Back pain is probably one of the most ubiquitous health conditions across the globe. It is among the most common reasons for missed work days, visits to the doctor or E.R., and a leading cause of disability. Surely there are some very serious causes of back pain, such as heart attack or spinal fracture, but the majority of back pain cases can be attributed to a handful of disorders or conditions.
Why Does My Back Hurt?
- Muscle Strain – strain of the muscles in the back is one of the most common causes of back pain. Strain can happen as a result of overuse, injury, poor posture, sitting for too long, improper lifting technique, and a myriad of other reasons.
- Pregnancy – one of the most common complaints during pregnancy is lower back pain as a woman’s body changes to accommodate the growing fetus.
- Disc herniation – a disc herniation, rupture, or bulge can be extraordinarily painful. This can happen when the outer rings of the disc are weakened (from injury or wear and tear) and the inner nucleus of the disc pushes through. The back pain that can result from this can be severe, and depending on the location of the affected disc, pain may radiate down an arm or leg.
- Sciatic nerve pain – the sciatic nerve is formed from branches of nerve roots in the lower back. The longest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve courses from the lower back, through the buttock, hip, and back of each leg. Sciatica sufferers might have low back pain along with pain that can present itself anywhere along the course of the nerve.
- Spondylosis – spondylosis is a broad term that refers to degeneration of the vertebrae, cartilage, or ligaments of the spine. This type of degeneration is considered an arthritic change. As joints and ligaments lose their integrity, they can create nerve irritation and pain.
- Spondylolisthesis – spondylolisthesis most commonly occurs in the lower back and involves a vertebra slipping forward out of its normal position. This can pinch the nerves that branch off of the spinal cord, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
- Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the central spinal canal can put pressure on the spinal cord itself as well as nerve roots. This can lead to pain, weakness, and numbness over time.
- Fibromyalgia – fibromyalgia sufferers deal with a lot of neck and back pain in addition to the other hallmark symptoms of the condition, such as sleep difficulties and cognitive changes.
- Loss of normal spinal curvature – when the spine is viewed from front to back, it should be aligned straight up and down. A deviation of the spine from this perspective is known as scoliosis, which can not only cause pain but can cause problems with organ function if the curvature is severe. When the spine is viewed from the side, there should be normal curves in place. Oftentimes, the natural curve in the neck is lost and becomes straight or even reversed. The natural curve in the mid-back can be accentuated with poor posture, resulting in a hunchback or dowager’s hump appearance.
- Upper cervical subluxation – the vertebrae that are positioned at the top of the spinal column play an important role in dictating the alignment of the rest of the spine below them. When the atlas or axis misalign, they can cause compensations throughout the rest of the spin and disturb normal nervous system function.
Back Pain and Your Central Nervous System
Aside from feeling good and maintaining your quality of life, it is important to take care of your spine for another critical reason. Your spine houses your brainstem and spinal cord, which connect to your brain above to make up your central nervous system (CNS). Irritated nerves can not only cause pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness, they can also cause many other issues with your body’s ability to self-regulate.
Medications might help you to deal with back pain in the short term. However, if you are looking for relief that is more than just temporary, then it is necessary to get to the underlying cause of the problem. The source of many cases of back pain originates at the very top of the spine at the most freely movable segments. The atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae are some of the most unique of the spinal column. They are responsible for bearing the weight of the head and account for the majority of its movement. A misalignment in the upper neck will set off a cascade of compensation throughout the rest of the spine as it’s forced to try and keep the eyes level and the head in a neutral position.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Addresses the Root Cause of Back Pain
If you’ve been suffering from back pain, chances are you can look in the mirror and see that your head might be tilted to the left or right, your shoulders may not be level with each other, and one hip might be higher than the other. These compensations can cause unequal strain and tension on one side of the spine versus the other, and over time can result in early degeneration and tissue injury. As an upper cervical chiropractic practice, rather than chase around your pain by addressing these compensations, we go straight to the root cause of the problem. This benefits our patients immensely by giving them a natural option for healing and by creating a lasting solution.
At Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center, we take a precise, gentle approach to care. This makes upper cervical chiropractic care the ideal solution for those suffering from back pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of function. Upper cervical adjustments are tailored towards each patient, giving them the best possible opportunity to hold their normal spinal alignment in place. This gives your body the time it needs to heal and repair damaged tissues, restoring better function and a better quality of life.
To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Cedar Park, TX office at 512-572-3976. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.