There are many causes of back pain and are sometimes unavoidable. They can occur at any point during your life and it may take years before causing pain or other noticeable symptoms. The cause of your back pain often exists long before the pain begins. Dr. Stan G. Langford III offers effective back pain treatment at his Chula Vista, CA, office.
Causes of Back Pain
While traumatic events like accidents and sports injuries can lead to problematic back pain, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pen from the floor, can have painful results. As long as your back is healthy and functioning correctly, it can withstand tremendous forces without injury.
If your back is out of adjustment or has weak supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk can cause a back injury.
A football player can take a 230-pound tackle. But, if your back is out of adjustment or has weak supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk can cause a back injury. In children, misalignments can initially occur during the birth process, learning to walk and during play. Several common causes for spinal misalignments that are not easily detected, like an acute injury that is more obvious, include:
- Poor posture
- Repetitive movement, usually from a work task
- Short leg
- Poor sleeping habits
- Bending forward too long
- Holding a phone to your ear with your shoulder
- Carrying a heavy purse, briefcase or backpack
- A difficult pregnancy
- Difficult birth
- Improper bending, lifting or carrying
- Stress or anxiety
- Environmental toxins that stress the body, like high quantities of caffeine, processed foods, smoking, alcohol
What is a Subluxation?
Subluxations are the cause of many health issues and are often called Pinched Nerves. Of course, potentially traumatic events, such as falls, accidents, sports activities and exercise expose people to risks of developing problematic subluxations.
But almost any activity, like housework, desk work, and even sleeping can produce subluxations of the spine. In children, subluxation can initially occur during the birth process, learning to walk and during play. In simplest terms, a subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine, vertebrae, move out of position and create pressure or irritate spinal nerves.
Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then cause those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the nerves signals. How does this affect you? Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body.
If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly. If left untreated, these normally smooth surfaces on which these joints glide become rough, irritated and inflamed causing degeneration of the spine. Much like tooth decay, most people will have a subluxation long before they notice any symptoms.
Treatments in our office will reduce and eliminate problem-causing subluxations with specific chiropractic adjustments. If the subluxation has been present only a short time, you may need only a few adjustments to alleviate the problem. However, long-term, chronic subluxations will require more frequent adjustments to retrain the problem areas of the spine to hold the vertebrae in their normal, healthy positions. As subluxations are corrected, your nervous system starts to function properly again and your body heals itself.
Symptoms of Subluxation
The only accurate way to determine if you suffer from subluxations is to receive a chiropractic evaluation. However, a number of signs and symptoms are commonly associated with the vertebral subluxation and include:
- Neck pain, tenderness, soreness and stiffness
- Back pain, tenderness, soreness and stiffness
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Spinal muscle spasm, tightness or weakness
- Reduced spinal mobility
- Pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Low energy
- Poor overall state of health
- Poor tissue healing
Several symptoms could signal nerve damage or other serious medical problems. There are many other conditions that could be causing these problems, but an early and accurate diagnosis is vital for successful treatment. Signs of a serious condition that needs immediate attention are:
- Pain that is worse when you cough or sneeze
- Pain or numbness that travels down one or both legs
- Pain that awakens you from sleep
- Difficult to pass urine or have bowel movements
In North America, significant amounts of spinal degeneration can be detected in over one-third of the population by age 30. By age 70, spinal degeneration is present in nearly everyone and all too often in advanced stages. Early detection and treatment is key to the prevention of long-term spinal decay.
Phase 1 of Spinal Degeneration
A misalignment and mild malfunction of the spine. Because the body is so adaptable, this early phase can exist without the warning of pain or other symptoms. The response to chiropractic treatment is very good.
- Loss of normal spinal curve
- Disc, joint, muscle and nerve damage
- Less energy
- Posture is distorted
- Height may decrease
Phase 2 of Spinal Degeneration
Recognized on X-ray views of the spine by visible bone spurs and rough edges of the vertebrae. Soft tissues, such as discs and ligaments degenerate from the lack of normal joint movement. Pain or other symptoms may not be present. Significant improvement is possible with treatment.
- Increasing decay, disc narrowing, and bone deformation
- Spinal canal narrowing (stenosis) may occur
- Aches and pains more common
- Height decrease continues
Phase 3 of Spinal Degeneration
Years of neglect may cause the eventual fusion of the malfunctioning joints. Atrophy, permanent nerve damage, and soft tissue degeneration are prevalent. Reduced mobility and impaired nervous system function, diminish one’s quality of life. Some reversal is possible.
- Greater posture imbalance
- Increase nerve damage
- Advanced bone deformation
- Loss of energy
- Loss of height
Phase 4 of Spinal Degeneration
Often irreversible. Treatment may provide symptomatic relief only.
- Degeneration of the cartilage and bone
- Bone fusion, constant pain, and discomfort
- Permanent loss of height
- Inability to turn, bend and twist
- Physical and mental weakness and disability are evident