Back Pain Is Your Body’s Alarm Saying Something Is Wrong…So Listen!
How Your Back Works and When the System Breaks Down
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
—Robert H. Schuller
Let’s look at the spinal system—muscles, connective tissue, joints, bones, and nerves.
The spine is a very complex system and, to understand how it works, you need a basic comprehension of how its components work. No one component is more important than the other, as they all have to function and integrate properly in order to limit damage. The bones provide rigid support, while the muscles and connective tissue stabilize the joints, and the master system that controls all of the muscles is comprised of the nerves. All of these components have to work in a coordinated manner.
- The lower back is made up of vertebrae, bones that are stacked one on top of the other.
- In between each of the vertebrae is a disc, the cushion between the bones of your spine. The discs carries 70 percent to 80 percent of your body weight.
- The ligaments are strong connective tissue that attaches the bones together.
- Tendons are strong connective tissues attaching muscles to bones.
Any dysfunction of the above can lead to abnormal movement, wear and tear, or bony and soft tissue decay, thus leading to pain.
The back anatomy includes small nerves that control tiny muscles, holding your spine in alignment. The muscles control the joints, so it is very rare if you have an isolated nerve problem. When you have an injury or dysfunction of the spine via micro or macro trauma, the nerves that control the muscles do not fire properly. The muscles stop moving the joints of your spine, create joint misalignment or improper movement, and allow stagnation of fluid that lubricates your joints. The body slowly deteriorates—weeks, months, years pass, and potentially culminates into back pain or possible degenerative disc disease. This can set up a high probability category for disc herniations, disc bulges, nerve pain, muscles spasms, chronic pain, and impairment. As you see, it is a complicated system. Moving on, let’s take a look at different conditions that cause back pain.
Old Injuries Come Back to Haunt You—Back Pain Is Not Just “Old Age”
Your back takes a beating during your lifetime. Most back pain occurs due to two major categories: 1) micro or macro trauma or 2) too much stress to the back. This can include repetitive strains, such as sitting, or prior trauma or injures to the back, like a fall, auto collision, or any type of accident. But many people believe their pain and decline are from “normal aging,” so they believe it’s normal to have back pain. This simply is not true. Just because it is common does not make it normal. If that were true, all 360 joints in your body would hurt since your whole body is the same age.
The majority of problems or conditions in the spine are due to new or old injuries, categorized as macro trauma (for example, that skiing accident that hurt your back, lifting a too-heavy bag of dog food, or falling off a ladder). Other back conditions result from micro trauma—postural strain is one, such as sitting for six to eight hours daily; compressing your spine while looking down or at a computer at work for the last five years; exercising the wrong way; repetitive movements, like picking up your kids; or an occupation that requires a lot of bending or twisting. Many people can relate to one or two macro traumas to the back in life, and it is very difficult to avoid micro trauma. So it is usually a combination of events that have an effect on your back, and it can affect multiple sensitive structures. Trauma in either form—macro or micro—and muscle imbalances are the most common reasons for lower back pain.
Lack of Stimulation or Nutrients Can Break Down Your Back
We have talked about excess strain, as well as mechanical injuries from our past, but a sometimes overlooked reason for back pain is a deficiency, too little of something. This can be include having too little nutrients in your body, too little water in your diet, or too much coffee or other diuretics that deplete fluids and can lead to toxic buildup in the body. You must be adequately hydrated at all times, as the majority of the discs, your cushions, in your spine are made up of water. Too little vitamins or minerals, due to a poor diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, can put a stress on the joints, muscles, and nerves of your back.
Lack of stimulation of your back is related to not enough movement in the form of exercise that helps keep your muscles toned and joints lubricated. Too little movement of your joints stagnates the fluids that lubricate them. This will stagnate and limit nutrients, oxygen, and blood supply to the cartilage of your joints in your back, potentially leading to inflammation, as well as early onset of arthritis and pain. We all know that the obesity problem we have in the United States of America is partially the result of sedentary jobs and poor dietary habits, all of which contribute to multiple health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and so forth. So as you already know, it is time to get moving!
Call anytime between the hours of 8 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 8am through 12pm on Fridays. Tell the receptionist you’d like to come in for the Back Pain Evaluation and receive a huge discount!
We can get started with your consultation, exam and x-rays as soon as there’s an opening in the schedule. Our office is called Advanced Chiropractic and you can find us at 4549 Catclaw Drive Abilene,TX.
I look forward to helping you get rid of your pain so you can start living a healthier, more joyful life.
Don’t forget to download your free copy of my book 21st Century Back Pain Solution