Are you suffering from back pain and can't seem to find relief?
What is Back Pain?
Back pain can be described by a mirage of symptoms. Not one symptom is solely used to describe back pain. It is typically pain that is associated with the upper and lower back. It can be classified as sore, stiff, tight and painful. Luckily there are many treatments for back pain but narrowing down the root cause of the pain is imperative to know which treatment is best for you.
Back Pain Symptoms:
Back pain can be associated with tightness, soreness, stiffness, muscle spasms, etc. in muscles, soft tissues and bones. These symptoms can last days, weeks, months or years. Younger individuals (30 to 60 years old) tend to have back pain caused by muscle sprain or strain, or the disc itself, such as lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. Individuals 70+ years old can still experience back pain caused by the same symptoms as the younger population, but typically have continued back pain as a result of degenerated joints such as osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.
Patients with back pain may experience:
* Stiffness or loss of flexibility
* muscle spasms
* localized soreness
* difficulty moving that can be severe enough to prevent walking or standing
* pain may be pronounced in the morning and again in the evening
* pain that moves around to the groin, buttocks or upper thigh
* radiating pain out to the sides or down into the legs and feet
* interrupted sleep patterns
* increased pain with exercise
* leg numbness and tingling
* pins and needles
* inability to focus due to pain
What causes Back Pain? Two of the most common factors that cause back pain are strains to muscles and sprains to ligaments. These can occur for many reasons, improper form during daily activities and even during exercise, poor posture, lifting a heavy object improperly, twisting, or a sudden movement. Back pain could also be caused from an accident like a slip or fall, automobile accident, sports injury, etc. It can also be brought on by arthritis or certain infections within the body.
Some associated reasons for back pain include but are not limited to:
* Ankylosing Spondylitis
* Damaged bones, ligaments or joints
* Degenerating Intervertebral Disc Disease
* Herniated Disk
* Kidney Infection
* Meralgia paresthetica
* Nerve Root Impingement
* Paget's disease of bone
* Poor Posture
* Rheumatoid Arthritis
* Spinal Fractures
* Spinal Stenosis
Back Pain Treatment:
Back pain can be treated with medication, therapy and surgery. At Advantage Healthcare of Charleston we use a non-surgical approach to treatment. As a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic we combine Chiropractic Adjustments, Physical Rehabilitation, Trigger Point Injections, Joint Injections, Cold Laser Therapy and Hydrotherapy to help relieve symptoms of back pain.
Chiropractic Adjustments: can help relieve pain associated with back pain by relaxing the tightened muscles and allowing the spine to retain its natural curve. If the muscles are tight they can pull the spine out of alignment. A misalignment can limit ones range of motion which in turn will create more pain symptoms and eventually the nerves will become damaged. A misalignment can also cause pinched nerves which lowers nerve function. Remember all of your nerves are connected to the spinal column which runs through your spine. The weight of a dime can cause reduced function to muscles, ligaments and more importantly vital organs.
Physical Rehabilitation: aids in relaxing the tightened muscles and soft tissues related to back pain. We use passive and active physical therapies to help the body recover as well as to help aid in holding the chiropractic adjustments in place. Re training the body to be in proper alignment can help reduce and prevent further back pain. We use passive Physical Rehabilitation for those in severe pain as this type of therapy is done to the patient and requires no effort on their part. Once their body has time to recover and their pain has decreased our providers increase their therapy and begin to add in active therapy to aid in a quicker recovery. Passive Physical Rehabilitation consists of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Unit, Heat/Ice Packs, Ultrasound, Hydrotherapy and Stretching. Active Physical Rehabilitation is just that. It consists of the patient taking an active role during their Physical Rehabilitation appointments. Patients begin to utilize therapy machines that require them to train their muscles such as stretching and weight lifting. Active therapy also teaches the patient how to prevent further injury by showing techniques to use when lifting heavy objects, activities of daily living, job requirements that may require constant movement or lifting, etc. We also use Myofascial Release Therapy which uses applied pressure and low load stretching to the affected areas to decrease muscle tightness. This technique helps relax, stretch, soften and increase length of the tissues and muscles. These different types of therapy combined over a patients treatment plan allows a patient to improve quicker than simply swallowing an aspirin and in the long run will potentially prevent any reoccurrence.
Trigger point injections (TPI): A trigger point is a discreet knot or tight, ropy band of muscle that forms when muscle fails to relax. The knot often can be felt under the skin and may twitch involuntarily when touched (called a jump sign). The trigger point can trap or irritate surrounding nerves and cause referred pain - pain felt in another part of the body (e.g., pain from a heart attack that is felt in the jaw or arm). Scar tissue and loss of range of motion and weakness may form over time. Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are used to treat extremely painful, tight and tender areas of muscle. Normal muscle contracts and relaxes when it is active. The cause of your muscle pain or spasms may be one or more trigger points. Your health care provider may decide to inject the painful spots to relax the muscle. This can help relieve your pain and make movement easier. You may then be able to exercise to strengthen the muscle and help it heal.
Cold Laser Therapy: is to muscles what photosynthesis is to plants. Plants absorb sunlight which is converted to energy so that the plant can grow. With muscles, tissues and fibers the non-thermal photons of light emitted from the laser pass through the different layers, 2 to 5 centimeters, of skin. When the light reaches the target area it is absorbed and interacts with the light sensitive elements in the cell. The energy from the laser light is absorbed and initiates the injured or damaged tissue/muscles to normalize. It also aids in the reduction of pain, inflammation, edema and decreased healing time.
Hydrotherapy: uses water in the treatment of disease. Advantage Healthcare of Charleston utilizes a hydrotherapy bed which combines the use of water, heat and massage. Although water is the main source of the therapy the patient never gets wet. The hydrotherapy bed provides temporary relief of minor aches and pains, it reduces levels of stress and anxiety, increases circulation to the areas massaged and helps relieve muscle soreness, stiffness and tension which in turn should decrease back pain.
Durable Medical Equipment: back braces can be used to provide compression and support for low back conditions. The brace can be worn during daily activities to help manage pain, relax muscle spasms, reduce instability, limit range of motion, improve daily functioning, protect soft tissue, etc. Back Pain affects millions of people every year and over 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point during their lives. Lucky for you there are many causes and treatments for back pain. As a physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic we strive to get you better without surgery. If you are interested in learning more about what services we offer for back pain please contact us today.
Call us today to receive a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION to see how we can help you achieve your optimal health!
Testimonial: "When I first came into Advantage Healthcare of Charleston I had very bad back and leg pain to where I was bed bound. I have now been receiving chiropractic adjustments, therapies, along with injections from them. Since I started all of my treatments I feel wonderful! I'm able to get out of bed and do stuff, my mood has changed and I am able to live instead of just exist." B.Leeson