Today we’re going to talk about good, ol’ fashion back pain. There’s no such thing. Many of you have heard me say this before, and it bears repeating-pain is not a disease, it’s a side effect of a disease or disorder. Just like the check engine light in your car is not a broken light bulb, but an indicator there’s something wrong with the engine. So when you have back pain, there’s something wrong with your back; and that something could be any number of things.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that their back pain was “only muscular” so nothing could be done; horse feathers. Lots can be done. We employ a wide array of physical therapy modalities to alleviate muscle spasm such as electric stim, ultrasound, dry needling (really cool, look it up) and now massage from a licensed massage therapist. If you have-great big fancy word of the day-myogenic pain (muscle pain) then you have muscle spasms. And muscles don’t spasm just for giggles, it’s a protective mechanism. In other words, muscle spasms are a side effect.
Muscles spasm to protect an unstable joint; acting like an air cast of sorts. Joints become unstable from two main reasons: trauma and degenerative. Trauma is falling down the stairs, car accidents, sky diving incidents, too many Natty Boh’s and the phrase “hey watch this.” Degenerative is exactly as it sounds. It’s not always age, but time; I’ve seen many people in their 20’s and 30’s with signs of degeneration. Over time we are subjective to physical stresses (what we do to/with or not to/with our bodies), chemical stress (genetics, what we eat/drink/smoke; don’t eat/drink) and emotional stress (how we think and feel) all affects our joints and makes them stop working so well. This, over time, is what causes degeneration. If left un-fixed, this degeneration will become arthritis, herniated discs, stenosis, and worse. And like other diseases, there are just as many side effects you’re not feeling as you are feeling. That’s why you’ve heard me say we don’t treat pain, we fix the disorder causing your pain.
And fixing degeneration by restoring the proper motion and structure of joints is the mainstay of chiropractic care. To caveman up the ending: you have pain then you have problem, me fix problem.