What is Causing Your Back Pain?

Michael Hausch, DC

Symptoms Have You Wondering What is Causing Your Back Pain?

Low back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work. For 80% of adults, it will affect their daily activities in some way during their lifetime. Back pain is caused by a variety of reasons and is not a specific disease. It is a symptom that is triggered by an underlying cause, however, a majority of people who suffer cannot identify what is causing their back pain.

Symptoms will vary from person to person and will often go away and reappear without warning. Back pain is considered chronic if it has lasted for longer than one month.

What is really happening in your body if you have back pain?

● Pain in the lower back can be isolated in your lower back or can radiate down your legs on either
the front, sides or back of your legs.

● Pain can become worse with activity.

● Prolonged sitting or standing can aggravate back pain.

● Compressed nerves in the back can cause weakness or numbness in the legs. As a result, you may
have a reduction in flexibility or mobility in your foot. You may be unable to raise up on your toes
or point your foot downward.

What can cause back pain?

Back pain is often the result of disease or injury. Sports injuries, pain from a fall or accident can lead to pain in the back.

You may have what doctors call referred pain, which is pain that is associated with abnormalities in other places. This type of pain can be due to an issue in the chest, abdomen or pelvis.

Appendicitis, kidney infections, bladder infections, and other disorders can present themselves with back pain.

Nerve syndromes are issues that are the result of nerve irritations. The most common cause of nerve irritation is a bulging disc in the lower back.

● Sciatica

This is nerve pain that is felt anywhere from your lower back, through your buttocks and down your leg, stopping at your calf. Typically, Sciatica only occurs on one side of the body. This pain is felt only when the Sciatic nerve has become pinched, most often by a herniated disk in the spine

● A Herniated Disk

The disks are the “cushion” between the vertebrae of your spine. Think of a rubbery cushion with a jelly-like center. When you have a herniated disk, one of these cushions has ruptured and some of the jelly is pushed out. Because of this, often a nearby nerve is being touched and this is what actually causes the patient pain. Typically the lower back is the most commonplace for a herniated disc.

• Degenerative Disk Disease

This is typically caused by aging, although sports and injuries can contribute, and affects the disks between the vertebrae in your spine. These disks are different than other areas of the body – as there is very little blood supply to the disks. Once injured, it can’t repair itself and so starts to degenerate.

● Fibromyalgia

Unfortunately, it is not known what causes fibromyalgia. This disorder involves pain all over the body and is accompanied by memory loss, fatigue and mood issues. Symptoms typically begin after trauma, surgery, infection or significant mental stress.

A physical examination may be performed by a doctor to accurately diagnose back pain and develop a treatment program.

What will the doctor look for?

● How well you can walk and/or stand

● The range of motion of your spine

● How well your reflexes work

● Your ability to feel sensations in your legs and feet

● The amount of strength in your legs

Serious conditions may require more extensive tests, such as MRIs, CT scans or X-rays. Urine and blood tests may be necessary to determine if there are any underlying problems that may be contributing to your back pain. Nerve conduction may be tested with an electromyography test.

Back pain is a warning sign of a problem in your body. By paying attention to the signs, you can reduce the chances of further incidents and eliminate the pain you are experiencing. If you are experiencing back pain that interferes with your daily activities, or if your back pain lasts longer than a month, make an appointment with one of our doctors for an evaluation. In most cases, it is possible to alleviate the pain and address the underlying causes of the pain without surgery.

We can help you enjoy life again – free from pain. Don’t wait any longer – contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

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