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Posted on 07-17-2017
Back pain in Portland can be as confusing and frustrating as it is agonizing. If you're trying to get a grip on what's going on and how to treat it without surgery, here are the answers to some frequently asked back pain questions.
Pain can occur anywhere along the spinal column. Pain in the cervical spine is classified as neck pain, while spine in the thoracic, lumbar or sacral region is classified as back pain.
Even a seemingly trivial bump or jolt can knock the vertebrae out of their normal alignment. This sudden change may also produce herniated discs, which then spill their inflammatory inner material onto sensitive spinal nerve tissue. You can also herniate discs or tear back muscles in the workplace by trying to lift a heavy object unaided.
Your seat belt harness may save your life in an auto accident, but it may also cause back pain. A harness that only restrains one shoulder allows the other shoulder to be thrown forward. As a result, the spinal column can be twisted beyond its normal ability to cope, tearing muscles and stretching connective tissues.
Sciatica is the syndrome you experience when a herniated/bulging disc or misaligned spinal structure presses against the sciatic nerve roots toward the base of the spinal column. This nerve impingement causes not only low back pain but also leg pain, "pins and needles," loss of sensation and muscles weakness in the affected leg.
Excess weight can definitely prove a factor in low back pain. The additional pounds place the spine's vertebral joints, discs, muscles and nerves under that much more stress, making you more vulnerable to back pain or aggravating existing back pain. The weight gain seen in pregnancy commonly produces low back pain.
A lifetime of incorrect posture due to undeveloped back muscles and/or an untreated vertebral misalignment can leave you in constant pain. Even inadequate footwear or poor arch support in the feet can alter your weight distribution enough to cause low back pain.
A spinal abnormality such as kyphosis or scoliosis can be a cause of thoracic or upper back pain, while a "swayback" curvature is more commonly associated with low back pain. Age-related disorders can cause pain later in life. For example, bulging discs that have lost some of their height can cause pain in the facet joints of the vertebrae. (Osteoarthritis in these joints, another source of chronic pain, may eventually follow.) The aging facet joints may allow permit a kind of vertebral slippage in the lumbar spine called spondylolisthesis.
Our back pain doctor, Dr. Erickson, can evaluate your spinal alignment, stance, gait, medical history and symptoms to pinpoint the exact cause and origin point of your back pain. This enables us to provide you with customized upper or lower back pain treatment. Chiropractic adjustments can take the pressure away from sciatic nerve roots and normalize weight distribution on your major muscle groups, relieving two common low back pain issues.
We may prescribe acupuncture as a form of lower back pain treatment due to this ancient healing practice's powerful analgesic effects. Acupuncture can cause your body to produce endorphins, natural painkillers that can greatly assist with low back pain relief.
Our custom orthotics, which are tailored to meet your arches' specific needs, can help correct low back pain related to flat feet, high arches and other structural imbalances that may be throwing your weight distribution painfully off-kilter.
Exercises to add strength and flexibility to your back muscles can help you maintain a straighter, healthier posture. You may also want to rearrange your work space so you do less bending, twisting and stooping, and make sure you're always lifting heavy objects in a safe manner.
The answer to your back pain may be waiting for you here at Symmetry Chiropractic & Acupuncture. Call 630-983-1805 to schedule an appointment with our back pain doctor!
Is your back pain accompanied by other symptoms such as leg pain? Tell us about your symptoms!
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