It’s that twinge in your neck after sleeping on the wrong pillow for a decade. It’s the throbbing right inside your shoulder blade, the sharp sting near your tailbone. It’s back pain. To you, it means muscle creams and stretches, but to your overworked spine, it could be an L3 grinding mercilessly on an L4, a bulging disc, or something worse.
It All Comes Back to the Back
The spine, or vertebral column, usually consists of 33 vertebrae, nerves, discs, sacs, and more – all of which are integral parts to a properly functioning, pain-free back. Your back is incredibly complex. It is the body’s kinetic, neuro-transmitting super highway.
Your spine allows you to walk, sit, bend, move your fingers, turn your head, and to do a million more things that lead to a full life. The professionals at the University of Maryland Medical Center also note that, “Without a spinal cord, you could not move any part of your body, and your organs could not function.”
However, as the body’s major muscle and nerve network and thruway, it is often overburdened or abused. Because it is such a principal player in our day to day – hiking the stairs; working at the computer; or driving, hugging, and carrying kids - if something is amiss with your back, you will feel it.
Primary Causes of Back Pain
First of all, almost everyone has back pain at some point in time. The American Chiropractic Association reports that “31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time,” and that “back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.”
Because the back is so big, and has so many functions, it is usually divided into different regions:
- Upper Back: consisting of the Cervical Spine (or Neck) and the Thoracic Spine (or Chest)
- Lower Back: made up of the Lumbar Spine, Sacrum, and Coccyx (or Tailbone)
Back pain is also separated by acute pain (sudden, lasting less than six weeks) and chronic pain (lasts more than three months).
The Mayo Clinic states that while the cause of back pain can be difficult to identify, these are the conditions most commonly associated:
- Muscle or ligament strain – from heavy lifting, awkward movements, or poor physical fitness
- Bulging or ruptured disc(s) – damage to the soft tissue between vertebrae
- Arthritis – inflammation of the joints
- Skeletal irregularities – such as abnormal curves or scoliosis
- Osteoporosis – porous and brittle bones, more common in women (especially over the age of 50)
The Benefits of Intuitive Chiropractic Care
According to WebMD, nearly 22 million people visit chiropractors every year – 8 million of whom are seeking relief from back pain. In the same posting, it says, “Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care is generally considered a safe, effective treatment for acute low back pain…Research has also shown chiropractic to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches.”
The professionals at South Orange Chiropractic Center provide leading edge care that helps people live healthy, productive lives. Their intuitive approach to relief and realignment will remind you what it’s like to be pain free.