What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain is the top reason why people visit their doctor every year.  More so, back pain is the leading cause of disability and is the number one reason for people to call of work. Back pain can completely cripple a person, impacting every part of day-to-day life.  Luckily, the majority of back pain is completely preventable, and can easily be eliminated with simple preventative measures performed in the home or office.  Only in rare cases is surgery necessary to alleviate back pain.

Degenerative Conditions

Herniated Disc

Age-related diseases can lead to degenerative conditions that cause back pain.  Over time, the structural components within the spine can become damaged and brittle, causing injuries to occur.  Most often, degenerative conditions can be treated successfully with non-invasive techniques.

  • Osteoporosis - This disease generally impacts older adults as the bones within the body become brittle with age.  Bones can develop several tiny compression fractures, particularly in the vertebrae that make up the spine.  Osteoporosis can lead to painful sensations throughout the spine with movement.
  • Arthritis - Particularly common in the lower back area, osteoarthritis develops in joints throughout the spine.  Generally harmless, arthritis does have the potential to become dangerous if it forms within the small spaces surrounding the spinal cord.  Spinal stenosis can develop from arthritis and can eventually lead to paralysis or even death.
  • Herniated Disc - Often called a bulging disc, or a ruptured disc, herniated disc injuries occur when the outer wall of the disc becomes damaged.  When the disc wall is damaged, a gel-like substance is released into the body, preventing the body from naturally cushioning impact from movement.  This condition can be treated with a variety of treatment options, and mild disc tears commonly heal on their own.
  • Scoliosis - Although this disease in common in young adults, it can also develop in middle-aged adults as well.  Scoliosis is an irregular curvature to the spine which can create back pain.  The curvature can be corrected and treated through both invasive and non-invasive medical techniques fully dependent on the severity of the condition.

Posture

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One of the more common reasons people develop back pain is due to improper posture.  Luckily, poor posture can be corrected quite easily with regular practice and attention at home and work.  Over the course of just a few weeks, back pain can be corrected by changing your posture habits.

Standing

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When standing, remember what your mother always told you and do not slouch.  Be sure to stand tall, with shoulders pulled back, maintaining a natural pelvic tilt.  If standing for a prolonged period, it can be helpful to rest on foot on top of a low footstool.  This will reduce the amount of weight and stress the spine must carry.  Be sure to frequently switch the elevated leg to keep weight distribution even.

Sitting

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It is becoming more common to develop poor posture while sitting for long periods of time as more people spend endless hours sitting in front of a computer at work.  Be sure to choose a chair that fully supports the lower back.  A small, rolled towel or pillow should be placed behind the lower back to maintain the natural curve to the spine.  Have armrests adjusted to a comfortable height, and be sure that the knees are parallel with the hips.  For extended periods, switch positions every thirty minutes to promote blood flow and reduce stress to the soft tissues in the back.

Back Pain Treatment

Back pain is becoming an ever-increasing medical condition throughout the world, but luckily there are several back pain treatment options available.  Treatment plans will vary between patients depending on the type of injury, the severity of the condition, overall health and age of the patient, and ultimately a personal preference. 

Surgery

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Surgery is usually used as a last resort, and rarely used to treat the majority of back conditions and injuries.  It can, however, be successful in treating back pain injuries that are associated with nerve conditions, or conditions that are accompanied by progressive muscle weakness.  Surgical treatment is usually reserved for structural conditions such as ruptured discs or spinal stenosis.

Chiropractic Care

Dr. Kim adjustment on patient with Degenerative disc disease

Considered an alternative medicine, chiropractic care is a safe, yet effective, non-invasive back pain treatment option.  A chiropractor works to restore balance to the body by ensuring the various bones and soft tissues are in alignment.  To do this, a chiropractor has several tools at his or her disposal including manual manipulation, massage therapy, and stretching and strengthening exercises.  Often, strengthening exercises are extremely useful in treating back pain because they can help improve posture and prevent injury.  

Pain Management Physicians

Back pain can also be managed with specific pain management physicians.  Our Pain Management doctors at Zaker Chiropractic have several medications at their disposal to help eliminate or mask radiating back pain.  Treatment can be as simple as a topical pain killer, or as complex as regular injections.  Cortisone is a common injectable anti-inflammatory medication that is used to help reduce swollen nerves in and around the spinal cord.  Ultimately injections only alleviate pain for a few months before the procedure must be repeated.  

Finding a Back Pain Doctor Near You

Finding a back pain doctor near you that is well versed in a variety of treatment plans, and treats you like an individual is paramount in back pain treatment. Its important to get a consultation with the doctor about how they treat pain. More importantly, its important for a doctor to examine what is the root cause of your back pain. 

For more answers about how we can help you relieve pain without drugs or surgery, make an appointment with Zaker Chiropractic. Our chiropractors provide a wide variety of services to diagnose and treat your condition. Zaker Chiropractic has several locations to serve you. Call (949) 734-4454 for an appointment in Newport Pain & Wellness in Newport Beach(424) 235-1562 for South Bay Pain & Wellness in Torrance, or (310) 831-0003 for an appointment with San Pedro Pain & Wellness in San Pedro. Each clinic offers a multidisciplinary list of services.