No one considers the full depth of how pain can change your life until something happens. For many of us, we believe we are healthy and doing great until one day some minor event like stepping off of a curb and jolting your spine or lifting your kid the wrong way can change everything. If you have ever experienced back pain longer than three months, you are not alone. Chronic back pain has grown into an epidemic for Americans. With ongoing back pain, the effects on quality of life can be frustrating and debilitating. However, back pain can affect the quality of life in ways that are often not even considered in the 10-point pain scale. Unchecked back pain can cause the body’s stress response system to work in high gear, leading to a myriad of other problems like:
Poor quality sleep
Decrease motivation to exercise
Poor focus at work and becoming less in the moment with friends and family
Decreased ability to take deep breaths
Reduced sex drive
Reduced ability to sit, stand up straight or walk without experiencing pain
Inhibited ability to do simple self-care like bathing and putting on clothing
What Causes Back Pain?
With back pain, there can be many triggers that began far before the event that started the pain. The back is the workhorse of the body. The spine, disks, muscles, nerves and blood vessels all collectively work to hold the body upright, repair tissue and make precise, graceful body movements in the low body. If the function of one of these systems is affected, it can cause a cascade of events resulting in back pain. Occasionally we do see cases where traumatic events like car accidents trigger back pain, but more commonly we see back pain developing slowly due to gradual changes in other parts of the body. Most often back pain comes from unexpected sources like:
Muscle aches and sprains in the feet, ankles or legs that change the way you walk and balance your back
Referral pain from other muscles: The body will adjust to any activity we do the most. Sitting all day, for example, will make the abdominal muscles week and glut muscles tight. Since all muscles are interconnected, tight hip and glute muscles will pull on back muscles and cause pain.
Spinal joint or disk issues: All joints are held in place by connective tissue that gets compressed from tight muscles. Chronic stress and weak muscles in the front of the body can cause back muscles to work overtime, and more importantly, they can cause spinal joint compression.
Nerve impingement: Pain that moves from one area of the body to another and produces an electrical, burning or tingling sensation. A wide range of sources can cause this type of pain from diet to tight muscles.
Internal inflammation: Just like muscles, organs are connected. When problems start to arise with any of the organs, they can cause a unique quality of pain to the ribs, mid and low back.
Can Acupuncture Help My Back Pain?
Several recent high-quality studies have shown acupuncture to be the most effective therapy for certain types of back pain. The effects of acupuncture therapy are even better when combined with focused strength training and gentle exercise. One high-quality study by the German government was published in JAMA internal medicine in 2008. This study concludes that the acupuncture groups “experienced improvement in back pain for at least six months and the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy was almost twice that of conventional therapy.”
We Are Passionate About Giving Our Patients Relief
Our patients tell us that they enjoy coming to get treatments because we listen to their unique sets of symptoms and make them feel heard and understood. Our system is simple, effective and it is designed to get our patients back to what they love to do. We specialize in treating:
Upper Back Pain
Mid Back Pain
Low Back Pain
Pain from spinal stenosis (depending on severity)
Herniated or bulging disks
Structural muscle changes
If you are experiencing aches, pain or burning in your back and you are interested if you would be a good candidate for our program, you can schedule a risk-free assessment by clicking the link below.