Back pain is one of the most common ailments that affects Americans today. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an estimated 75 to 80% of people will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, with the first being upper-respiratory infections. For many, back pain can be a continual and chronic battle. The American Chiropractic Association reports that Americans spend more than 80 billion dollars each year to treat their back pain.
Here are some telltale signs and symptoms of back pain:
- Tenderness, pain, and stiffness in the lower back
- Muscle ache or inflammation of the back
- Limited range of motion of the back or flexibility
- Leg weakness or numbness, or pain radiating into the legs
What causes back pain?
There are many possible causes of back pain. The back is a complex structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Back pain can be caused by herniated or bulging discs, muscle or ligament strains, arthritis, or other health issues. While workplace injuries, sports or vehicle accidents can cause back pain, sudden movements or simple wear & tear can easily lead to back pain.
While having back pain is more common as you age, anyone can get it. There are several lifestyle and health factors that can contribute to a higher risk of developing back pain, including: heredity, poor or lack of physical fitness, being overweight, and your occupation. It may sound contradictory but having a sedentary job that requires long hours of sitting at a desk can increase your risk of getting back pain just the same as having physically-demanding job that requires you to lift heavy objects.
When is the difference between acute back pain and chronic back pain?
Typically, back pain can be described as either acute or chronic. Acute back pain occurs suddenly for less than six weeks as a result of an injury or trauma, although its possible that it can have no known cause. Many of our patients describe acute back pain as sharp. With treatment and care, acute back pain tends to disappear or minimize over time. Chronic back pain can be described as a achy, dull or burning type of pain that lasts longer than three months. Similarly to acute back pack, chronic back pain can develop from an injury or trauma that hasn’t properly healed, or there might not be a identifiable cause.
Chiropractic care for chronic back pain
Here at Renton’s Petett Chiropractic, we promote a healthy and active Northwest lifestyle above all else. To help prevent the development of back pain and other chronic pain issues, be sure to exercise often and maintain a healthy weight for your age and body frame. While it’s important to keep your back muscles strong, commit to proper form when lifting heavy weights by bending the legs and keeping the back straight.
Along with staying physically healthy, we believe that regular chiropractic visits can provide a natural, safe, and effective treatment for many ailments, including back pain. Chiropractic helps maintain proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, to help the body to heal itself without the need for surgery or medication. If you’re dealing with back pain and it is affecting your ability to do certain tasks or enjoy life, consider adding chiropractic care to your treatment regime.