Oh, My Aching Back!
Although approximately 31 million Americans suffer from low back pain every day, many people do not know what causes it or what can be done about it.
Back Pain Facts:
Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.2
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.3
Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year—that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the country.4
Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.5
Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly.5
Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.6
Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.7
Most people with low back pain recover, however reoccurrence is common and for small percentage of people the condition will become chronic and disabling.7
Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.7
Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year8—add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.9
What causes low back pain?
Your back is a very complicated structure. It is composed of bones, muscles and ligaments. Injuries, such as sprained ligaments, strained muscles, bulging or ruptured discs and irritated joints can all contribute to back pain. Accidents and injuries are common causes of back pain, but seemingly minor movement, such as bending over to pick up a piece of paper from the floor can be the culprit as well. Poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, arthritis and mental stress can also further complicate the problem. In some cases, low back pain can result from disease of the internal organs such as kidney stones, kidney infections, gall bladder problems and intestinal diseases to name a few.
Spinal misalignments, known as subluxations, interfere with proper nerve function and can cause pain as well as causing other problems where those nerves go.
What can I do about my low back pain?
Often, people seeking relief for their low back pain will be given a prescription for painkillers, hoping this will help. Common painkillers prescribed, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone for example, are opioids. These are highly addictive and dangerous. Opioid addiction has become an epidemic. In 2017, opioid overdoses led to over 40,000 deaths in the United States.10
Others will undergo surgery when the medications stop working. Back surgery is a very invasive procedure with many risks. There is no guarantee that the surgery will alleviate the pain. Often, in the case of spinal fusion surgery, immobilizing the problematic bone will cause the levels above and/or below to wear out and cause further pain and problems.
A Better Approach!
Chiropractic care offers a drug-free, surgery-free approach to alleviating your low back pain. At Trinity Chiropractic, we will take a detailed history and perform an examination to determine the cause of your low back pain. X-rays will be taken, if necessary, to more specifically narrow down the cause of your pain as well as determine if there are other underlying factors. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to your treatment, so we will develop a treatment plan specific to your individual condition. We not only want to address your immediate pain but provide you with personalized assistance and instruction to help you achieve and maintain long-term relief.
Misaligned spinal bones create interference to nerves, causing pain and other problems where those nerves go. Chiropractic adjustments are the foundation of chiropractic care and provide excellent outcomes. The adjustment restores movement and function of the spinal bones, removing nerve interference. These results can be even improved when combined with therapeutic procedures such as laser therapy, traction, postural correction and therapeutic exercises, which are performed in our office as part of your corrective care plan.
How to Prevent Back Pain:
Here are some helpful tips to prevent back pain:
Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.
Warm up or stretch before physical activity.
Maintain proper posture.
Wear comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels.
Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize stress on your spine.
When lifting, lift with your legs, not your back. Keep the object close to your body, and do not twist.
Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
Consult your chiropractor to ensure that your workstation is ergonomically correct.
See your chiropractor on a regular basis for wellness care. Spinal misalignments are often symptom-free, gradually worsening until they reach the point that they cause debilitating back pain. This can be minimized by getting adjusted regularly.
Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.
Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 24 March 2014. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428
Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl1985; 11: 1-98.
The Hidden Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans, United State Bone and Joint Initiative, 2018.
Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71.
Sauver, JL et al. Why patients visit their doctors: Assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined American population. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 88, Issue 1, 56–67.
Hartvigsen J et al. Low Back Pain Series: What Low Back Pain Is and Why We Need to Pay Attention. Lancet, June 2018; Volume 391, Issue 10137; p2356-2367.
In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD.
Katz JN. Lumbar disc disorders and low-back pain: socioeconomic factors and consequences [review]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88(suppl 2): 21-24.