Back pain is a common issue that affects people in Asheville, NC, regardless of whether it’s in the upper, middle, or lower back. It’s estimated that around 32 million Americans are currently dealing with back pain, and a staggering 80% of the population will experience it at some point in their lives.
These statistics highlight the prevalence of back pain and its impact on individuals, making it the leading cause of disability in the United States. It’s crucial to understand what causes lower back pain, how to prevent it, and the best approaches for treatment. Our experienced chiropractic team in Asheville, NC, aims to address these concerns and provide guidance through this article.
Back Pain in Asheville, NC: Causes and Solutions
The causes of back pain are diverse, ranging from injuries and misalignments to various conditions. The back’s complex structure, which absorbs stress while enabling movement, can lead to irritation or damage in components such as tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones, resulting in pain. Sometimes, severe trauma like a car accident can trigger back pain, while other times, minor repetitive stress can gradually cause significant damage. Consequently, you may not recall a specific event that caused your pain. Additionally, physical injury is not always the primary cause, making an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment crucial. Fortunately, Dr. Acton at Acton Family Chiropractic in Asheville, NC, possess years of education and experience to identify the correct diagnosis and guide you towards the most suitable care. Without accurate diagnosis and treatment, even minor conditions can develop into lifelong challenges.
While numerous causes contribute to back pain, some are more prevalent than others. The following are common causes of lower back pain frequently observed and treated at Acton Family Chiropractic.
Disc Bulges or Herniations
Among the most painful causes of back pain in Asheville, NC, are disc bulges or herniations. It’s important to note that not all disc bulges or herniations lead to pain. MRI studies have revealed that up to 37% of the American population has a disc bulge or herniation, with the majority experiencing no pain or related symptoms. However, those who do experience pain often describe it as severe and intense. The type of pain depends on the location and type of herniation. If a damaged disc irritates a surrounding nerve, it can result in shooting pain and weakness in the legs. This discomfort is often described as stabbing and lightning-like. To understand how disc herniation occurs, imagine a jelly doughnut: if the outer edges of the doughnut (disc) become damaged over time, usually due to wear and tear, the jelly in the middle can escape, causing damage to surrounding structures. Once this process is complete, reversing it becomes challenging. However, chiropractic care has demonstrated the ability to prevent herniation advancement and provide relief from associated pain.
Subluxations are frequently overlooked contributors to back pain. This term refers to a vertebra in the spine that is misaligned. When subluxations occur, normal movement is disrupted, and a cascade of events, including pain, can ensue. Subluxations can happen anywhere along the spine, and numerous factors can cause them, including physical trauma, stress, and toxins. Stress, for instance, can lead to physiological changes in the body that result in misaligned vertebrae. The timeframe required to correct subluxations varies for each individual, but Dr. Acton at Acton Family Chiropractic possess the necessary expertise to address them.
Muscular Sprains and Tendon or Ligament Strains
Sprains and strains can affect anyone, but they are commonly experienced by individuals who engage in tasks or work that strain these structures in unfamiliar ways. For example, someone attempting to run a marathon for the first time in the summer is likely to overexert these structures, causing damage. Ligament sprains occur when the involved ligament is stretched beyond its limits, resulting in tears. Muscular strains, on the other hand, often arise from lifting heavy objects or engaging in twisting motions.
Strains and sprains in the back's ligaments and muscles can be extremely painful and may cause swelling and bruising in the surrounding area. Given their close connection to the spine, strains and sprains typically respond well to chiropractic care. At Acton Family Chiropractic, we provide comprehensive treatment for these types of injuries.
Stress and Back Pain
People under chronic stress experience different physiological responses than those who are not. Intense stress triggers the release of various stress hormones to help the body adapt to the situation. These adaptive mechanisms include an elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, altered immune system, decreased bone density, and decreased muscle mass. Prolonged elevated stress levels have been shown to contribute to the development of heart disease, digestive issues, depression, obesity, and back pain. The tension resulting from stress hormones can lead to muscle tissue contraction and the formation of “trigger points” which can be extremely painful. Thankfully, Acton Family Chiropractic has a high success rate in treating these trigger points.
Can Chiropractic Help with Back Pain?
When healthcare professionals, including chiropractors, address the cause of back pain rather than just the symptoms, treatment becomes less complicated. All the aforementioned causes of back pain share one common factor: misalignments of the vertebrae in the spine.
Fortunately, Dr. Acton at Acton Family Chiropractic is specially trained in treating these misalignments. Multiple studies have consistently demonstrated chiropractic care to be the most effective treatment for various causes of back pain. As with any condition, it’s recommended to initially pursue a conservative, effective, and non-invasive approach to the treatment of back pain. If you’re currently suffering from back pain or have further questions, we encourage you to contact our Asheville, NC chiropractic office today and schedule a consultation.
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