Did you know that over 80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives?
That’s an incredible statistic. Back pain can be debilitating and unfortunately, most people don’t understand the true cause of their pain and often don’t make the right choice when it comes to treating back pain.
In today’s post, we’ll help you understand:
- Common causes of back pain
- How back pain affects the body
- Why traditional back pain treatments might not work for you
- The benefits of alternative back pain treatments like acupuncture
Let’s get started!
The Most Common Sources of Back Pain
Many back injuries and back pain are caused by:
- Auto Accidents – Car crashes, even seemingly minor fender benders can leave you in serious pain from muscle strains, soft tissue and nerve damage, and injuries to your spine itself
- Work Injuries – Lifting, repetitive motion, and even sitting at your desk for too long can cause both chronic and acute back pain.
- Sports Injuries – Exercising and being active are great ways to improve your health! But unfortunately, many back injuries are the result of sports injuries. And it’s not just contact sports– even running and bicycling can contribute to back pain.
In addition to these main causes of back pain, millions of people each year experience back pain that seemingly materializes out of nowhere. You might find yourself in pain after a day spent cleaning your home, helping a friend move, turning your neck too quickly, or even just sneezing violently!
What is Back Pain?
This is a surprisingly tricky question to answer, as what you think of as your back is actually a complex, interconnected system. Let’s take a closer look:
The Spinal Column
Your spine (also known as your backbone) is made up of 26 individual bones known as the vertebra. These bones are connected by flexible tissue, including your spinal cord and cartilage, and are known as “discs.”
If you’ve ever heard someone say they “threw their back out” they may be referring to a slipped or herniated disc. When this happens, a piece of cartilage in the back becomes misaligned and puts pressure on a nearby nerve. This may present as tingling sensation, sharp pain, or even numbness.
The Muscles in The Back
Many cases of back pain are actually the result of a strain or pull in the muscles of the back. Muscles that contribute to back pain might include:
- Trapezius – Located at the top of the back, the trapezius assists in movements of the shoulders and upper back
- Latissimus Dorsi – Located lower in the back, these muscles connect the upper arm to the vertebral column.
- Rhomboids – Powerful muscles that are essential for good posture.
Referred Back Pain
Referred Back Pain
Many people experience back pain that originates in other sources. This is known as referred back pain. Referred back pain may originate in the arms, neck, hips, or abdomen but present itself as stiffness, soreness, aches, or pains in the back! Only a skilled back pain specialist can determine the true root cause of your pain.
Perhaps the most common example of referred back pain is sciatic nerve pain. The sciatic nerve is located in the the back of the upper hip and thigh area. Damage to this nerve often presents as shooting pain that radiates throughout the legs and lower back.
Understanding the source of your back pain is key to successful treatment!
How to Describe Your Back Pain
Are you suffering from back pain? You can start to take control of your health by understanding how to describe your back pain. What do we mean by that? Be thinking about:
- Where does your back pain originate? Hips, shoulders, mid-back, lower-back, neck, etc.
- How does it feel? Is the pain shooting, stabbing, tingling, numb? Does it come and go? Is it stronger at certain times of day or night?
- When did your back pain start? Was it with a single acute injury? Or did your back pain grow in intensity over time?
Answers to these questions can help a skilled back pain expert determine the root cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that will work for you.
Drawbacks of Traditional Back Pain Treatments
Unfortunately, traditional back pain treatments are a poor choice for most people:
- Rest – Simply resting your back may alleviate the symptoms of back pain but will often do nothing to prevent the pain from returning.
- Surgery – While surgery may help relieve pain, it is often pretty invasive and requires a long recovery time. It may be also be accompanied with side effects and results that don’t match up with a patient’s expectations.
DID YOU KNOW:
NBA basketball coach Steve Kerr had back surgery in 2015. Unexpected complications have caused him painful headaches and intense pain that have kept him off the court for months at a time.
Today he says,
“If you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery.”
Treat Your Back Pain Naturally at CIMH
Fortunately, there is a better way to treat your back pain.
The practitioners at CIMH can help develop a treatment plan that works for you. We specialize in acupuncture, moxibustion and other treatments that not only relieve pain but resolve the root causes of your back pain as well.
Acupuncture treatments use ultra-thin needles to restore the natural flow of oxygen, blood, and energy (also known as chi) in a person’s body. This is key to helping you resolve back pain naturally without drugs or surgery.
Call (401) 434-3550 or contact us online to schedule your first appointment. You’ll receive a free wellness consultation and health evaluation, a $320 value!
You don’t have to live with back pain. CIMH is here to help you.