One of the most alarming things about back pain is that about 80% of Americans experience it at one point in their lives. Even worse, it is the single leading cause of disability, the most common reason for missed work, and costs Americans about $50 billion in healthcare costs every year.
Let that sink in.
What Causes Back Pain?
Your back is a complicated structure. It has bones, ligaments, muscles, and joints, any of which could be the cause of your pain. Sports accidents and injuries may be the cause as well, and there may be a possibility you have irritated joints, strained muscles, sprained ligaments, or even ruptured spinal discs.
However, there are other indirect causes of back pain, such as obesity, poor posture, arthritis, emotional stress, and psychological issues. Beyond that, you may also suffer due to internal organ diseases such as kidney stones, bone loss, blood clots, and kidney infections.
As you can see, the list is quite extensive. Doctors may prescribe anything, from medication to acupuncture and surgery, to bring you relief. However, with the growing emphasis on quality care, chiropractic care is becoming more and more popular, given that it’s one of the safest, non-drug, back pain treatments available.
Still, we’ll look at some of the most common reasons for back pain and help you decide whether seeing a Lexington chiropractor is the best decision.
1. Spinal Problems
There are several spinal issues that could be causing you severe back pain. You may be suffering from herniated or bulging discs, which irritate or pinch nerves and cause a ton of pain. These discs are the rubbery cushions between your bones, and if they rupture or bulge, they press into your nerves in the spinal canal and cause pain. This issue is caused by disc degeneration or traumatic injury.
You may be suffering from spinal stenosis, where narrowed spinal space compresses the nerves, or spondylolisthesis, where a vertebrae slips backward or forward, causing pain.
It could be osteoarthritis caused by the wear and tear of the discs, facet joint dysfunction, or deformities, such as scoliosis or kyphosis. All these are prone to cause you back pain, which could be lower-middle or upper back pain.
All these are serious health issues that need to be addressed by a professional. Most people are usually afraid that they may have to undergo surgery, but this is usually a last resort after exhausting all other approaches such as medication and therapy. Also, if you don’t like the idea of being under constant medication, consider a non-invasive treatment, such as chiropractic care.
Back injuries are a common cause of chronic back pain. This may occur when you do an activity you don’t often do, such as lifting heavy objects or doing yard work. You may experience sudden back pain after such an activity. You may also experience minor injuries from slipping and falling or twisting your spine.
Sports, car crashes, stabs, and falls from significant heights could also cause severe back pain. Sudden back injuries could be a result of strained muscles and ligaments, spine fracture or dislocation, torn disc, or compression of the nerves.
Treatments and solutions will highly depend on your case. Some minor and severe back injuries need immediate medical attention to avoid bigger problems later on. In some cases, if you experience spinal misalignment after lifting heavy objects, visiting your local Lexington chiropractor for a spinal alignment may be your best bet.
3. Emotional Stress
You may not know this, but when you’re stressed, you hold tension in your lower back. Stress-related back pain is psycho-physiological or psychosomatic, which means the physical symptoms are a direct result of psychological and emotional issues. Your emotions could initiate and maintain your back pain, and the symptoms are genuine.
Regardless of the life issues cause your stress, you need to find ways to relieve it in order to get rid of your back pain. You can start with exercising, which will ease your stress and strengthen your back muscles. Your doctor will also guide you, and the possible treatments are physical therapy, pain medications, biofeedback, psychological pain management techniques, or therapy, and counseling.
4. Daily Habits
You may not think much about your daily habits, but a lot of it could be the cause and a significant contributor to your pain. To begin with, high heels put pressure on your feet and throw off your spinal and posture alignment. A majority of women that wear high heels are likely to experience a foot injury that will cause back pain.
A heavy bag or could create an imbalance in your posture, which will strain your back and shoulder muscles, causing chronic back pain. Similarly, sitting on a thick wallet could cause an imbalance on your spine and pelvis, which will not only cause you pain but arthritis as well.
People who drive more than 4 hours per day are far more prone to experience back pain than those who drive less than two hours per day. Sitting for a prolonged period, slouching, and lifting stuff the wrong way could be the cause of your pain.
All these issues have solutions that will help you avoid back pain. If you must wear high heels, pumps not more than 7.6 cm are recommended. Carry as few things as possible in your bag and always switch shoulders often. Carry a thinner wallet, set up a healthy work station, and always get up and move after 30 minutes of working behind a desk. If you have to lift heavy objects, bend your knees, and keep the back straight.
5. Internal Organs
Your back pain could be a symptom of underlying internal organ illnesses such as kidney problems. These include kidney stones and kidney infections. You may also have ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, fibroids, endometriosis, pancreatitis, and gynecological disorders. Your pregnancy could also be the cause of your back pain.
If your back pain is not a consequence of injuries or emotional stress, the best solution is to see your doctor so they can diagnose your problem and offer you the right treatment. You may have any of these conditions, all of which require immediate treatment before they escalate.
What to Do With Back Pain
All in all, the first step to your recovery is seeing your doctor for a diagnosis to uncover what’s causing your back pain. If you already know the cause to be spine-related and you don’t want to deal with invasive treatment methods, give us a call, and our best chiropractor will see that you get better.