Understanding causes and treatment of back pain
This article will help you to identify some of the most common causes of back pain with tips to help prevent and resolve these potentially disabling conditions.
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Studies show that 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from disabling low back pain at some point in their lives. If you have visited this page, chances are that you are among that 80%.
A basic description of anatomy will help you to understand the complexity of the lower back or “lumbar spine.”
The lumbar spine is made up of 5 separate bones or “vertebra” essentially stacked on top of one another. At the base of your spine is the sacrum and coccyx, or “tailbone.”
Each vertebra is separated by a disc, which acts as a shock absorber, and allows you to bend, twist and rotate at each level independently. The separation that the disc provides also allows an essential space for the spinal nerve roots to exit.
This entire system is bound by fibrous bands called ligaments, and serves as attachments and levers for many different muscles.
A more in-depth discussion of the separate components will be addressed later on in this report as we discuss different causes of back pain.
Lumbar Muscle Strain
As mentioned earlier there are many muscles associated with the lower back, each having its own unique job, but working in concert with the other muscles.
A more in-depth discussion of the separate components will be addressed.
Some of the muscles are very large, and others are very small.
In many cases, muscle strain may occur with no known trauma. This is because there tends to be a delayed reaction between the time muscles are injured and the time before it actually registers as pain. If you’ve ever overworked and then felt sore a day or two later, you can better appreciate this phenomenon.
The good news is that because muscles have such a great blood supply, with appropriate conservative care, such as with chiropractic and physical therapy, strains heal relatively quickly.The bad news is that if left untreated scar tissue begins to form, usually within 72 hours, making full recovery less likely with each passing day.
So simply stated – with prompt attention we can get your back pain under control, and get you back on your feet quickly. If you are suffering with back pain, please don’t delay. We’re on-call seven days a week, so call now!
A muscle can be injured relatively easily, through overstretching – which often occurs with fast movements, particularly when a muscle is “cold”, or overloading, such as lifting heavy objects.
Lumbar Muscle Sprain (cont.)
As mentioned earlier there are tight, fibrous bands called ligaments that bind the lumbar vertebra.
Like a muscle, a ligament can be injured relatively easily, through overstretching – fast movements, or overloading, such as lifting heavy objects. These injuries are known as sprains.
Unlike muscles however, ligaments have a poor blood supply lending these injuries to slower healing. For this reason, immediate care, through chiropractic and physical therapy is imperative.
Because it is often difficult for a patient to differentiate between muscle or ligament injury, it is imperative that you get examined by a trained professional at the first sign of back pain. Don’t delay--we’re on call seven days a week. Call today at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396!
Low Back Disc Injury
As I mentioned earlier, the disc is a little shock absorber between each vertebrae. The disc has a makeup similar to a jelly donut – firm on the outside and soft of the inside.
Imagine what would happen if you gently squeezed the jelly donut. It would bulge on the opposite side. This is analogous to a medically diagnosed “disc bulge.”
Now imagine squeezing it hard enough for the jelly to squirt out. This is similar to a “disc herniation.”
Either case can be quite serious because that disc material can put pressure on sensitive nerve tissue that a healthy disc is designed to protect.
Because of the seriousness of disc injury it is important to get evaluated by a trained clinician ASAP. At Community Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, we are specifically trained to diagnose and treat all types of disc injuries, but don’t guess if this condition will get better on its own – because it probably won’t!
Click on our 3-D Spine tab for a better understanding of disc injury, prognosis and complications.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with disc injury, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396.
Spinal Stenosis occurs when the tube that the spinal cord sits in "the canal" closes down. This can happen acutely, as in the case with a disc herniation (discussed above) or over a longer period of time, as in the case with degenerative arthritis - common in the aging population.
Spinal stenosis can be serious and lead to permanent disability. However, many stenotic patients can completely erase their symptoms and get back to enjoying life. Specific exercises, stretches, and spinal manipulation can open that canal and actually reverse symptoms – but don’t take our word for it…check out our testimonials section to learn about the benefits we’ve already shared with your neighbors.
Click on our 3-D Spine tab for a better understanding of spinal disease, prognosis and complications. Browse our testimonials section to hear how some of your neighbors have been able to completely reverse the symptoms of spinal stenosis!
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396!
Lumbar Spine Arthritis
Arthritis literally translates to “inflammation of the joints.” We most commonly use it as a layterm referring to the degeneration of the joints.
A joint is an area where two bones come together. The ends of the bones are covered with a smooth fibrous cartilage. In a healthy joint, that cartilage is bathed with a fluid allowing the bones to slide freely over one another through their normal movements.
In an unhealthy joint however, the cartilage becomes pitted, the bones become roughened, and the fluid becomes limited. This is what we generally refer to when we mention “arthritis.”
It happens from cumulative stress. If you are a professional skier for example, you may have arthritis in your thirties. But for most of us it begins in our forties or fifties. The more stress we acquire, the more rapidly and widespread the degeneration.
Most medical professionals will tell you that nothing can be done for arthritis. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s true that you probably can’t reverse much of the bone destruction, but you can make the joint function better with less pain.
At Forest Hills Rehabilitation, we have a program that can make you more flexible and stronger by working not only with the joint, but also with the surrounding soft-tissues. The joint complex will therefore function better allowing you to function better.
So your x-rays may not look a whole lot different, but you sure can feel and act different!
Don't keep putting it off. If you have arthritis, we can help – just let us. Every day you wait, allows the condition to continue to worsen.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with arthritis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396!
Spondylolisthesis causes back pain because adjacent vertebra become unstable and begin to "slip." The most common cause of spondylolisthesis is due to degenerative changes causing loss of the normal stabilizing structures of the spinal column. If the spine becomes unstable enough, back pain can become a problem.
Click on our 3-D Spine tab for a better understanding of spinal injury, prognosis and complications.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with spinal injury, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396!
If you have experienced any of the above-mentioned conditions or symptoms, or have some other concerns about back pain, you may be a candidate for conservative therapy at our office. Give us a call to find out today at 718-438-0338 and 516-433-5396!
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