Do you have back pain?
What is back pain?
Back pain is usually mechanical in nature, including strains, sprains, and joint irritation. Radicular pain occurs when pressure is placed on a nerve creating pain down one or both legs. Conditions such as a disc bulge or stenosis can create this radicular pain most commonly referred to as sciatica. Osteoarthritis on the other hand is the accumulation of degeneration to the spinal discs and joints which can lead to pain, stiffness, and or altered biomechanics of the spine.
Where does back pain come from?
The last 100 years has changed the way we live. These days we sit more, eat more, and move less. This combination changes the stress we place on our whole body including the spine. It has been shown that obesity leads to an increase in musculoskeletal injury and one study showed an increase in the angle of the low back with a higher BMI (body mass index). With biomechanical changes in the body and reduced physical capacity due to sedentary life, it is no wonder we end up with back pain. We were designed to move!
What should I do about my back pain?
If you’re suffering from back pain, why not go straight to the expert? Chiropractors are known to be spinal experts for a reason. With many tools in our clinical tool belt we have the means to reduce your pain, increase your function, and advise you on home care and ergonomics. Most chiropractors use a combination of manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education, and rehabilitation.
Does chiropractic work?
The evidence is mounting in the scientific world to help support chiropractic care for a variety of conditions including back pain. A study in 2013 concluded that chiropractic care in addition to standard medical care was more helpful for acute back pain than medical care alone. Other studies have shown that chiropractic care combined with exercise offers the best results for outcome.
The bottom line
With back pain prevalence as high as it is, and no sign of change in the way we live our lives, chiropractic care should be a trusted source of treatment and advice.
Stay tuned for the next post on back pain, exercises, and stretches.
- Cassidy JD, Carroll LJ, Cote P., The saskatchewan health and back pain survey. The prevalence of low back pain and related disability in Saskatchewan adults, Spine. (Phila PA 1976). 1998 Sep 1;23 (17):1860-6; discussion 1867.
- British Medical Journal Online First, Nov 19, 2004: 1-6
- Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, et al. Adding chiropractic to standard medical therapy for nonspecific low back pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013;38:627–34.
- Schopflocher D, Taenzer P, Jovey R. The prevalence of chronic pain in Canada. Pain Res Manag J Can Pain Soc. 2011;16(6):445–450.