Category Archives: Traverse City Chiropractors

Traverse City Chiropractors

Patients often misplace blame for lower back pain

People suffering from lower back pain often think a specific moment of extreme exertion triggered their sudden discomfort, even though simple daily tasks can just as easily contribute, an Australian study suggests.

When researchers asked 999 adults what caused their back problems, about two thirds blamed a specific experience on the day their pain surfaced.

Because triggers for lower back pain can occur days or even weeks or months before the sudden onset of discomfort, however, it’s likely that many patients misplaced blame, said Dr. Scott Forseen, a back pain researcher at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.

“While acute back pain tends to have a good prognosis and will improve over time, failure to recognize red flags can have significant negative consequences,” Forseen, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Worldwide, lower back pain is a leading cause of disability, afflicting about one in 10 people, according to a recent estimate. The odds of developing this type of pain increase with age. It can often be treated with medication, exercise, heat or ice application, or sometimes with surgery.

And understanding what really may have triggered an episode of back pain may help people to avoid those causes in the future, according to the study authors, who were led by Patricia Parreira at the University of Sydney.

The researchers analyzed data from surveys completed by patients who went to the doctor seeking treatment. On average, study participants were about 45 years old and overweight. 59% were male.

The study team looked at how often the patients named common, established back pain triggers, as well as less well-known triggers, and used the information to see how often patients under- or overestimated the harmful effects of certain triggers.

Among the common triggers for lower back pain researchers asked about were lifting heavy or hard to grasp loads, vigorous exercise, sex, fatigue or drinking alcohol. Participants also specified whether exposure to the trigger was immediately before the pain started or within the previous 24 hours.

Typically, the participants had around six previous episodes of lower back pain. Patients said the current flare up generally lasted about five days, including more than two days of reduced activity due to pain.

During the first 24 hours of the current bout of back problems, about half of participants rated their pain as severe, while another 16% described it as extremely severe. Almost all of them said the pain interfered with work.

Many participants reported experiencing one of the common causes of back pain on the day the flare up started. But only 17% of them recalled experiencing these triggers during the previous 24 hours.

“Common sense tells us that lifting heavy loads, awkward posture, vigorous activity and slips/trips/falls could cause back pain,” Forseen said. “These scenarios are commonly encountered in everyday experience, making it easier to tie the two together as cause and effect.”

It’s not surprising that the origins of pain that patients failed to acknowledge in the survey included alcohol consumption, sex, distraction and fatigue, he said.

“Answering in the affirmative on these items may be too embarrassing, may not make common sense, or may require the person to acknowledge some type of fault of their own,” Forseen said. “When we answer survey questions, we tend to answer in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others.”

One limitation of the study is its reliance on human recall, the authors acknowledge in the journal Pain, June 1.

“I think it is a mistaken notion that most low back pain is due to a specific event and that knowing this, there is something that could be done to prevent it,” said Dr. Steven Atlas, a quality improvement specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University in Boston.

Knowing the specific root of a medical problem is important when it will impact treatment, Atlas, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. It makes sense to test people for strep throat, for example, because this can be treated with penicillin.

But with back pain, pinpointing the culprit doesn’t make treatment more effective, he said. Most people will get the same benefit from pain medication, activity recommendations and education about how to manage the episode whether or not doctors know what caused the pain.

“The key question is whether such knowledge is actionable,” Atlas said. “Can it lead to changing behavior to prevent future episodes or can it direct treatment that results in quicker resolution of symptoms? For the most part, the answer to both of these questions is no.”


Cancer / Illness :: What is Causing your Lower Back Pain?

You lift a heavy suitcase, a beach bag or golf clubs and all of a sudden lower back pain! You twist trying to fasten the car seat or swing a tennis racquet and pain stops you in your tracks! Perhaps you bend down to do some gardening or do some squats at the gym and PAIN! Now, you are desperately searching for back pain relief.

Is your pain is acute or chronic? Generally, if your pain lasts for a few days to denver chiropractor a few weeks, then it is considered acute or short-term. The cause may be mechanical in nature due to a trauma caused by an injury. Were you involved in an automobile accident? Did you slip off a ladder at home or collide with someone playing sports? Perhaps you are experiencing a muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, limited range-of-motion or reduced flexibility. Some child chiropractor people experience pain that radiates to other parts of the chiropracters body, especially if left untreated. If your lower back pain persists for more than three months, it is considered chronic.

After finding the cause, the proper treatment can be instituted to achieve back pain relief. Treatment may include medications, as well as injections of ligaments, muscles, bursae, joints and specialized injections such as epidural injections or facet joint block injection. Physical Therapy, Chiropractic or Acupuncture may be an integral part of the back pain treatment program.

Many patients work with our Physical Therapists to provide exercises for lower back pain. Regular exercises can help to restore the strength of your back – returning you to everyday activities. Some of the beginning exercises may include:

Knee to Chest: Lie on your back. Bring both knees into your chest. Hold for thirty seconds. Repeat three times.

Gastroc Stretch: Keeping back leg straight, with heel on floor and turned slightly outward, lean into wall until a stretch is felt in calf. for twenty seconds. Repeat 3 times with each leg.

Standing Hamstring Stretch: Place foot on stool. Slowly lean forward reaching down shin until a stretch is felt in back of thigh. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat three times with each leg.

Ankle Pumps: While lying on your back, move ankles up and down ten times. Repeat ten times.

Heel Slides: While lying on your back, slowly bend and strengthen your knees. Repeat ten times.

Heel Raises: Stand facing the wall. Slowly raise heels up and down. Repeat ten times.

If you are experiencing pain, a customized lower back pain treatment program can be created for you. After a few short weeks, you can begin to get on with the rest of your life, as you rid yourself of the lower back pain you’re suffering with.