Pain, at a physiological level, is stimulation of sensitive nerve endings (nociceptive) either by chemical or mechanical means. This commonly occurs through injury and its purpose is to inform us of tissue damage.
Spinal pain is one of society’s most frequent complaints. In 2007, the American Academy of Family Physicians reported that about 9 out of 10 adults experience spinal pain at some point in their life, and 5 out of 10 working adults have spinal pain every year. According to a 2010 study published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, spinal pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
Spinal pain can originate from muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other spinal structures. It can range from dull to sharp, be constant or intermittent, appear localised or travel to other regions of the body. The location, severity and accurate description of the pain can assist your chiropractor in determining its cause.
There are several potential causes of spinal pain. They include muscular strain, spinal misalignment, musculoskeletal injury and disease. Spinal pain can also be referred from other organs in the body. Your chiropractor has received extensive training in the most current methods of determining the different causes of your spinal pain. This accurate diagnosis allows the chiropractor to select the most appropriate treatment methods and techniques.
How is spinal pain treated?
Spinal pain is best treated by treating its cause. This will vary depending on whether you are experiencing bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, or joint pain, or some other kind of musculoskeletal pain.
What should you do for spinal pain?
Your first stop should be a visit to your chiropractor. They are trained to examine the spine and ask the right questions to determine what has gone wrong, and what needs to take place in order to repair the condition, restore your body and return your life to normal. Chiropractors are also trained to use the best practices in clinical decision making and can therefore refer you to another practitioner if required.
Where Chiropractic may help
- Education about the pain processes
- Using heat or cold
- Spinal adjustments
- Dry Needling
- Mobilisation, trigger point therapy
- Advice and education about how and which exercises can help
- Strengthening and conditioning exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Graded exercise programs – slowly increase exercise tolerance
- Pain coping strategies so that you have effective tools to manage episodes of pain
- Re-education of normal posture and movement patterns
- Workplace assessment and addressing ergonomic factors
- Address movement behaviours that you may have developed that are not helpful
- Liaison with GPs, psychologists and specialists where required
Understanding pain, what type of pain it is and where it is coming from, is crucial to a positive treatment outcome. Chiropractors are experts in diagnosing injury and treatment of spinal disorders.
If you have spinal pain that is not going away and or getting worse-see your Chiropractor.
Upper Back Stretch
- Seated or standing, stretch the arms straight out and rotate the hands so that the palms face away from each other.
- Cross the arms so that the palms are pressed together, contract the abs and round the back, reaching away as you relax the head.
- Don’t collapse but instead imagine you’re curving up and over an imaginary ball.