-counter painkillers do not help back pain.
In fact, after an extensive study of all available care for low back problems, the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first; and it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults
An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013 also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain--and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.
Your Lasting Solution for Back Pain
Dr. Winchell focuses on eliminating the cause of back pain, rather than just symptoms like most other healthcare approaches. By correcting the misalignments in your spine that are causing degeneration and interfering with your nervous system, the causes of your symptoms are eliminated for long-term results. Bone spurs may reabsorb, muscle and ligament irritation heal, vertebrae strengthen, and nerve function restore.
Back pain is the number one condition Dr. Winchell treats everyday. His gentle approach to treatment avoids the unnecessary twisting of the neck muscles associated with traditional “cracking” type of chiropractic realigning adjustments. Using a calculated tap of pressure from a handheld mechanical device, he is able to precisely realign your spinal vertebrae and relieve your nerve constriction. Utilizing Erchonia low-level laser therapy and electrical stimulation, Dr. Winchell’s treatments stimulate your body to heal quicker for faster pain relieve and recovery of irritated tissues.
You are invited to book a complimentary consultation and exam to find out if Dr. Winchell’s treatments are the best choice for your back pain.