When Is Back Pain Dangerous? – 4 Reasons To Worry | Chiropractor R-VA

Home » Back Pain » When Is Back Pain Dangerous? – 4 Reasons To Worry | Chiropractor R-VA

Walk-In Chiropractic
Back Relief

Causes of Back Pain
You Don’t Normally Think About…

Between 80% and 90% of the general population will experience an episode of lower back pain (LBP) at least once during their lives. When it affects the young to middle-aged, we often use the term “non-specific LBP” to describe the condition. The geriatric population suffers from the “aging effects” of the spine— things like degenerative joint disease, degenerative disk disease, and spinal stenosis. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can also result in back pain.

The “good news” is that there are rare times when your doctor must consider a serious cause of LBP. That’s why he or she will ask about or check the following during your initial consultation:

1) Have you had bowel or bladder control problems? (This is to make sure a patient doesn’t have “cauda equina syndrome”—a very severely pinched nerve.)

2) Take a patient’s temperature and ask about any recent urinary or respiratory tract infections to rule out spinal infections.

3) To rule out cancer, a doctor may ask about a family or personal history of cancer,  recent unexplained weight loss, LBP that won’t go away with time, or sleep interruptions that are out of the ordinary.

4) To rule out fractures, a doctor may also take x-rays if a patient is over age 70 regardless of trauma due to osteoporosis, over age 50 with minor trauma, and at any age with major trauma.

Once a doctor can rule out the “dangerous” causes of LBP, the “KEY” form of treatment is giving reassurance that LBP is manageable and advise LBP sufferers of ALL ages (especially the elderly) to

KEEP MOVING!

Of course, the speed at which we move depends on many things— first is safety, but perhaps more importantly is to NOT BECOME AFRAID to do things! As we age, we gradually fall out of shape and end up blaming our age for the inability to do simple normal activities. Regardless of age, we must GRADUALLY increase our activities to avoid the trap of sedentary habits resulting in deconditioning following “fear avoidant behavior!” Here are a few “surprising” reasons your back may be “killing you”:

1) You’re feeling down – That’s right, having “the blues” and more serious mood disorders, like depression, can make it more difficult to cope with pain. Also, depression often reduces the drive to exercise, may disturb sleep, and can affect dietary decisions— all of which are LBP contributors.

2) Your feet hurt, which makes you walk with an altered gait pattern, forcing compensatory movements up the “kinetic chain” leading to LBP.

3) Core muscle weakness, especially if you add to that a “pendulous abdomen” from being overweight— this is a recipe for disaster for LBP.

4) Tight short muscles such as hamstrings, hip rotator muscles, and/or tight hip joint capsules are common problems that contribute to LBP. Stretching exercises can REALLY help!


Related Articles:

How Statins May Be Causing Your Back Pain:  Not long after FDA approval was granted in 1987, patients taking the new statin medications began complaining of muscle pain, sometimes so severe that the pain remained permanent after they stopped taking the medication. . .

Top 8 Exercises Proven To Relieve Chronic Low Back Pain:  It has been consistently reported that LBP becomes increasingly difficult to resolve when it persists for three or four months.  This week’s topic is about which exercises have been found to BEST address chronic low back pain (cLBP). . .

The #1 Self-Treatment MISTAKE That Makes Back Pain WORSE! Hint: You are very likely doing this!. . .


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Dr. Dana Williamson is a chiropractor who has been helping relieve back pain and neck pain of the residents of Mechanicsville, Richmond, Hanover, Henrico, and Glen Allen since 2001.

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This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.
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