If you hurt, it is a sign that something’s wrong. Some people cover the pain with drugs. But that would be like taping over the warning light on your car dash!
Drugs can silence the painful alarm, but overlook the cause.
The first thing we do is diagnose the source of the pain. Most people over forty think that the cause is arthritis. Well, that is one of the “5 Medical Myths that Keep You in Pain.” In fact, that is why so many people take NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory meds). Did you know that 52% without back pain have disc bulges and degeneration of the discs? At our office, we do an exam to determine if the pain source is the disc or the sacroiliac joint and if the problem lack of motion (fixation) or too much motion (instability). We also address muscle support function, muscle trigger pint toxicity. Finally, we feel it is critical to help you work through discovering and addressing activities at home, work, and play that may be contributing.
What if I just Hurt My Back?
Icing is a helpful place to start. To get the best results, do it this way:
- Use a wet towel or rag and lay it on the skin over the hurt area — The moisture helps the temperature penetrate deeper & more quickly.
- Place the ice bag (not a soft gel pack) over the towel — it must stay very cold for 20 min.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes (not longer) — it may get even a little numb during this time
- Leave it off for at least 20 minutes (not less) – This prevents skin damage and allows for healing blood to flow back in.
Actually the whole process of “R.I.C.E.” is usually best during the first few days after an injury where there is mild-to-moderate tissue swelling.
- R – Rest – Take it easy. Your body needs a chance to heal.
- I – Ice – (see notes above) – There are exceptions, but that is not for this article.
- C – Compression – If the injury is of an ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, or other joint that can be wrapped, using an Ace bandage is helpful to prevent swelling from getting out of control.
- E – Elevation – Lift it up and relax it above the level of your chest. This also reduces excess swelling.
Common Causes of Back Pain
The pain comes from Muscles, Ligaments, Bones, Joints, Nerves, or Organs.
Muscles: Muscles hurt either because they are Torn or Toxic.
- Torn muscles (called a strain) can be a little or a lot torn. This happens suddenly and you know it.
- Toxic muscles develop when there is not enough oxygen for the muscle activity. Muscles normally produce waste products, but those waste products are normally removed through blood flow (and lymphatic drainage). Waste products build up and cause toxicity with muscle and nerve irritation in 2 scenarios:
1) When the muscle is too tight in an attempt to protect the muscle itself or a joint irritation (or subluxation) nearby.
2) When the muscle has been worked hard in exercise
The joints on the back side of each spinal bone (the facet joints) are a common cause of back pain. The pain can be a sign that these carefully-
designed joints aren’t moving right.
The discs between spinal bones can also be involved. Trauma can cause the soft, jelly-like material in the middle to bulge, putting pressure on nearby nerves.
Your Recommended Choices
Natural chiropractic care has been very safe and effective in helping many people. This addresses the muscle, joint, and nerve recovery in chronic (long-term) and acute (recent-onset) conditions.
Massage therapy is a great adjunct to assisting muscle and joint recovery.
Physical therapy is quite helpful, typically doing best with recovering from surgery or other severe injury which limits home therapy for an extended time.
Other choices include:
- Ignore it (Spinal problems will likely worsen.)
- Bed rest (Feels better, but it only Prolongs the problem.)
- Therapy (Not specific. No Adjustments of malfunctioning joints. Good after joint replacement surgeries.)
- Medicine (Covers up the problem and always has side effects.)
- Surgery (Drastic. Risky. Often Ineffective in long run. Necessary if you let it go too long.)
Leg Length test
- Lay face down(during the whole test) and feet off the end of the bed with hard-sole shoes on.
- Apply equal pressure to the both feet arches to angle the shoe soles in the same direction.
- Have someone check whether or not one shoe sole sticks out further than the other.
- Have someone bend your knees to check whether the shoe soles are at the same height.
- If the soles of the feet are at different heights, the leg are different lengths.
- Different leg lengths may be a birth defect, a surgical or fracture side-effect or a functional distortion.
- Specific chiropractic adjustments can help the spine correct itself. It does this by altering the way the nervous system works.
- Research has clearly shown its effects on the activity of muscles along the spine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21781310)
- By restoring the way your spine works, nerve interference is reduced, pain decreases, and the body can heal itself.
- Research has demonstrated that treatment is effective desirable by those who use it. (http://www.dcdoctor.com/pages/rightpages_allaboutchiro/research/research_effectiveness.html).
If you don’t have a chiropractor, we’d like to help you. Schedule a consultation today – click here to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is some back pain normal?
Pain of any kind, at any age, is a sign that something is NOT right. Your body uses Pain as a way to signal that damage is occurring. Since we can adapt to stresses, we learn to deal with minor aches and pains. The aches and pains may go away, but if the underlying problem remains, the problem often slowly worsens until it is more difficult and expensive to correct.
2. What about muscle relaxers?
Importantly, chiropractors don’t give out drugs. We use natural methods. Muscle relaxers and even the most common over-the-counter pain medications have two problems. First, while they are convenient, they don’t address the underlying cause of your problem. Second, side
effects are all too common, as stated by WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/muscle-relaxants-for-low-back-pain#abg7590). Addiction, kidney problems, and liver problems
are the most common, but it can get even worse with heavy, prolonged, or overuse. It seems that every couple months, a formerly ‘safe’ drug is shown to be surprisingly harmful. When properly applied, ice can have an pain-reducing effect without the side effects associated with pain medications. See our link for home treatment methods.
3. How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. The nervous system is the key. Your brain sends information, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue of your body. Information is sent back to the brain
from these tissues.
When the bones of the spine do not move correctly, it can interfere with this nerve information between the brain and body. Even with short- term (1 week) of decreased joint motion, the brain actually starts to adapt in a way that reduces muscle control It is s a cycle that feeds itself.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20544941,) ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18450985)
The nerve activity becomes irritated or confused. Then the function of affected organs and tissues is interfered with. Specific spinal adjustments help improve nerve communication, as seen in this research showing stronger muscle contraction after an adjustment (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11145798). Health often returns with as the nervous system control of the body improves, because your body is able to heal itself.
4. Does insurance pay for chiropractic?
Many policies cover at least a little of the care you’ll need. It’s nice when an insurance company or some other third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motives of a corporation to make decisions for you. If you really want your health back, we can help. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.