The Perception of Back Pain
By Sara Butler
Even with millions of people suffering from back pain every year, not all back pain is the same. In fact, there are different types of back pain. These different types of pain help your chiropractor to understand what may be the underlying issue for you and how to treat it. Here’s a rundown of how back pain differs between people and how your chiropractor can help.
Pain is Personal
Pain is perceived differently by different people. One person might have a herniated or bulging disc with no pain at all, while another may have the same condition with a copious amount of excruciating pain. There are even some conditions that cause pain to flare, only to subside then flare up again a few days or weeks later.
Only you know the level of pain you are at, which is why being proactive in your medical care with your chiropractor is likely to lead you to more successful treatment of your condition.
The Many Structures of the Back
Your back is a pretty spectacular structure in terms of function and form, with so many overlapping and interconnecting structures that it’s truly mind-boggling! All of these structures are potential causes for back pain, and when you throw in the fact that the spine is prone to injury because of all the ways in which it moves and the forces it’s subjected to, the likelihood of experiencing pain is high. The most common anatomical reasons for back pain include:
- Irritated nerve roots
- Strained back muscles
- Injured bones, joints or ligaments
Identifying the Underlying Cause
Your chiropractor has been through years of training in order to understand the complexity of your spine, and their experience helps them to identify the cause of your pain. Your brain has a hard time distinguishing between the different structures in your back when they send pain signals, which is why the symptoms of so many back problems can be identical.
This is why your chiropractor will do a thorough health history with you and then a physical exam. They discuss your symptoms in order to look for clues as to the underlying cause of your pain. The Joint doesn’t do X-rays or MRI scans, but rest assured if your chiropractor feels you need one they know just where to send you.
The most important thing you can do to help out your chiropractor is to describe your pain as accurately as possible. Make sure you accurately describe your pain, where you’re experiencing it, and other symptoms you may be having related to it.
Your chiropractor is your partner in health, so make sure you see them in order to discuss the pain you’re having so together you can determine the problem and find a solution!