Help for Back Pain

Your back is an intricate and complex work of art. Its job is to support your pelvis, legs, ribcage, arms, neck and head.

 

The bones, joints, discs, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves in your back work amazingly well together supporting you through each day’s activity.

 

Each time you lift your toddler, dig over your garden beds, sit through another Zoom meeting or walk the dog, you rely on your back.

 

No wonder back pain is such a common problem!

 

How Long Does Back Pain Last?

That depends on what’s causing it. Most back pain happens in your lower back (known as the lumbar region) which supports your upper body.

 

We tend to divide lower back pain into two categories:

 

  • Acute lower back pain lasts a few days or weeks. Most back pain falls into this category and people usually recover quite well.

  • Chronic lower back pain persists for 3 months or more. You might have healed from an initial injury but find your back still hurts. About 20% of lower back pain falls into this category.

 

What Causes Back Pain?

To help you understand back pain, imagine you’re listening to an orchestra play. The music sounds beautiful because each musician is playing in tune and in time with the others. But then the cellos start to play faster than the violins, the clarinets play the same note over and over again and the percussionist stops altogether. The music is now disjointed and grates horribly on the ear.

 

Your back is a bit like that. Most acute lower back pain is caused by a disruption in the way that the different parts of your back (spine, muscles, disc, nerves etc) fit together and move. Some causes relate to your lifestyle and history of injury while others relate to the structure of your body or an underlying condition.

 

Lifestyle-related causes may include:

  • Stress: Tense muscles eventually become tired, stiff and painful

  • Poor posture: It causes extra strain on your body

  • Being overweight or obese: Your back is always lifting those extra kilos

  • Sitting still for long periods: Prolonged sitting, especially with bad posture, strains your spine

  • Not exercising enough: If your core muscles are weak through lack of exercise, they may not provide enough support to your back and spine.

 

Injuries that may cause back pain include:

  • Traumatic injury to the tendons, ligaments and muscles, spinal compression or ruptured or herniated discs. That might happen in a car accident, a fall or on the footie pitch

  • Sprains: The result of an overstretched or torn ligament

  • Strains: A tear in your tendon or muscle

  • Spasms: A sudden clenching up of muscle or muscle group.

 

Structural problems in your back may include:

 

Many health conditions have the potential to cause lower back pain, including:

  • Arthritis

  • Spondylitis

  • Intervertebral disc degeneration

  • Sciatica

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Infections

  • Osteoporosis

  • Pregnancy (this one tends to fix itself after 9 months).

 

While rare, back pain can be a sign of a more serious condition. That’s why persistent back pain should always be checked out by a healthcare professional.

 

What Does Back Pain Feel Like?

Back pain varies depending on the cause and location. Symptoms of back pain include:

  • Aching muscles

  • A shooting or stabbing pain

  • Pain that moves down your leg

  • Pain that gets worse if you bend, lift, stand or walk

  • Pain that improves when you lie down.

 

Who Gets Back Pain?

Back pain is very, very common – almost all of us will feel a twinge at some point. Back pain affects both kids and adults but does become more common after age 30.

 

Other risk factors include smoking (reduces blood flow to your spine), poor lifting technique, low fitness and being overweight. You’re also more likely to get back pain if you have an underlying condition that causes it.

 

What Can I Do to Prevent Back Pain?

The aim is to keep your back flexible and strong.

 

You can help to prevent back pain by:

  • Quitting smoking

  • Managing your weight

  • Exercising safely and regularly – you’re aiming to strengthen your core and back muscles and increase flexibility in your hips and thighs.

  • Avoiding prolonged sitting – even if you’re working at your desk, you can do some stretches, stand up for phone calls or walk around while you think through a thorny business issue

  • Using proper lifting techniques

  • Getting an office chair that supports your lower back if you spend a lot of time at a desk.

 

How Do You Treat Back Pain?

There are many approaches to treating back pain.

 

At home, you can try:

  • Over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen to relieve pain

  • Pain-relieving creams or gels to rub into your back

  • Applying a heat pack

  • Gentle stretches

  • Walking.

 

Plan of Care for Back Pain at Hope Health

Our goal at Hope Health is to support your journey to optimal health through improved spinal movement, neurological function and healthy lifestyle choices.

 

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something. So, once we’ve addressed your immediate source of pain, we support you to change your posture and habits to build a stronger body.

 

Many patients come to us seeking chiropractic care for their back pain or injury.

Chiropractic uses gentle adjustments to treat your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. It’s a natural form of treatment that unblocks nerve signals travelling between your brain and your body.

 

We assess and adjust people of all ages, so if you are seeking chiropractic care for back pain or injury, make an appointment to see us.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

28 Grandview Ave

Turvey Park

Wagga Wagga NSW, 2650

Tel: (02) 6925 0000

Fax: (02) 6925 0800

E: info@hopehealth.com.au

OPENING HOURS

Monday                     2.00pm - 6.00pm        

Tuesday                     8.00am - 6.00pm    

Wednesday               8.00am - 6.00pm    

Thursday                   8.00am - 5.00pm

Friday                        8.00am - 11.00am

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