Back pain is one of the most common reasons why adults seek care from a chiropractor. When you experience back pain or discomfort in any area of your back, it may raise concerns about your lifestyle and situation. Back pain stems from a variety of factors, but our chiropractors can help to address the causes and provide the natural solutions you need to remain active. At Unity Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Beaverton, OR, we can help identify the reasons for back pain and put you on the road to recovery.
Reasons for Back Pain
The reasons you experience back pain depend on the situation. It may relate to an accident, problems with your health or even a developmental concern that arises as you grow and develop.
Common reasons for back pain include:
- Scoliosis, or a curve to the spine
- An injury to your back from an accident
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- A pinched nerve, like sciatica
- Poor posture
The underlying causes of back pain stem from multiple situations. It may relate to auto accidents or poor posture while lifting heavy objects. It can also relate to your lifestyle and the possibility of a pinched nerve while engaging in certain activities.
Types of back Pain:
Lower Back Pain:
Although you can develop pain anywhere in the spine, lower back pain leads the list of back pain problems. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from posture to body mechanics to aging. Aging is probably the top reason for lower back pain. Loss of bone and muscle strength, degeneration (wear and tear), and loss of flexibility in the discs are all factors. People who are not fit have an increased risk of back pain, especially if they are obese. Low back pain often occurs in pregnancy due to changes in posture and pelvic ligaments. Genetics can play a role, especially for conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis. Poor body mechanics, heavy lifting, excessive mental stress, poor posture, and carrying heavy backpacks can all increase risk.
The low back includes five vertebrae, L1 to L5. Most of the weight of the upper body is supported by these vertebrae and between each is a thick, flexible cushion of cartilage called a disc. Lower back pain occurs when:
- Sprains or strains occur, overstretching or tearing ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
- Degeneration takes place in the bones or the discs between the vertebrae. This often occurs with aging.
- Irritated and inflamed structures cause muscle spasms.
- A disc bulges or herniates into the spinal cord.
- A nerve root in the spine is compressed, injured, or inflamed.
- The spinal canal becomes narrowed from bony overgrowth.
- The vertebrae are out of alignment.
Upper Back Pain:
The strong, stable, and injury resistant thoracic or upper back spine stretches from the mid-back to the neck at one end and the lower back at the other. It keeps the rib cage in place, protects internal organs but offers only limited mobility. Additionally, strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments surround and protect the spinal joints, bones, nerve, and discs. Although remarkably engineered, pain can develop due to repetitive use, strains and sprains from lifting heavy objects, muscle stress, sports or accident injuries, and spinal misalignment. Other pain causes are:
- Disc herniation
- Poor posture habits
- Degenerative disc disease
- Inflammation due to arthritis
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- A pinched nerve in the upper back or neck
Upper back pain and discomfort may present symptoms in the top or mid back, neck, between the shoulder blades, arm, chest, and areas lower down the body. Tingling, numbness, or weakness may also occur. The pain may be mild, sharp stabbing or grip like a vice. It can be sudden, gradual, persistent, or intermittent, limit movement, or get worse with activities.
Back Pain Relief with Chiropractic Care
When you want back pain relief without using harsh medications or treatments, our chiropractor offers a solution. At the Unity Chiropractic and Wellness Center, Dr. Kathy and Dr. Justin offer natural treatments for back pain management and relief. Whether you have scoliosis related to growth during adolescence or you have back pain from a recent injury, we help address the underlying causes with natural treatments.
We use chiropractic adjustments using diversified techniques based on your situation and needs. We ensure proper alignment throughout your back, which alleviates pain related to poor alignment, bulging discs or related causes of pain. We may refer some individuals for massage therapy when tension in the muscles contributes to your pain. In some cases, we also work on reducing compression, or pressure, on the nerves in your back.
How our Chiropractors can treat your pain:
Effective pain relief at our clinic starts with an accurate diagnosis and a combination of the right treatment modalities. Your doctor will examine you thoroughly and may even do imaging tests of the spine to check for abnormalities likely to cause pain. Based on the findings, you may receive a combination of chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue rehabilitation.
- Spinal Adjustment: This technique corrects vertebral subluxation (misalignment). It is performed manually or using small instruments to mobilize and reposition the spinal joints and bones. Realignment relieves pressure on the nerve and alleviates pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
- Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT): Our Doctors of Chiropractic are skilled in performing SOT to adjust the cranial bones and spine. This helps to correct spinal abnormalities that cause back pain and nervous system interference.
- Soft Tissue Therapies: Our massage therapist provides soothing massage and myofascial therapies to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, heal the connective tissue, and increase flexibility.
- Acupuncture: This art of healing technique is used by our acupuncturist to promote balance and health. By restoring your natural healing system, your back pain will be reduced.
When to Talk to a Chiropractor in Beaverton
You want to talk to Dr. Kathy or Dr. Justin, when you notice back pain and it persists. While some pain may relate to minor pulls or strains, you do not want to ignore the pain since some symptoms may worsen over time. You also want to seek treatment immediately after an accident, even if you do not notice immediate symptoms of pain and discomfort.
Some injuries to your back, neck and spine may not be obvious immediately after an accident. In some cases, you may notice the pain after a few days. Seek treatment as soon as you notice the discomfort or as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that your pain does not persist or worsen from your normal activities.
Back Pain Chiropractic FAQ:
What kinds of injuries can cause back pain?
A variety of injuries can cause back pain. For instance, an auto accident injury, slip-and-fall injury, or high-impact sports injury can jolt the spine and throw its components out of alignment. Hyperextension of back tissues can cause strains and sprains.
How does a herniated disc cause back pain?
A herniated disc can cause pain in a couple of different ways. The material that pokes outward from the tear in the disc's outer casing can put pressure on nerve tissue while also causing inflammation. Nerve damage to the disc casing can also cause intense pain.
What does it mean when my low back pain is accompanied by leg pain?
We often see patients who are experiencing both low back pain and pain, tingling or loss of sensation in a leg/foot. These are signs of sciatica, in which the roots of the sciatic nerve become pinched.
How do work or sports habits contribute to back pain?
If your work conditions or office setup require you to bend, twist, or stoop constantly, you may be giving yourself a case of chronic back strain. Athletes may also be prone to repetitive motion strain.
What chronic spinal conditions can trigger back pain?
Bulging discs tend to lose height with age, which puts the facet joints of the spine under strain. Spinal osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis (loss of free space in the spinal canal) and spondylolisthesis (vertebral shifting) may also cause back pain.
Can postural problems cause back pain?
Poor posture is a factor in many of the back pain cases our chiropractor sees. Poor muscular support and abnormal musculoskeletal alignment can leave you in constant discomfort.
Does back pain relief in Beaverton have to involve surgery?
Surgery is generally a last resort for dealing with back pain. You'll be glad to know that we can resolve the majority of back pain problems through conservative means alone.
How does your Beaverton chiropractor relieve back pain naturally?
Dr. Kathy Cantwell or Dr. Justin Jelen, your Beaverton chiropractors, will evaluate your symptoms while examining your spinal alignment and posture. After pinpointing the source of your pain, chiropractic adjustments can correct vertebral position, improve your alignment, and relieve pressure from nerves and muscles. Myofascial therapies (including massage) and exercises can promote faster healing and better posture, while acupuncture stimulates the body's own pain-relief responses.
Contact Your Chiropractors at Unity
Back pain impacts the lives of many individuals each year, but you do not always want to take harsh medications or use traditional treatments. By working with Dr. Kathy or Dr. Justin, you alleviate the discomfort with natural and holistic solutions. To learn more about back pain relief and our treatment processes, call (503) 747-3388 today!