We usually consider the back as two separate sections: the upper back, or thoracic spine, and the lower back, or lumbar vertebra. Most chronic back pain occurs in the lower back. In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common conditions and one of the leading causes of physician visits in the U.S. At least four out of five adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
How does Back Pain Develop?
Many cases of back pain, especially in young people, are caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, congenital abnormalities, injury, spondyloarthropathies and herniated disc syndromes. Sedentary jobs and lifestyles may create a vulnerability to this type of stress or damage. Obesity (see Weight Management), which increases both the weight on the spine and the pressure on the discs, is another factor. Strenuous sports (see Sports Injuries) such as football and gymnastics can also damage the back.
The most common cause of chronic back pain and disability is osteoarthritis, although other forms of arthritis can be culprits as well, including rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic arthritis and gouty arthritis. Osteoarthritis afflicts most of us as we age, steadily wearing away the smooth and resilient cartilage essential to normal joint and disc function.
It's important to note that the severity of pain experienced in this area is often unrelated to the extent of physical damage. For instance, a muscle spasm from a simple back strain can cause excruciating pain, making it difficult for the individual to walk or even stand. On the other hand, a herniated disc or completely degenerated disc can be completely painless.
What are the Symptoms of Back Pain?
Common back pain symptoms experienced by people under the age of 60 can include leg pain and numbness (usually a result of a herniated disc), lower back pain caused by movement (a common symptom of degenerative disc disorder and osteoarthritis onset), and low back pain and leg pain that worsens while standing.
In addition, individuals with minor back pain may be experiencing the earliest symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can begin in those as young as thirty, and may progress for many years before symptoms appear.
The types of pain experienced by older adults may include increased low back pain and stiffness in the morning and evening, and pain that radiates down the legs when walking or standing upright.
Conventional medical treatments help relieve the symptoms of back pain but they do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening the structural weaknesses in the back, as natural therapies do, chronic back pain can be alleviated permanently.
Discover why we believe that natural treatments are the best way to treat back pain and may end chronic back pain forever.
Natural vs Modern Medicines' Approach to Back Pain
Modern Medicine's Approach to Back Pain
Modern medicine continues to search for drugs, devices and surgical procedures to eliminate chronic pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs have become a billion dollar business. While the drugs may provide temporary relief, they do nothing to correct the underlying condition causing the pain. In fact, in the long run, these medications do more damage than good.
Another common pain treatment is a cortisone shot. It's also one of the quickest ways to lose strength at the ligament-bone (fibro-osseous) junction. Cortisone and other steroid shots have adverse affects on bone, cartilage and soft tissue healing. Unfortunately, many people suffering from chronic pain look for quick relief without thinking about the long-term, potentially harmful side effects that could occur. The problem with cortisone is that, although immediate pain relief is possible, it inhibits nearly every aspect of healing, making the pain condition even worse!
In simple terms, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone shots are anti-healing. They result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration. Plus, long-term use of these drugs can lead to other sources of chronic pain, allergies, leaky gut syndrome and other serious side effects.
Finally, when all else fails, patients who experience chronic pain, particularly joint and back pain, are referred to a surgeon. Unfortunately, surgery usually makes the problem even worse. Surgeons will use x-ray technology as a diagnostic tool, which does not always properly diagnose the pain source. Plus, decisions to remove cartilage tissue, bone or a disc will most commonly result in arthritis. And so, the treatment of one pain condition simply leads to another.
Here's what happens:
A ligament is damaged through overuse or trauma, such as a sports injury or an accident.
Because of the ligament's poor blood supply, it does not heal (unlike muscles, which have a good blood supply and heal quite easily).
Over time, the injured ligament weakens, like a stretched rubber band that has lost its elasticity.
Since ligaments function as joint stabilizers, the injured ligament is no longer capable of doing its job.
As a result, the muscles must compensate. They begin to ache and spasm and, eventually, the joint or vertebra in the area begins to compensate as well.
Overgrowth of bone occurs to help stabilize the injured ligament, which leads to arthritis, and a whole new level of pain and disability.
This downward spiral of pain can be halted and reversed only by stimulating healing at the source—the ligament.
The Natural Approach to Alleviating Back Pain
Chiropractic is a safe and natural approach in the treatment of repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage. Chiropractic stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, repairing painful areas.
If you are interested in more information about natural treatments or to schedule an appointment, please contact Central Health and Wellness at 817-649-9800 or use the online Inquiry Form
Disclaimer: The preceding is to provide information about relief and the benefits that may be derived. It is not intended to claim a cure for any disease or condition. It should not take the place of your doctor’s.