Do You Have Back Pain in Fort Collins?
Do you have back pain in Fort Collins? Whether it is your upper, middle, or lower back, it is likely that you will experience some form of back pain at some point in your life. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 32 million Americans are experiencing back pain at this moment and that approximately 80% of the population will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. With these types of numbers, it’s not surprising that back pain has grown to be the #1 cause of disability in the United States. These types of statistics should stimulate concern regarding what causes lower back pain, how to prevent it, and what the best form of treatment is once it has developed. Our Fort Collins chiropractic team aim to use this article to guide you in the right direction to answer these questions and more.
Back Pain in Fort Collins
So what is the cause of back pain? The number of injuries, misalignments, and conditions that cause back pain seems endless. Due to the complex structure of the back that is required to absorb stress while permitting movement, many elements of this structure such as tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones can become irritated or damaged resulting in pain. Sometimes it is severe trauma, such as a car accident, that can result in back pain and other times it is minor repetitive stress that causes the most damage. Therefore, you may not be able to recall any particular event that caused the onset of your pain. In addition to all of these possibilities, physical injury is not always the primary cause. Fortunately, our doctors at Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC in Fort Collins have many years of education and experience to determine the correct diagnosis and direct you to the most appropriate line of care. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment, even the most minor conditions can develop into serious lifelong conditions.
As mentioned previously, there are a multitude of causes for back pain, however, some of them are more common than others. The following are some of the most common cause of lower back pain that are seen and treated at Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC.
Disc Bulges or Herniations:
One of the most common and painful causes of back pain in Fort Collins is a disc bulge or herniation. It is important to recognize that not all disc bulges or herniations result in pain. It has been found through MRI studies of numerous patients that as much as 37% of the American population has a disc bulge or herniation and the vast majority of them are experiencing no pain or other related symptoms. Unfortunately, the people who are experiencing pain often describe it as severe and intense. The type of pain that is experienced due to a disc herniation depends on the type and position of the herniation. If the damaged disc is irritating a surrounding nerve, shooting pain and weakness into the legs may develop. The discomfort is often described as stabbing and lightning-like. To understand how a disc herniation develops, it is best to think of the disc as a jelly doughnut. If the outer edges of the doughnut (disc) are damaged over time, most typically from wear and tear, the jelly in the middle of the disc can escape causing damage to surrounding structures. Once this process has completed it is often very difficult to reverse. However, chiropractic care has been shown to prevent the advancement of the herniation and provide relief from the associated pain.
Subluxations are one of the most commonly overlooked contributors to back pain. Subluxation is a medical term used to basically describe a vertebra in our spine that is out of position. When these subluxations occur, normal movement is disrupted, and a cascade of events (including pain) can occur. Subluxations can occur anywhere in the spine and there are almost an unlimited amount of factors that can cause them. Causes of subluxations range from physical trauma, stress, and toxins. Just as stress can contribute to the formation of an ulcer in the gut, it can also cause physiological changes in the body that result in the vertebrae in our back becoming out of position. The time frame to correct subluxations varies by the individual, but our chiropractors at Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC are one of the few professionals trained in their correction.
Muscular Sprains and Tendon or Ligament Strains:
Strains and sprains can occur in anyone, but they typically occur in people who begin tasks and work these structures in ways they are not used too. For example, a person who attempts to run a marathon during their first outing in the summer is likely to overwork these structures causing damage. Ligament sprains are typically caused by stretching the involved ligament past its limits, creating tears. Muscular strains are commonly caused by lifting too heavy of an object and twisting motions. Strains and sprains of the ligaments and muscles in the back can be extremely painful and is often accompanied by swelling and bruising of the surrounding area. Strains and sprains are intimately intertwined with the spine and therefore, typically respond well to chiropractic care. Our Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC is fully equipped to provide comprehensive treatment of these injuries.
Stress and Back Pain
People who are chronically under stress have a very different physiological profile then those who are not. When our bodies are under intense stress, it releases various stress hormones to adapt to the situation. Some of the adaptive mechanisms include; an elevated heart rate, an increased blood pressure, an altered immune system, decreased bone density, and decreased muscle mass. If this response is prolonged, elevated stress levels have been shown to contribute to the development of heart disease, digestive issues, depression, obesity, and back pain. All of the tension produced by the stress hormones causes a contraction of muscle tissue that produces “trigger points”. These trigger points can be extremely painful, but thankfully they are treated with a high success rate at our Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is one of those pains far too many people in Fort Collins have on a regular basis. Regardless if it is due to hours of poor posture daily in front of a computer or more traumatic causes such as a mountain biking accident on a Fort Collins trail; most of us experience upper back pain, mid back pain and/or pain between the shoulder blades on some type of basis. Luckily for all of us, there are ways to fix these common pains that are often caused just by living life to the fullest.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The sacroiliac joints, also known as SI joints, are the two largest joints found within your pelvis and lower back. They are long joints that bear much of your body weight and move with every step you take. Because of their role in your body’s structure and motion; they are prone to becoming contributors to hip and low back pain. As a chiropractor, I have seen countless patients with sacroiliac pain in Fort Collins. If you are alive and like to have fun, chances are you have injured a SI joint more than once.
Lower Back Pain Q & A
The lower back is composed of five vertebrae, intervertebral discs, spinal nerves, numerous muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and two sacroiliac joints. The most common cause of lower back pain is a mechanical issue in the lower back, though soft tissue injuries are also common.
Potential causes of lower back injuries include:
- Poor posture
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods
- Certain types of exercise
- Lifting more weight than you’re used to
- Sleeping on your stomach
Dr. Cook can help you identify potential lower back pain triggers, especially if you’re not sure what caused your pain. Based on your triggers, Dr. Cook can help you develop habits to reduce your triggers and potentially avoid back pain in the future.
Low back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
- Intersegmental joint dysfunction
- Lumbar facet syndrome
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative joint disease
- Herniated discs
Depending on the location and severity of your pain, Dr. Cook can identify potential pain generators and develop an exam and treatment plan that’s personalized based on your symptoms.
At Brave Roots Chiropractic, Dr. Cook diagnoses the cause of your lower back pain following a consultation, exam, and X-rays of your spine. Your exam includes an assessment of your range of motion, nerve function, and muscle strength as well as orthopedic tests to check for mechanical and structural issues in your back that could be causing your pain.
Dr. Cook then takes X-rays of your back in the office, for your convenience. If additional imaging or testing is needed, he refers you to an imaging facility. Once he’s reviewed your exam results and X-rays, Dr. Cook explains his findings to you and diagnoses the cause of your pain. He also shows you where your pain is coming from on your X-rays and outlines a treatment plan to address your condition.
Lower back pain treatment depends on your diagnosis and symptoms. Dr. Cook first addresses your symptoms — especially any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing — before adding in advanced therapies to address any functional issues in your back. This approach allows Dr. Cook to help with your symptoms while also treating the root cause of your pain.
Treatments may include chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, therapeutic exercises, or acupuncture.
To schedule an exam, call or book online at Brave Roots Chiropractic now.
Can Chiropractic Help my Back Pain?
When health care professionals, such as chiropractors, treat the cause of back pain rather than the symptoms, the treatment of back pain becomes less complicated. All of the above stated causes of back pain have one factor in common, misalignments of the vertebrae in the spine. Luckily, our doctors at Brave Roots Chiropractic: Steve Cook, DC are specially trained in their treatment. That is why multiple studies have shown chiropractic care to be the most effective form of treatment for the various causes of back pain. As with any condition, it is recommended to take a conservative, effective, and non-invasive approach to the treatment of back pain first. If you are suffering from back pain or have any further questions, please contact our Fort Collins chiropractic office today to schedule a consultation.
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