“Eighty percent of the population of the United States, at some point in their life, is going to have back pain.”
The human back and spinal structure is a highly complex part of the body. It consists of bones, discs, muscles, and ligaments that all play a critical role for movement of all extremities. The back is a strong and fundamental part of the body, but it does have its weaknesses.
The lower back is the most common area for pain and can limit everyday activity. In order to help prevent it, it is important to know what it is and how it develops. There are two degrees of low back pain (LBP) people can suffer from – acute and chronic. Both affect the same area of the body, however, they differ in frequency of occurrence.
Acute low back pain is considered any discomfort in the lower back region, lumbar muscles, or pelvis that lasts three months or less. In most cases, the pain is treated effectively, diminishes, and life returns back to normal.
Cases of acute LBP can differ greatly according to a person’s lifestyle or the injury at-hand. LBP can arise from something as simple as sitting on a wallet or money clip (Sciatica) for an extended period of time. Acute pain can also come from a more severe injury, such as a herniated disc in the spine. However, severe back injuries can take longer than three months to heal, (technically making them Chronic). For an injury to be considered acute, the pain must be treated and subsided within three months.
To effectively treat LBP, muscles and ligaments need to be properly restored, which can be done through chiropractic adjustments and staying physically active. It is important to avoid prolonged bed rest, as the strained muscles and ligaments must be strengthened.
Lack of exercise, work situations, smoking, and stress are all contributors of LBP.
It is important to have an active, healthy lifestyle to reduce symptoms. Proper nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation are ways to help reduce pain, increase blood flow, and establish a healthy body.
It is smart to have a plan when taking on LBP. Routinely visiting a chiropractor for adjustments will help to restore the injured muscles and ligaments in the spine. “The chiropractic approach is to find the cause of the pain and treat it directly. This may involve realigning the spine or extremities by chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy for the muscles and ligaments, rehabilitative exercises, or a combination of these.” D.C’s can recommend ways to lead healthier lives outside of their office by offering tips on exercise and nutrition. Maintaining this healthier lifestyle will help reduce the intake of temporary medicine and promote overall wellness.
Low back pain is considered chronic if it lasts longer than three months. However, this does not necessarily mean that the injury is more severe than acute. There are possibilities that chronic pain can develop from degenerative disorders, scoliosis, or bone disease. But the percentage of people that suffer chronic pain from severe conditions is much smaller.
Chronic LBP can result from the same injuries that were mentioned in, acute LBP. The outlying difference between the two is chronic LBP lasts longer than three months; it can even stick around for years. One of the greatest problems many patients face with chronic LBP is not being able to pinpoint the pain.
When the lower back’s muscles and ligaments have been strained, or if a spinal disc has herniated, the injured components must be repaired. The body will not automatically heal what has been damaged by itself. This pain can be subsided with heat, ice, or painkillers, but if a patient is unwilling to be proactive; low back pain will persist. This is a large factor for men and women that claim disability, or do not return to work.
According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States — only headache is more common.”
In many cases, prolonged pain is a result of unhealthy habits. Chronic LBP can result from lack of exercise, obesity, or strains caused by lifting. The best remedy to treat lasting back pain is to be proactive. This involves routine visits with a chiropractor and exercising to restore the injured area. Also, cutting out old habits that induce stress on the body plays a major role in fighting constant back pain.
A D.C’s expertise in spinal manipulation and extremity adjustments can be beneficial for low back pain. Chiropractors can also provide techniques for at-home recovery, starting with exercises and nutrition.
Take care of your body. Pain will not relieve itself!