Causes of Back Pain
Causes of back pain: Common misconceptions
Let’s go myth-busting about where back pain comes from
Most of our patients come to see us at our Falkirk or Perth offices with some form of pain that is limiting their ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Whether it’s gardening or golfing, walking the dog or playing with the grandchildren, or something as seemingly simple as putting their socks on or tying their shoes, our patients often find themselves unable to do what they want to do. And they’ve tried everything from medication to chiropractic care to acupuncture to traction to massage before they finally find their way to us at the Pain & Posture Wellness Centre.
So we get to hear their stories every day. About how and when the pain in their neck, low back, or shoulder started. Here are some regular stories we hear – they are all based on common misconceptions:
All I did was bend over / roll out of bed / tie my shoe laces and it started hurting.
What really happening: that seemingly trivial activity was just the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Your body was already structurally twisted up and mechanically not functioning at its best. A final layer of twisting got added on this particular occasion and your body was no longer able to compensate. That’s when things start to hurt.
It’s muscular. I just need to do more exercises or stretches.
What’s really happening: yes, pain is often muscular in nature. But the muscular pain is a secondary symptom of an underlying structural problem caused by bones in the spine having moved out of position in a “forward” direction. The muscles are simply trying to fix a mechanical problem which they cannot fix because none of them are pulling in quite the right direction to do so. They work overtime, become tight and achy. Stretching out that tight muscle won’t fix the underlying structural problem; it won’t move the bone back into its proper position. Once we do that, the muscles can relax and the pain will lessen. Stretches or exercises usually don’t work very well, precisely because there are no muscles that pull in exactly the right direction to fix those “forward” bones. You can’t stretch or strengthen a muscle that simply doesn’t exist!
It’s just localised pain in my neck.
What’s really happening: nothing in the human body is ever “just localised” in one spot. All parts of your body are working together simultaneously, 24/7/365 to keep you upright and moving. If one part of the “scaffolding” goes squint, the entire frame becomes distorted. This means mechanical load and body weight get distributed differently, and pressure or tension exists in places where there shouldn’t be any. Because of this, pain is usually felt in a different spot from where the original underlying problem is located. Neck pain, in fact, very often has an underlying problem in the feet, ankles, knees, or low back.
Once we address this, the neck pain quickly lessens.
It used to be in my knee but that’s completely gone now. Now I have a new pain in my low back that wasn’t there before.
What’s really happening: all parts of your body are working together as a single unit. If one section goes out of alignment, your body twists up to compensate for it. Basically, your body attempts to take some of the tension away from that original area. But in doing so, it shifts pressure to another area. The muscles involved in this become tight and stiff. Your body then wants to provide relief for those muscles. To do this, it has to add another layer of compensations and the pressure and strain moves to yet a new area. The “old” area is still as twisted up as before, even though you may not feel it as much anymore.
I worked out too hard yesterday, my muscles are sore from lactic acid build-up.
What’s really happening: the common theory is that lactic acid build-up leads to soreness after working out. What we are finding is that patients find at least 60-80% pain relief with one ABC™ treatment following a painful workout. How can this be? There’s no way for the body to get rid of the lactic acid that quickly! The answer is this: as you work out, you more than likely shift bones out of position in a direction from which your body cannot retrieve them by itself. It compensates for this, muscles become tight, nerves get stretched, and this causes pain. As we correct the bones, the muscles can relax, and the nerves can slacken.
The pain lessens quickly. Stay tuned: this particular topic is so important that we will address it in much more detail in a separate post in the near future!
I’m just getting old…
What’s really happening: if pain and bad posture were only a sign of old age, we wouldn’t see young people suffering from back pain; nor would we see old people who are fit as a fiddle. At our offices we regularly see people in their teens and twenties whose bodies are “stuck” and not working correctly, causing them a lot of problems. Similarly, we see people in their 80s whose bodies are in good mechanical shape because the underlying structures are working correctly.
Because the underlying mechanical process is so simple yet so important, we have explained it in a previous blog post. Check it out here to learn how bones get shifted out of place in the human body. Click here to learn how Advanced Biostructural Correction™ addresses this problem.
Why not book a free consultation with one of our practitioners to learn more?