Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, and Chiropractic

By Debra Rodzinak

The entire spine contains 33 bones along with tissue that begins at the base of the skull and extends down to the pelvis.  Each of these bones, or vertebrae, surround and protect the delicate nerves that control the body’s functions.  However, the spine is not a solid bone.  Rather, it is a vast network of bones, cartilage, tissue, and fluid that work together to help the body walk, bend, stretch, and perform all other movements throughout the day.

If just one of these parts of the spine becomes injured or diseased, pain and panic can ensue.  Accidents, strains, and injuries can cause injuries to the vertebra or spinal discs of the back.  Two types of injuries are called spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy.  Each is different in their own way.


When one or more of the vertebra slips out of place, usually at the base of the spine, spondylolisthesis occurs.  A flaw or fracture of one or both wing-shaped parts of a vertebra, called spondylolysis, can cause it to slip forwards or backwards.  This slipping can cause pressure to other vertebra, pinching of the nerves contained inside the spine, or fluid to leak out of the spinal column.  All of these events cause patients extreme pain and difficulty performing daily tasks.

Causes of Spondylolisthesis

A vertebra can be damaged beginning with birth.  The birthing process is a stressful event for a baby and a vertebra may develop a stress fracture during this time.  A defect in the vertebra may be present from developmental issues.  An accident or other trauma can also cause a vertebra to become weakened or fractured.  Infection and disease can also break down a vertebra.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

Some common symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle stiffness and tightening
  • Pain in the gluteal muscles
  • Pain that travels down one or both legs
  • Weak muscles

Spondylolisthesis Treatments

Some common treatments for this particular type of back pain include limited movement, over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, and even steroid injections.  However, none of these actually address the actual reason for the pain and some prescription medications can actually become habit forming.

For patients who continue to have back pain due to spondylolisthesis, chiropractic treatments often help relieve the pressure placed on the spine without the use of drugs or surgery.  If you are currently experiencing back pain, come by The Joint Chiropractic to have a complete evaluation of your spine by one of the highly qualified doctors of chiropractic.   

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor in Alpharetta at The Joint Chiropractic.


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