Learn the Basics of Back Pain
The percentage of people that will suffer two or more weeks of disabling back pain in their lifetime is
Hi, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell, Founder of HandAndFootClinicsOfAmerica.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to talk to you about back pain.Studies show that 85 percent of people will suffer two or more weeks of disabling back pain during some time in their life. Back pain is pandemic -- that means it's happening all over the place, and all the time. In fact, studies show that about 6.7 percent of the population will suffer with significant back pain at any given time.Let's take a look at a spine model here, so I can show you the reason why back pain occurs. Back pain will typically be the result of a loss of the healthy alignment of 1 or more of the bones in the spine. These bones are known as vertebrae. Between each vertebrae there are two spinal nerves passing on each side. When the vertebrae lose their healthy alignment or become rotated, they can impinge those nerves, resulting in back pain at that local area or the region around those vertebrae. It can also cause pain that radiates from the lower back, down into the hip area, the leg, or the entire way to the foot.I'm going to show you, using a smaller model of the lower lumbar spine, the fourth and fifth lumbar area what actually happens when a misaligned vertebrae occurs. You can see here that the two vertebrae are lined up nice and healthy on top of one another. When the top vertebrae or L4 loses its healthy alignment, it will usually move backward, relative to the bone below. When that happens, you can see there is a space between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, where a nerve exits the spine. That space became reduced or impinges the nerve. That can cause back pain at that level. This misalignment process in the spine can occur at any segment level in the spine, including the neck, the upper back and the lower back.The lower back is one of the most common areas of the spine for this process to occur. If you’re suffering with symptoms of lower back pain, I would highly encourage you to visit with your doctor, or a chiropractor, to get properly diagnosed and have the treatment taken care of as soon as possible. If your condition is acute, from a recent injury such as a slip and fall, an injury at work or a motor vehicle collision, you want to make sure you don't wait too long because what seems like to be a little thing right now, can become a big thing later.Back problems can become chronic if they are not treated appropriately. A chiropractor will treat a back condition by administering a general procedure known as a spinal adjustment. By adjusting the spine, the chiropractor is analyzing and diagnosing the spine to detect the misaligned vertebrae that don't move well. Then, he or she will place a very gentle force, or impulse, into the misaligned vertebrae, allowing that vertebrae to regain its healthy alignment. The pressure comes off the nerve, the patient will begin to feel better, and the function returns to the person's body, and their spine.Other options available for patients who suffer with back pain are medications, either over the counter or by prescription. The most common form of medication for back pain is NSAIDS or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. Although medications for back pain can be valuable to improve the symptoms, they generally will not correct the underlying problem, such as a misaligned vertebrae. So if you're suffering with symptoms of back pain, be certain to consult with your doctor or chiropractor, sooner rather than later.Thanks so much for joining me today. If you would like to find out more, please visit us online at About.com.