Back pain is something that most of us have experienced from time to time. Sometimes we know exactly what causes it and maybe we even ignore that. However, our bodies are always giving us clues and trying to tell us things if we are willing to listen.
Back pain is not something that you have to just “live with” and suffer from. And like most things medically related, the sooner you detect a problem and seek treatment the more likely the issue won’t turn into something worse and you can be pain-free faster.
Types of Lower Back Pain
There are several ways to categorize this type of pain, but they can all be put under the label “OUCH!” Two main types include:
- Mechanical pain. This is the most common cause of lower back pain and is primarily involves the muscles, ligaments, joints (facet joints, sacroiliac joints), or bones in and around the spine. This kind of pain is localized in the lower back, buttocks, and sometimes radiates to the top of the legs.
- Radicular pain. This kind of pain occurs if a spinal nerve root becomes impinged or inflamed and is typically felt on only one side of the body. Radicular pain may radiate down into the buttock and/or leg. It is a sharp, electric, burning-type pain and can be associated with numbness or weakness called sciatica.
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle strain: Often caused by damage to muscles in the lower back. This can include overstretched or torn muscles. OUCH!
- Cause: heavy lifting, turning, twisting, and sports and exercise-related injuries
- Disc disease: This occurs when discs in the spine begin to degenerate or weaken. Symptoms include pain, weakness, and numbness.
- Cause: genetics, obesity, or a minor injury that causes a herniated disk.
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of arthritis.
- Cause: genetics, obesity, overuse, or an injury such as a torn disc.
- Nerve impingement: Can cause pain in the spine as well as pain and numbness radiating to the legs.
- Cause: This occurs when a disc compresses a spinal nerve or the spinal nerve canal is being narrowed (stenosis).
- Stenosis: Can cause pain in the legs and make it difficult to walk.
- Cause: This occurs when the open spaces in the lower spine begin to narrow.
Don’t ignore these early warning signs:
- Sudden pain that is not from an accident or injury: This type of “mystery” pain should be attended to by a medical physician or chiropractor.
- Restricted motion. This can include inability to bend forward, backward, side to side or rotation within a normal range.
- Back pain with fevers and chills: This could indicate an illness or infection in the spine.
- Night pain with weight loss: This could be a sign of a spinal tumor.
- Unsteady gait or bowel/bladder incontinence with back pain. A common symptom of a spinal cord issue. Seek immediate medical attention.
- Any back pain that begins suddenly after a traumatic event, such as a car accident or fall: This should receive an immediate medical evaluation for fractures, spinal cord injury, or other serious conditions.
If you are experiencing any of these sensations or suspect you may have a bigger issue creeping up, come see us and let us help you determine what is doing on. The sooner you catch it and fix it, the more pain-free you can be. No one should have to live with back pain.
To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson more and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here.
To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884