Back to Basics
What Causes Back Pain and How Should It Be Treated?
What Causes Back Pain?
We spend most of our lives sitting down – at school, in the office, driving or on the sofa at home. To make matters worse, we tend to spend all day slumped forward with our shoulders hunched. Even if we’re active, it’s a habit to slump when at rest or hard at work in the office.
Back pain is so common and it can be caused by a number of factors – poor posture, incorrect lifting technique or a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles from overwork or injury. As we get older, maybe we put on a little extra weight, or don’t exercise as often as we should, back pain can often sneak in and build up to severe pain over time. Something as simple as sitting hunched over a phone can lead to what we like to call text neck.
Back pain is typically caused by either poor biomechanics, including poor posture, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, sleeping position, sitting at work or driving for long periods without a stretch break (this is your cue to treat your body to a good stretch!)
Another common reason for back pain is injury to the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons.) This can include muscle strain due to overexertion, repetitive movements on one side of the body and overall placing more strain on one muscle group than the other.
In other words, if you’re catching yourself lifting more with your right side, switch it up and give your left side a chance to help the right side out.
Do I Need to See a Doctor for My Back Pain?
If you start to experience any significant pain in your back, it is time to see a doctor. There are many reasons for back pain, but if it is something that has persisted for more than two weeks, you may want to see a licensed chiropractor. This will allow your healthcare provider to produce an effective treatment plan to not only manage your symptoms but keep them from returning.
What is the Fastest Way to Relieve Back Pain?
Chiropractic care is one of the fastest ways to relieve back pain. It is a type of alternative medicine that can be used to treat various types of pain. At Mind Body Spine, we promote the idea that spinal alignment influences general health and well-being, and that alignment of the spine can treat or help manage intermittent or chronic back pain.
We can take an x-ray, only if necessary, before making any adjustments, but we can also suggest some non-invasive treatments first like physical activity, setting a goal for a healthy weight, massage therapy, exercise to build muscle condition, stretches and acupuncture.
It all comes down to what is causing your back pain – whether it’s just common muscle strain or something more complex – like the aftereffects of a car accident. During your initial consultation, Dr. Stephanie Louie will dig deep to discover the most likely culprit(s) of your back pain, including whether it could be related to illness.
Can Sudden Back Pain Really Signal Illness?
Back pain is a common problem that can have many different causes. It can be caused by injury, disease, or just natural wear and tear of aging.
There are often many potential causes of back pain which are not serious. However, there are some more serious causes of back pain which may need medical attention.
The first place to start with any type of new or worsening pain is with your chiropractor to rule out any potentially serious problems that may need medical attention. Sharp and persistent pain in the back can be the result of something like kidney stones, or a lower respiratory infection, for instance.
If the cause is not serious then you will want to explore treatment options for your back pain and ways to avoid future episodes through prevention techniques, including exercise and weight loss if needed, as well as ice or heat for temporary relief.
Movement Can Be More Effective for Back Pain Than Over the Counter (OTC) Painkillers
One of the most common treatments for persistent back pain is movement. One study showed that patients who had total bed rest for 4 weeks while taking painkillers and muscle relaxants had increased pain and decreased range of motion. The best thing to do is to get active and exercise as soon as possible.
The spine, also called vertebral column, is a rigid column made up of thirty-three bones that provide protection and support to our spinal cord and brain. The spinal cord transfers information from the brain to the body parts below it. It also sends signals from the body parts below it to the brain. Discomfort or strain in any part of your spine can lead to an overall increase in stress on your spine which can lead to chronic pain or even paralysis if not treated properly.
How Can a Chiropractor Help Heal Back Pain?
Our goal is to get you healed and back to your regular routine, pain free! The goal is to restore mobility in the spine and take pressure off nerve endings to relieve pain and improve quality of life. One happy client from Mind Body Spine says, “After one treatment, I felt immediate pain relief! Thank you so much Dr Louie, you have given me hope and my life back.”
The most common treatments for back pain include exercise, massage therapy, acupuncture, spinal manipulation (manipulation done by hand or with an instrument), heating pads or ice packs to help reduce swelling in your muscles and over-the-counter medications. A chiropractor will often recommend physical therapy exercises for back pain patients. These exercises can help keep the pain at bay and promote flexibility and strength in the muscles around the spine to prevent future injuries.
Back pain can really ruin a perfectly good day. If your life is disrupted by upper or lower back pain, Mind Body Spine can help. Dr. Louie has an extensive background in kinesiology, biomechanics and human physiology, meaning she’s very well equipped to help patients of all age groups and activity levels. From elite athletes to toddlers and seniors, she offers a variety of treatment options and believes that peak physical health starts on the inside. To book your appointment at our Victoria, BC chiropractic clinic, just call (250) 885- 2320 or book online.