After a few sets of tennis, or an exercise session at the gym, your arm or shoulder suddenly feels stiff. Perhaps a twinge occurs with a specific movement. Maybe you woke up one morning with your head in an odd position. Perhaps the simple task of brushing your hair caused pain.
Mid Back Pain
If there is no reported direct trauma or injury to the mid back, this type of symptom is usually caused by a spinal condition above or below the area in question. For example, if someone receives a blunt force to the mid back region, the cause would be obvious. However, many patients enter the office not knowing what caused their pain. They just know that when they twist their back or move in certain directions, the region between their shoulder blades hurt.
Upon examination it is very common to find a lower back misalignment, or in some cases, a lower neck misalignment that has helped cause the mid back pain. Remember, the spine works as a unit. In the majority of cases, patients will complain about neck or lower back pain specifically. However, mid back pain is a reality for some patients, and that situation can be addressed using chiropractic treatment.
Another cause of mid back pain is rib involvement. Anatomically, the thoracic spine (middle back) attaches to the ribs. If a blunt force affects the ribs, even if the force occurred in the front part of the body, a mid back symptom may be felt because the muscles between the ribs were irritated. These muscles extend from the front part of the ribs to the area that attaches to the spine of the middle back. Sometimes this can occur when the patient has twisted and bent sideways while lifting or pushing something. Sometimes patients will remark that they have difficulty with full breaths.
Treatment consists of gentle chiropractor adjustments of the ribs and spine. Ice can be used to help reduce the swelling associated with this injury.
Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain is probably the most common symptom seen in a chiropractic office. Have you ever had pain doing the simplest of activities? Perhaps you were bending over to pick up a young child or even something as light as a newspaper. How about when you reach across your bed to straighten out the blanket or when you change positions from sitting to standing? Have you ever gotten back pain after driving for a period of time? All of these actions and many, many more very common activities can help aggravate lower back conditions.
It is easy to know how your back got hurt if you lifted heavy boxes, or worked very long hours bending and twisting. These are obvious causes. However, the more common causes are the everyday activities that we perform. Even though they don’t feel painful, they cause micro traumas to our spine. That is, they cause little irritations that, over a long period of time, end up causing significant changes to our spinal structure, and in some cases, major pain.
Chiropractic treatment typically consists of physical therapy to help reduce the muscle spasm and tightness, and the chiropractic adjustment which helps restore normal spine and nerve function to the affected areas. Also, ice therapy (cryotherapy) is used to help reduce swelling. It is important in most cases to avoid the use of heat therapy such as a heating pad on the lower back as this causes increased swelling and eventually more pain.