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Why Do I Have Low Back Pain?

December 12, 2016

Most people will experience some sort of back pain in their lifetime, upwards of 60%-80%. Reoccurring back pain is reported at 60%.  Unfortunately, many will manage pain by masking the symptoms with pain medication and some will undergo unnecessary surgery. Is this you or are you on the right path to addressing the root cause to assure the problem is fixed and the pain does not return?  Majority of lower back pain is caused by a mechanical dysfunction, improper movements throughout life.  If one doesn't move correctly, areas of the body begin to break down over time.  Microtrauma (a small repetitive injury over a prolonged period, i.e., bending, lifting, pushing, ect.) is just as severe as a macrotrauma (a major trauma over a short period, i.e., a fall or car accident). 

If the cause of the body breaking down is not addressed, what is to stop the area from continuous break down?  Taking pain medication alone hides the pain while the break down continues.  Taking pain medication alone could lead to further dysfunction not to mention numerous side effects.  Pain is actually a protective mechanism.  Pain tells our bodies a change needs to be made.  Think about your hand being over a burning flame.  Your hand sends messages to your brain and your brain creates the pain which tells your hand to move out of the flame.  Pain medication alters the pain message which are transferred to your brain.  Without the pain message being sent to your brain, how will your hand know to move away from the flame?  It WON'T!!  Your hand will continue to burn and result in more damage.  The flame is the root cause of the pain.  If you take pain medication alone, you are not addressing the root cause.  



Let's talk about surgery.  There are many forms of surgery but to keep things simple let’s discuss vertebral fusion surgery.   A vertebral fusion is joining two or more vertebra resulting in the inability of movement between the vertebra. Vertebrae allow the body to move in varying positions.  If all our vertebra were fused we would not be allowed to bend, twist, ect.  Studies show vertebral fusion surgery linked to dysfunctions in the adjacent vertebrae. The body will take the path of least resistance.  If a segment is surgically fused but the movement which caused excessive motion at that segment is not addressed, the segment above or below the fusion will begin to break down.  The movement dysfunction which resulted in excessive movement at the vertebral segment must be addressed.

Remember, much of lower back pain is caused from a mechanical movement dysfunction.  Physical Therapists are movement specialist who address the cause of why one is experiencing pain.  A good Physical Therapist keeps you moving in the life you wish to live.



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