Are you struggling with back pain? You’re not alone; whether upper, middle, or lower, 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life. Back pain is actually the number one cause of disability in the United States, with up to 32 million Americans experiencing pain at any given moment. While extremely common, there are many different causes and treatment options. Our Omaha chiropractic and physical therapy team at Rethwisch Family Chiropractic aims to use this page to help answer your questions about back pain and what you can do to start living pain free.
Back Pain in Omaha
The back is designed to be your body’s main support structure, while allowing for all types of movement. It allows you to sit, stand, twist, bend, and walk/run. The back is made up of bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and assorted connective tissues that each contribute to its functions of movement or support. Unfortunately, any of these tissues can be irritated or damaged, leading to any or all of these movements and positions becoming painful. There are two main ways of damaging the back: severe trauma such as a car accident, or smaller, repetitive stresses over time. The latter is by far more common. This is why you may hear people say they injured their back by tying their shoe or sneezing. That final moment is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Physical injury is not the only cause of back pain, however; conditions such as kidney stones, gall stones, and urinary tract infections can lead to back pain as well. With so many possible causes of back pain, seeing a provider who can accurately diagnose your problem is important so you receive the best and most appropriate treatment. Fortunately, our Omaha chiropractors at Rethwisch Family Chiropractic have over 20 years of education and experience diagnosing and treating all different types of back pain.
One of the most common, and painful, causes of back pain is disc injuries. In between each vertebra of the spine are discs. Discs are designed to support the spine and provide space between the vertebrae to protect nerves, blood vessels, and other important tissues. You can think of a disc like a jelly-filled donut –a gelatinous center surrounded by a fibrous outer ring. When injured, the outer ring can tear and, if severe, the gelatinous center can escape. These injuries can cause pain and weakness into the leg, pain in the back, or numbness and tingling. Fortunately, chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in helping the disc resorb, decreasing pain and healing time!
Subluxation is a fancy term for motion restriction of a joint and is one of the most overlooked causes of back pain. When a joint becomes restricted, nerve communication is impaired and muscle spasm and pain result. Subluxations are a result of stress (physical, chemical, and emotional) greater than our body’s ability to adapt. Chiropractors are one of few healthcare professionals trained to restore proper movement and remove subluxations, and our doctors are highly trained in a variety of techniques so they can best help you!
Muscle/Tendon Strains and Ligament Sprains
Strains and sprains are another very common cause of back pain. There are over 30 muscles and 11 ligaments that attach to the spine. That’s a lot of potential for injury! Sprains and strains can be caused by major trauma such as car accidents, improper movement and lifting, and overworking, among others. These injuries are typically painful with certain movements and after prolonged rest and may be accompanied by bruising and swelling. Sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments tend to respond very well to chiropractic care, and our chiropractors help patients with these injuries all the time!
These are just a few of the common causes of back pain. There are many more causes, and most respond very well to chiropractic care. The American Academy of Physicians recommends chiropractic care as first-line therapy for low back pain! Our Omaha chiropractors get to the root cause of your pain to help you heal rather than put a band-aid on your symptoms. Ready to see how chiropractic can help your back pain? Call us at (402) 408-6561 or click here to schedule a consultation today!