You’re getting yourself ready to head out. You bend over, maybe to pull on your shoes or pick up your bag off the floor and Ouch! Something’s suddenly gone very wrong and don’t you know it! You feel an abrupt, painful pull or shock and it seems like you can’t return to your original standing position. Sound familiar?
This is a very common situation. No matter how it’s triggered, acute lower back pain affects roughly one-third of British people and accounts for 11% of total disability, because that’s what back pain is! It can be really debilitating and limit you from leading a normal, active and healthy lifestyle.
Pain treatment – is it really all in your head?
Our response to pain is changing. Back pain might seem like a tough nut to crack, as the injury may not be seen with the naked eye. More frustratingly, Xrays and other imaging may not reveal any structural damage. This can leave you feeling desperate or worse, like it’s all in your head. As invisible diseases such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or ME are gaining awareness, we have needed to adapt, and we’re beginning to see pain as a condition itself and not simply a symptom.
So how should you treat sudden back pain?
It is crucial to REST and ICE. Listen to your body! It’s screaming vital messages, which are being relayed as inflammation and pain. At Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood we find that back pain treatment varies from person to person and also depends on how in-tune you are with your body.
It can usually go one of two ways:
You might stop, recognise that something’s up and go straight to see a back specialist, such as a chiropractor, to correct any damage and speed-up the recovery process. This way, your injury is just a minor bump in the road.
On the other hand, some tend to push through the pain, believing it will somehow heal itself, but chronic conditions develop when we keep going and neglect those pain signals. It’s then easy to enter a vicious cycle where that minor bump in the road somehow turned into Mount Everest.
How important is early therapy?
It’s simple, early therapy is VITAL. By treating back pain immediately, you could avoid months of discomfort and potential medication.
Research suggests that early therapy could reduce your chances of developing chronic pain and receiving medication by 89%!
That’s a big difference and we see it often in the clinic. Too many visit us as a last resort. Some have been through months, if not years, living with pain. Others have seen many medical professionals and feel neglected by an overloaded system.
The chiropractic solution
Chiropractors are spine specialists. They don’t need a map to navigate the bony landmarks of your body and they know how a perfectly aligned spine looks and feels.
Vertebrae form the building blocks of your spine. They encase the spinal chord, which provides a nervous connection between every tiny part of your body and your brain. Through bad posture, false movements or just day-to-day living, your spine changes shape due to its flexible nature, and sometimes your vertebrae can become slightly misaligned and form, what is known as, subluxations. This can create stress and irritation on the nerves exiting the vertebral column, which can trigger radiating pain and specifically back, shoulder or neck pain.
So the goal of chiropractic care is to correct spinal misalignment and remove any pressure and interference on the nervous system. With a clear route, messages can relay normally and your overall health is restored.
We need to be more mindful about preventing the progression of acute pain to chronic pain.
While other common discomforts such as toothache gets seen to right away, back pain is unique in the way people seem to ‘put-up’ with it until it becomes really unbearable. So next time you feel that twinge or ache, don’t ignore it. Prioritise your back health, it is too important to neglect. Call your local chiropractor just as you would see your dentist for regular check-up.