Understanding Back Pain’s Cause

Posted on: July 30th, 2019

If you or someone you know suffers from lower back pain than you understand just how debilitating it can be.

Lower back pain affects about 80 percent of the population and is the number one cause of job disability and missed days at work.

If this is you or someone you know, you need to have a unique evaluation done so you can develop an action plan to keep this pain from becoming a regular thing. Align Wellness Center can help with that.

Your back pain doesn’t have to be disabling to come to see us for an evaluation. In fact, by the time your pain disables you or causes numbness or tingling down your legs, you’ve already had it for a long, long time.

Each episode you have causes your body to breakdown on itself, so the earlier you assess it and get it taken care of, the less likely it is to cause bigger, worse symptoms and problems.

Why are you having back pain?

Most people with back pain have been diagnosed by a medical provider with one of three things, sprain, strain, or disc injury.

However, these may be symptoms of something that’s happened, not what caused the problem.

All three of these, sprain, strain, and disc injury are due to problems that occurred due to changes in how the structures support themselves.

Let’s look at what each of these means:

Sprain. A sprain happens when a ligament (tissue that connects a bone to another bone) gets stretched out.

Strain. A strain happens when the tissue that connects muscles to bones become weakened.

Disc injury. A disc injury is the wearing out or breaking down of the structural support element between each vertebra. These support elements allow for shock absorption and act as a spacer.

All three of these problems happen due to a biomechanical or structural change in the spine.

If this structural change isn’t corrected, you’ll continue to have this breakdown. Even if symptoms appear to go away for a while, they’ll most likely come back to wear you down even further and faster. The result in this situation may be arthritis, affecting more of the joints within the spine, also causing more discs in the spine to wear out.

So, why are you having that lower back pain now?

One thing that impacts when and if you have lower back pain is your ability to adapt and react to stresses.

We all have a total stress threshold in our bodies, which is the total amount of stress we can handle.

Every day, we’re exposed to three different types of stresses:

Physical stress. This includes daily activities like walking, cleaning, standing, sitting at a desk, workouts, exercise, or carrying backpacks. It can also come from trauma like a contact sports injury or car accident.

Chemical stress. This comes from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, drugs, medications, and vitamins we take.

Emotional stress. This type of stress is from the relationships we’re in or events going on in our lives and how we feel about them. These are typically hidden and we don’t even realize they’re affecting us.

Along with these three types of stresses, we all have a “buffer” which gives us a bit of wiggle room so we can handle some more stress without breaking down.

When the three stresses have grown out of the usual proportion and your body’s acceptance of the stress, there is no longer space for the buffer.

With no buffer, our health breaks down and we can’t properly adapt or react to what’s going on. The result in this situation is pain.

It’s important to understand your physical, emotional, and chemical stresses that you’re under so you can find ways to manage them, especially when you’ve lost the buffer.

If you have any questions about this or would like some help with managing these, give us a call.

If you’re having lower back pain now, there are some things you can try at home to get some relief.

How to relieve back pain

Use ice. If you’re having an episode of back pain, try using ice. Use ice for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, and 20 minutes on again.

Ice is especially good for a new back problem to cut inflammation and begin the healing process.

If you need help finding an ice pack, we can help you with that. Also, see the video to see which one we recommend.

Go for a gentle walk. If you’re having lower back pain right now, get up and go for a light walk. This movement can help alleviate pain and make you more comfortable. However, don’t attempt this if your back pain is debilitating.

There are also some exercises you can try for lower back pain relief since most lower back pain comes from lack of motion and inactivity. These can be done while sitting at your desk.

Exercises for lower back pain

Exercise #1.

    1. Sit down with your arms rested on the armrests.
    2. Shift your hips in your seat, side to side. Do this 10 times.
    3. Continue with this exercise one or two times every hour to get some motion in your spine.

Exercise #2.

You will need a wobble disc.

    1. Place the wobble disc on your seat.
    2. Sit on the wobble disc, with it centered below you.
    3. Hold on to the armrests.
    4. Shift your pelvis forward and back, arching the lower back. Be sure to keep your torso and shoulders in the same place and only move your lower back.
    5. Do this 10 times.

You can sit on this disc all day to help engage the muscles around your spine and to sit up straight.

When this exercise becomes easier, you can make it more difficult by switching to a modified wobble chair, which provides more mobility of your spine while sitting at your desk.

Exercise #3.

    1. While sitting in your chair, move your pelvis in circles
    2. Keep your shoulders still
    3. Do this 10 times in one direction, then 10 times in the opposite direction.
    4. Do this about every hour to keep your spine moving.

In addition to using ice, walking, and these exercises, another thing you can do to help your lower back pain is to take a look at your body composition. What the scale says can have an impact on lower back pain.

Visit our YouTube channel to see these exercises and more in action!

Take a look at your body composition.

To do this, we typically look at your body mass index (BMI), which is your ratio of height to weight.

The higher your BMI is, the more likely you are to have lower back pain.

If you have a higher BMI or a history of lower back pain, it’s important to get moving to begin to reduce your BMI.

This doesn’t mean to go out and start running or join a CrossFit gym. Just go for a walk.

Most people walk less than 2,000 steps a day. Start by adding 100-200 steps into your day every month and you’ll begin to move so much further and easier. You also may see your body composition beginning to change.

You will also probably begin to feel better and your lower back pain may go away.

Supplements

There are three supplements we recommend to help alleviate lower back pain and can be found on our website. These can be used to fight inflammation and offer pain relief without the side effects that come from taking medication.

These supplements include:

High potency, high effectiveness fish oil (EPA DHEA Extra Strength). This is known to reduce systemic inflammation, a cause for aches and pains.

Kaprex. This is a kinase response modulator and works to reduce inflammation safely and without side effects.

Inflavonoid Intensive Care. This works for an acute problem to help reduce pain and help get you through the day until you can be seen by a chiropractor.

These can all be found on our website.

If you’ve tried all these tips and are still struggling with back pain, or if you’ve “tried it all,” physical therapy, medications, injections, or even surgery, and still haven’t found relief, you need to seek help from a chiropractor who can give you a biomechanical assessment.

If we don’t understand the biomechanical structures, you’ll wind up having recurring pain, strains, sprains, and disc injuries. And all of these occur because the posture in your spine isn’t correct. (See the video for a visual explanation on this.)

At Align Wellness Center, we specialize in this. We can help you to find the cause of your lower back pain and help you develop a plan to fix it and keep it from coming back.

What can Align Wellness Center do for you?

Here in our office, we use tools to help remodel your spine to a more efficient position, since lower back pain reoccurs because of a disturbance in how you stack up in posture.

We specialize in finding those distortions and understanding if they can be changed. We develop a unique plan for you to wind up restoring proper alignment of your spine so your problems can be a thing of your past.

So if you have lower back pain, even if you’ve already tried other treatments like medications, epidurals, physical therapy, and even surgery or traditional chiropractic care, contact us so we can come up with an effective, natural, drug-free treatment plan for you.

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