Back Pain

Back Pain

Corrective Care treats all types of back pain: Lower Back pain, Pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Sacroilliac Joint Pain, Sciatica and more. 

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit and osteopathic doctor. Untreated back pain can be debilitating, causing you to miss work or miss out on family activities. Back pain is not confined to a few – most people experience back pain at some point in their lives – and anyone can experience it, sometimes unexpectedly.

Signs and symptoms of back pain can include muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pains in your back. It can also include pain that radiates down

one or both legs, pain that worsens when you bend, lift, stand or walk, or pain that improves when you sit or lay down.

Most back pain can be treated with self-care at home such as rest, hot and cold compresses, and a healthy diet and hydration. However, if your back pain doesn’t improve, it may be time to see an orthopedic physician. 

 

If you experience the following symptoms, please call to arrange an appointment.

  • Severe back pain that doesn't improve with rest

  • Pain that spreads down one or both legs

  • Weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs

  • Unexplained weight loss

If you are over 50 and this is the first time you have experienced back pain, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or excessive drug or alcohol use, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor regardless of the symptoms.

Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain, but in rare cases, back pain can signal that there is a serious condition which requires immediate medical attention.

  • Problems with your bowel or bladder

  • Onset of a fever

  • If the back pain is a result of an injury from a fall or blow to your back

Causes of Back Pain

Acute back pain means back pain that comes on suddenly and lasts no longer than six weeks. Acute back pain is usually caused by an accident such as a fall or a blow to the head or back, or by lifting something that is heavier than you should have.

Chronic back pain means back pain that lasts more than three months. This type is less common than acute pain. Chronic back pain often develops without a obvious cause and your doctor may need to conduct tests to an imaging study to identify the reason.

Conditions commonly linked to back pain:

  • Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you're in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.

  • Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you have spine X-rays for some other reason.

  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

  • Skeletal irregularities. A condition in which your spine curves to the side (scoliosis) also can lead to back pain, but generally not until middle age.

  • Osteoporosis. Your spine's vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

Risk factors for Back Pain

Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain:

  • Age. Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40.

  • Lack of exercise. Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain.

  • Excess weight. Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back.

  • Diseases. Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.

  • Improper lifting. Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.

  • Psychological conditions. People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain.

  • Smoking. This reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can keep your body from delivering enough nutrients to the disks in your back. Smoking also slows healing.

Preventing back pain recurrence

You might avoid back pain or prevent its recurrence by improving your physical condition and learning and practicing proper body mechanics.

To keep your back healthy and strong:

  • Exercise. Aerobic activities such as walking or swimming that don't strain or jolt your back can increase your strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better.

  • Build muscle strength and flexibility. You can condition the muscles in your core using abdominal and back muscle exercises. Conditioning these muscles will help them work together like a natural corset for your back. Stretching your legs will improve the flexibility in your hips and upper legs, and align your pelvic bones, which will improve your posture and reduce incidents of back pain.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight places a strain on your back muscles, so if you are overweight, diet and exercise until you reach your optimum weight will help prevent back pain.

Sit, Stand and Lift Smart to avoid back pain

Avoid movements that twist or strain your back.

  • Stand smart. Don't slouch. Maintain a neutral pelvic position. If you must stand for long periods, place one foot on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back. Alternate feet. Good posture can reduce the stress on back muscles.

  • Sit smart. Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back can maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half-hour.

  • Lift smart. Avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight — no twisting — and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

Products that advertise relief from back pain

Many products advertise that using them will relieve or prevent back pain.  However, there isn’t any proof that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, mattresses, pillows, chairs, or stress management programs can help.

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Call to schedule your appointment today (574) 271-8646