Lower back pain. No doubt you’ve experienced it at some point already, and chances are, you will again. Experts sometimes refer to lower back pain as a universal human experience since it affects as many as 80% of adults to some extent during their lifetime. If you are fortunate, your lower back pain will resolve itself as quickly as it begins, without the need for medical attention. However, for a fairly large percentage of people, lower back pain will become a chronic problem that has a considerable impact on their day to day lives.
One of the biggest questions is why do so many of us have episodes of lower back? Unfortunately, for several people, the underlying cause of their discomfort will never be fully understood. In this instance, they are said to have ‘non-specific back pain’. Some people may be concerned that this means that they are unable to see treatment, but this isn’t the case. Although the precise, underlying cause of their pain may not be able to be determined, there are still certain treatments that can help to alleviate their discomfort. Chiropractic care is particularly effective at helping those patients with non-specific back pain since it focuses on realignment of the entire spine as a whole, rather than targeting an exact location within it.
Fortunately, some causes of lower back pain can be identified. Here are the most common reasons why we experience lower back pain.
A slipped disc is easily one of the most prevalent causes of lower back pain. The bones of our spines are separated by small, gel-filled discs that absorb shocks from impact and enable us to bend and twist and enjoy full mobility in our spine. These are called intervertebral discs. Sometimes these discs slip out of place and irritate the nerves in the surrounding spinal column.
Similarly, the jelly-like center of one of these discs can break through the tough, outer layer and irritate nearby nerve roots. This can cause inflammation which makes the pain experienced more pronounced. In addition to this, the wall of the discs themselves contain lots of nerve fibers, and a tear within the outer layer can cause pain in its own right.
Most parts of our body change with age, and our intervertebral discs are no different. When we are younger, they are filled with water and well hydrated. However, as we age this hydration decreases, making them more likely to tear or weaken. It is also possible for the disc to collapse entirely, leading to stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces called foramina within your spine, which can then put pressure on the nerves that travel through it, causing pain, reduced sensation and other neurological symptoms. Spinal stenosis can be caused by osteoarthritis as well as degenerative disc disease.
Compression fractures are more common than you might expect. They typically occur as a result of osteoarthritis which weakens the bones, making fractures and other damage more likely. A compression fracture affects the cylindrical vertebra and causes the bone to cave in on itself, causing significant pain.
If you have any sort of back pain, determining the cause can be helpful, but as we know, it isn’t always essential for patients to obtain effective treatment. Chiropractic treatment is extremely effective in producing drug-free relief from pain, improved mobility and healing. To find out more, please contact our offices where our experienced team would be delighted to help.