Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, according to the American Chiropractic Association, and the third-leading reason why people see a doctor. Back pain affects four out of five adults at some point in their lifetime but can also affect young children.
Not only can back pain cause you to miss work and keep you from activities you enjoy, but it can make it difficult or uncomfortable to do simple things you take for granted, such as standing, sitting, bending over and sleeping. Although most people are capable of recovering from back pain, the majority never learn what caused the pain in the first place. This is one reason why habitual use of prescription painkillers is so prevalent.
Back pain is so common because of the complexity of this area of the body. You have vertebrae, the bones that make up the spine. You have discs between each vertebra to provide cushioning and absorb shock. You have matching sets of ligaments, tendons, and muscles on each side of the spine, which is capable of bending forward, backward and sideways, as well as rotating. You have the spinal cord, which starts at the base of the brain and extends to the lumbar region, where many nerves branch out. A lot can go wrong in such a complex structure.
Of course, the complexity of the back means there are many different types of back pain caused by accidents, injuries, overuse, and weakness. These types of pain fall into three general categories.
There is also acute back pain, which typically lasts no more than six weeks, and chronic back pain, which lasts more than three months. Unfortunately, many people accept chronic pain as normal. When they struggle to straighten up in the morning or wince when they bend over to pick something up, they think back pain is just part of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Pain is a symptom. It’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
The underlying cause of back pain can be difficult to pinpoint. Through a comprehensive exam, an open conversation about your health history and lifestyle, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging (if necessary), we can diagnose the root cause of your back pain.
In some cases, a bone scan or nerve study might be recommended. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
Other factors such as emotional stress, depression, anxiety, neurological disorders, and insomnia can make the pain worse. Lack of exercise, obesity, poor nutrition, smoking, and poorly fitting shoes can also increase the risk of back pain.
The treatment plan we recommend is always customized for the individual. Our goal is to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself through natural means. Scientific research has repeatedly linked chiropractic care, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and clinical nutrition with relief from back pain. Podiatry also plays an important role in restoring your foundation from the bottom up and reducing stress on the back, while physical therapy and rehabilitation are used to help patients recover from injury.
We offer these services and more under one roof so you don’t have to bounce from specialist to specialist or facility to facility. At Natural Healthcare Center, our team of clinicians collaborate and follow a proven process to treat the whole patient, not an individual condition or body part.
If pain is extreme, prescription medication might be needed, but only temporarily and sparingly. Surgery is an absolute last resort when there are no other options.
If you’re dealing with back pain, schedule an appointment at Natural Healthcare Center. Let us help you attack the problem at the source so you can feel better, function better and live longer.