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Getting to the back of it… 4 back pain questions answered

Does Back Pain Go Away On Its Own?

Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.  Most cases of back pain are mechanical and are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.

What Causes Back Pain?

shutterstock_115219366The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements-for example, picking up a pencil from the floor-can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Back injuries are a part of everyday life, and the spine is quite good at dealing with these often “pulled” muscles. These very minor injuries usually heal within 1 or 2 days. Some pain, however, continues. What makes some pain last longer is not entirely understood, but researchers suspect that the reasons may include stress, mood changes, and the fear of further injury that may prevent patients from being active. In addition, sometimes a painful injury or disease changes the way the pain signals are sent through the body, and, even afteshutterstock_70371829r the problem has gone away or is inactive, the pain signals still reach the brain. It is as if the pain develops a memory that keeps being replayed.

Until recently, researchers believed that back pain will “heal” on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. A recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience low-back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain free 5 years later. Another study looked at all of the available research on the natural history of low-back pain. The results showed that when it is ignored, back pain does not go away on its own.

How Can I Prevent Back Pain?

  1. Don’t lift by bending over. Instead, bend your hips and kneesshutterstock_110537057 and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight, and hold the object close to your body.
  2. Don’t twist your body while lifting.
  3. Push, rather than pull, when you must move heavy objects.
  4. If you must sit for long periods, take frequent breaks and stretch.
  5. Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels.
  6. Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to lower-back pain.

What Can I Do to Prevent Long-Term Back Pain?

If your back pain is not resolving quickly, visit one of our chiropractors here. Your pain  is often the result from mechanical problems that a chiropractor can address. Many chiropractic patients with relatively long-lasting or recurring back pain feel improvement shortly after starting chiropractic treatment.  Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. Call us today for an evaluation at 04-348-1166.