Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated.
Chronic back pain can range from dull to intense, a faint ache to pain that is sharp and shooting. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the top reasons why people see a doctor. Unlike acute back pain or neck pain, which lasts from days to weeks, chronic back pain is pain that continues for twelve weeks or longer.
The most common type of back pain is located in the lower region of the back and first develops in adults between the ages of 30-50. Living with this type of chronic pain can be debilitating and affect your quality of life.
The tricky thing with chronic back pain is that often the root cause is hard to determine. However, common causes of lower back pain include:
Injury—injury from a sports activity, a car accident, or improper heavy lifting are only a few examples of incidents that can trigger lower back pain
Degeneration—degenerative issues like osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc degeneration, Spondylosis
Herniated or ruptured discs
Osteoporosis—Osteoporosis is a disease-causing bone to become weak and brittle, leading to spinal fractures that cause intense back pain
Chronic back pain is not life-threatening, but it can cause significant emotional and mental distress if left untreated. Acute back pain can be self-managed through rest, home exercises, and hot and cold packs. However, unrelenting back pain can require further management with medication, physical therapy, or chiropractic therapy. Rare and extreme instances call for more advanced care options like surgery.
A chiropractor uses spinal manipulation to help alleviate back pain, improve functionality, reducing nerve irritability, and restore range of motion in the back. The practitioner will manually re-adjust a misaligned spine or reposition other body parts that trigger pain for immediate and long-lasting relief.
If you’re looking for a Coquitlam or Port Moody Chiropractor, book an appointment at Inspine Therapy for a personalized plan involving a head-to-toe-care approach.
What increases the risk of back pain?
Age—the risk of back pain increases as you age
Fitness—lack of exercise results in a weak back and abdominal muscles that aren't able to support the spine. However, those who exercise intensely but sporadically also increase the risk of back pain because their muscles lack the training to support that type of exertion.
Work—labour-intensive jobs that involve heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling can lead to injury and back pain. On the flip side, desk jobs that keep you sedentary can also lead to back pain from poor posture or improper chairs.
Diseases—symptoms of arthritis or cancer can include lower back pain.
Smoking— Smoking can restrict blood and oxygen flow to the spine, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
Mental Health—mood, anxiety, depression, and stress can result in experiencing back pain and one's ability to tolerate the severity of that pain. Stress, in particular, can develop in the body as muscle tension, it’s often a trigger of many other conditions like migraines or neck pain.
Excess weight—carrying extra weight puts a strain on your lower back.
What are the different types of back pain?
Sciatica: pain to the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back to the back of the legs
Low Back Strain: a strain to the muscles and ligaments holding your spine in place.
Nighttime Back Pain: most people who experience back pain can find relief while lying down, but nighttime back pain persists and makes it difficult to sleep.
Cauda Equina Syndrome: A rare disorder that requires immediate surgical attention, involving the compression of spinal nerves.
How do you prevent back pain?
Regular exercise that strengthens your core and increases mobility for proper spine support
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet
Lifting heavy objects using knees and legs rather than back
Using ergonomic office equipment
Avoiding poor posture and sitting in one place without taking breaks for periodic moving
Can chronic back pain be a sign of cancer?
Very rarely is chronic back pain an indicator of cancer, although people with certain types of cancer can experience lower back pain, in addition to many other symptoms.
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Our services include massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, active rehab, clinical counselling, and pilates. Visit our newly renovated clinic and book your appointment today!