Approximately 65 million Americans report one or more recent episodes of low back pain. According to Georgetown University researchers, 83 million work days are lost every year due to workers who are suffering from back pain! With back pain episodes growing in frequency, we see more and more medical doctors prescribing rest and painkillers! The problem with that is, that we don’t have backpain because we’re not popping enough painkillers, so why would taking painkillers make the problem go away? It won’t, it just masks the pain, it doesn’t actually address the source of the back pain.
Causes of back pain
While some back pain is due to an acute injury such as a collision in football, falling off a horse, or sustaining a cycling crash, the majority of back pain is of an insidious nature. You may think that when you bend over to tie your shoe or pick something off the ground that your back “went out”. But in reality the problem has been building up for a long time, and that was just the action that was the drop that overfilled the pail so to speak.
With back pain, muscles on the front side of the body can get tight and shortened, and muscles on the back of the body can get stretched out and weak. (Click to see more about Upper Crossed Syndrome). Muscles on either side of the body can be tight and tender thanks to hypoxia (a condition of decreased oxygen created by chronic contraction of the muscles). When there are hypoxic conditions, adhesions form in the muscles, which are a source of back pain.
Treatment of back pain
An Oakland chiropractor can treat back pain using a combination of chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work such as Active Release Techniques. The muscle work is aimed towards lengthening out the muscles on the front of the body, and allowing normal tone for the muscles on the back of the body. The chiropractic treatment resolves dysfunction in any joints in the back which have become fixated and that are not allowing the proper segmental motion.
There are certain causes of back pain which may require specific chiropractic management. These include: