What is Causing My Back Pain?

Back pain is a common problem, with 14 per cent of Australians reporting problems with their back. Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, from disc problems to muscle strains. The cause, intensity and manageability of back complaints will be different for each person.

Some people may experience excruciating back pain that subsides a few days after chiropractic treatment, while others will have back conditions that flare up from time to time. Understanding your back pain and the best ways to manage it is the first step to treating your condition.

How Your Back Works

The anatomical structure of the back is complex in both form and function. It is comprised of muscles and the spine.

The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae, which are joined together by small ‘facet’ joints, which are connected by ligaments and separated by intervertebral discs. These discs cushion the vertebrae with spongy tissue.

The spinal cord is a highway of nerves that runs up the length of the spine and connects the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system and is responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The spine itself provides support for your arms, legs, pelvis, ribcage and skull.

This complex arrangement of bone, muscle, nerves and connective tissue is prone to experiencing problems. Back pain can be caused by problems in any one of the interconnected structures that make up your back and can often (but not always) be linked to the spine.

Types of Back Pain

Different causes of back pain can include:

  • Sprains and strains (soft tissue injury)
  • Disc bulges/herniation
  • Arthritis
  • Postural stress
  • Sciatica
  • Structural problems

Back pain can be diagnosed by determining how long the symptoms have lasted, the age when symptoms started, and the location of the pain.

Your doctor or health care clinician will ask about your back pain, medical history, lifestyle and potential triggers, as well as conducting a thorough physical examination. Some back pain may have no clear cause or stem from psychological factors such as depression or stress. Fortunately, these cases can still be addressed with appropriate treatment from an experienced chiropractor.

Preventing and Treating Back Pain

Lifestyle is a major contributing factor to many cases of back pain. The best way to prevent serious back problems is to keep your back strong and flexible. Serious back problems can be avoided by:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking hourly breaks during sedentary work
  • Good posture
  • Lift and carry safely
  • Relax and reduce stress
  • Sleeping on a good mattress

If you are experiencing regular or severe back pain, you should seek medical treatment. Our chiropractors use a combination of soft tissue therapy and traditional chiropractic care to treat a variety of back problems. A chiropractic adjustment followed by exercises can prevent mild back pain from turning into a severe condition.

We can help to alleviate your back pain by taking a holistic view of the body’s complex structures and addressing problems using a pragmatic treatment process. Make an appointment with Northbridge Chiropractic today for effective chiropractic care in Perth. Our friendly practitioners can offer you lifestyle advice and a personalised treatment plan.