What Is Lower Back Pain?
Back pain is an extremely common medical ailment, affecting eight of 10 people during their lifetimes. Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain, and is the No. 2 reason people in America visit the doctor. So it goes without saying that it is the most common reason that patients come to see us at Macomb Spine Care.
Lower back pain can be sharp, stabbing, tingling, or burning. Patients also characterize it as a dull, lingering ache that causes stiffness. The pain or numbness may travel down the legs, as well. Lower back pain can also make it difficult to stand upright, since the lower back supports much of your body’s weight.
Acute or Chronic Lower Back Pain?
Acute lower back pain can last a few days or a few weeks. Chronic lower back pain is typically defined as pain that has lasted longer than three months.
Acute lower back pain is often caused by sudden injury. It can also be associated with a host of activities, such as lifting improperly at home, excessively strenuous housework or yardwork, repetitive bending, or movements related to a specific occupation. “Weekend Warriors” are particularly susceptible to this kind of back pain. This may be the person who decides to hike a long trail in the mountains, ski, swim, run or bike longer than usual. Sports injuries and other traumas, such as being in a car accident or any other slip or fall can trigger muscle strain or damage the ligaments of the lower back. All of these activities can cause lower back pain.
Chronic lower back pain may be a result of repetitive stress or re-injuring an area repeatedly over a period of time. Chronic lower back pain is very prevalent, and Dr. Clark have a great deal of experience treating lower back pain successfully.
Other Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain may also be a result of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause stress to your joints and ligaments, including the spinal and pelvic joints. Long-term stress on the joints and muscles in your lower back may cause pain as well. Weak core muscles cause poor posture, which also can contribute to lower back pain. Most back pain is not caused by arthritis, infection, or cancer, but by simple strain or stress on muscles and ligaments.
Other causes of lower back pain include:
- A ruptured or herniated disk
- Narrowing of the spinal canal, also called spinal stenosis
- Osteoporosis, which can cause compression fractures to the spine
- Scoliosis or other curvature of the spine, often found in children and teens
- Any other pathology of the spine
Upper Back Pain Causes & Treatment
Upper back pain, which often is accompanied by neck pain, can be the result of an injury or poor posture.
What Causes Upper Back Pain?
What causes upper back pain? Many different types of injuries and actions can contribute to it. You may not realize that upper back fatigue and pain can be caused by poor posture, such as leaning forward while sitting or standing. Another potential cause is driving for long periods on a regular basis, and the repetitive use of the arm and neck muscles while performing work duties such as lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling. Even poor sleeping habits and inadequate neck support in bed can contribute to upper back pain.
Repetitive stress on the upper back (also called the thoracic spine) gradually causes improper alignment of the spinal column, and may give rise to a herniated disk. Upper back pain may also be accompanied by neck pain.
Upper back pain may also be the result of a traumatic injury such as whiplash, or a violent slip or fall. Many people injure their upper backs by improperly lifting a heavy object or straining the muscles with physical activities like gardening. This is a very common source of muscle inflammation and irritation.
Degenerative change of the spine (often referred to as arthritis) can also cause upper back pain.
Chiropractic Treatment of Upper Back Pain
Spinal manipulation, also called an adjustment, is the most common form of chiropractic treatment for upper back pain. The adjustment restores spine and nervous system function to reduce pain and help with spasm and restriction of the musculature of the upper back, or thoracic spine.
At Macomb Spine Care, in addition to adjusting your spine, we can also help you adjust your workplace ergonomics. Whether you sit all day at work or are constantly pushing, pulling, or lifting, we can share some proper posture and tips and lifting techniques to help you prevent future pain and injury. We also have helpful literature on sleeping postures that can help support your neck and upper back.
Depending on the cause of your upper back pain, your chiropractor may recommend stretches and exercises to build strong core muscles that contribute to good posture. By moving joints and muscles through healthy ranges of motion, the back and spine are kept limber and less susceptible to injury.
Call today at 586-228-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clark at Macomb Spine Care. We look forward to helping you achieve optimum wellness, eliminate pain and feel better.