Not surprisingly, many patients come to me complaining of back pain. It then becomes my job to investigate the origin of the back pain. First of all, the term back pain can refer to pretty much any area from just below the neck down to the pelvic region. Along the length of the spine various structures can become irritated and be the pain generators.
Occasionally a muscle in the area will go into spasm and become painful. I can do quite a bit to help muscle spasms that might be causing back pain. Usually this entails a combination of soft tissue work to relax the muscle and break up adhesions with correcting any misalignments of the spine that may be causing the muscles to go into spasm.
My specialty of course lies in correcting the stuck or misaligned joints that can become painful. I find that many people complaining of back pain originating from the upper back area spend much of their work day with their head in a forward position. That includes quite a few people who are at the computer all day. The forward head posture puts stress on the upper back area which ultimately becomes painful. Addressing this particular complaint entails adjusting the vertebrae to bring them back into better alignment and giving the patient home stretches that will help correct the forward head posture. It is also important to review with them how to better set up their workstation so as to take stress off that upper back area.
Perhaps most commonly, patients complaining of back pain are referring to the lower back. This is one of the most common complaints I get. As with all the other areas of the spine, I need to differentiate whether the pain is coming from the surrounding muscles, the vertebral joints or the discs in between the joints. Additionally, the pelvis itself can become misaligned and become a source of pain. Once I have determined through various orthopedic tests and a straightforward palpation of the spine where the back pain is originating then I can begin the process of correcting that structure in order to relieve the pain. While I will definitely work directly on the area causing the pain, it is important to note that the surrounding areas, though not painful, may be contributing to and even causing the pain. So as to do a complete job, I will address the area of pain and also the surrounding issues so that the spine can be as healthy and pain-free as possible.