Acute and Chronic Low back Pain
Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities. It is estimated that one in every seven GP appointments is for a musculoskeletal condition and low back pain is top of that list.
Chiropractors are renowned for their expertise in the treatment and management of back pain. They are also primary healthcare providers which means a GP referral is not needed to seek care. If you are suffering with lower back pain, consider self-referring yourself to Herts Family Chiropractic for a natural, drug free solution to fixing your low back pain.
Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly and there are many different types of back pain, with different causes. Possibly it is an acute sharp stabbing, catching or ‘knife like’ pain as you move or more a long term band like stiffness or tightness that goes across your back? Either way, back pain can be debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It is important to seek advice if your back pain is not improving and the key to getting the right treatment is to establish which type of back pain is the cause.
What causes Back Pain?
The spine is a complex and remarkable mechanical structure and one of the strongest parts of your body. Twenty four moveable bones (vertebrae) are joined together by sponge-like discs which act as shock absorbers and allow for flexibility in your spine. Strong ligaments surrounded by powerful muscles help reinforce and support your back and protect your spine and spinal cord. The vertebral column is flooded with an array of highly pain sensitive fibres, so when something goes slightly out of sync, pain can be felt.
It is, in fact, surprisingly difficult to damage the spine. The back is designed for movement. It is often due to the abundance of highly sensitive nerve fibres in the back, that means the level of pain felt does not always mirror the level of physical damage that may have occurred.
Most cases of back pain are simple or mechanical in origin- meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis or infection.
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Ligaments can be sprained, muscles strained, discs ruptured, and joints irritated, all of which can lead to back pain. Often mechanical back pain is the result of sustained poor posture or even muscular tension as a result of work-related or emotional stress. Other causes could be due to repetitive strain caused by everyday activities such as bending and lifting or it could be related to trauma of some sort – a fall or a sports injury.
Back pain may be associated with wear and tear of the spine, which is a natural aging process. The sponge-like discs between the vertebrae start to narrow and this can cause pain and stiffness and cause restriction in movement. However, it is important to note that even if the wear and tear is quite advanced it is still possible to feel little or no pain.
Shooting pain, pins and needles or numbness into all or part of the leg and foot can be caused by back problems too. There can be many reasons why the nerves of the back can become irritated or trapped, but disc bulges or wear and tear are amongst the common causes that can lead to pain spreading down the leg, often referred to as sciatica.
Like any pain, discomfort in the lower back often stops you from getting on with day to day tasks at home, at work or at play. It often also affects a person’s ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep. These struggles can cause additional stress, leaving you feeling down or frustrated.
As is the case with most health challenges, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible in order to give your body the best chance of a quick and effective recovery.
Herts Family Chiropractic offers a multifactorial approach through a variety of alternative treatment approaches such as soft tissue massage, joint manipulation and acupuncture (dry needling). Lifestyle factors will also be assessed and recommendations made if necessary. Even more importantly, a tailored recovery plan, including bespoke rehabilitation exercises will be agreed to help with long-term stability and help ensure that pain doesn’t return.
If you are unsure if chiropractic can help your back pain, please get in touch on 07947678375 to discuss treatment options available to you.
Self-help Tips to Prevent Back Pain
There are several simple strategies that can help to prevent the onset of back pain. Amongst them are:
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active and engage in some form of exercise for 30 minutes daily.
- Maintain proper posture
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or physical activities, such as gardening.
- Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimise any curve in your spine.
- When lifting an object, lift with your knees bent, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
- Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
- Ensure that your workstation is ergonomically correct.