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Back pain

female back pain

80% of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.  Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.  Most cases of back pain or mechanical and not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.

What causes back pain?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles.  You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture discs, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain.  While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements - for example, picking up a pencil from the floor - can have painful results.  In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain.  Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infection, when clots, or bone loss.

Back injuries are a part of everyday life, and the spine is quite good at dealing with these often “pulled” muscles.  These very minor injuries usually heal within one or two days. Some pain, however, continues.  What makes it last longer is not entirely understood, but researchers suspect that the reasons may include stress, mood changes, and fear of further injury that may prevent patients from being active.  In addition, sometimes a painful injury or disease changes the way the pain signals are sent to the body, and, even after the problem has gone away or is inactive, the pain signals still reach the brain. It is as if the pain develops a memory that keeps being replayed.

Will back pain go away on its own?

Until recently, researchers believe that back pain would heal on its own.  We have learned, however, that this is not true.  Recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return.  The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience lower back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days.  Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain-free five years later.

Another study looked at all the available research on the natural history of low-back pain.  Results showed that when it is ignored, back pain does not go away on its own, but continues to affect people for long periods after it first begins.

What can I do to prevent long-term back pain?

Your back pain is not resolving quickly, give us a call or visit your doctor of chiropractic.  Your pain will often result from mechanical problems that a doctor of chiropractic can address.  Many chiropractic patients with relatively long-lasting recurrent back pain feel improvement after starting chiropractic treatment.  Relief is often greater after a month of chiropractic treatment than after seeing a family physician.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases the patient’s dependency on medication, improves range of motion, and allows the patient to return to their normal activities.

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