Today, we are pleased to invite Dr. Katrina to discuss with us 4 common questions about Low Back Pain.
Question 1: Why is lower back pain one of the most common areas of pain adults face?
Our bodies were designed to move. Anything that inhibits our healthy, normal movement will cause symptoms, like pain, over time. While traumas can cause pain, it is more often our daily habits that build up over time. Our lifestyles have become so unnatural with the dependency on chairs that our lower back joints begin to degenerate in response to lack of movement. Moreover, our muscles have become deconditioned due our dependence on chairs. When we do move, our muscles are unbalanced (some weak, some too tight) and our joints move improperly. This improper joint motion triggers inflammation in the body. The inflammation will irritate the nerves, and we begin to feel symptoms, such as pain.
Question 2: Can lower back pain be a symptom of something larger?
Pain is merely a symptom, not the problem. Any pain, be it aches and soreness or sharp and numbness, are simply signals from your body that something is wrong. Aches and pains are not normal. Where we feel pain is not always where the problem is. If you or a loved one suffers from any type of pain, be sure to have a thorough examination to find exactly the cause.
Question 3: Does everyone experience lower back pain due to aging?
Our age does not dictate how we feel. Our age also does not dictate whether or not we have degeneration. Degeneration occurs in response to instability and irritation over time. How much degeneration depends on how long the problem has been there – the age of the problem, not the age of the person. Degeneration is an inflammatory process. If you have inflammation in your body, you will likely experience pain, regardless of your age.
Question 4: What are the complications that can arise from prolonged untreated back pain?
The longer the pain has been present, the more degeneration we would expect to find. However, this is not always true. Degeneration does not mean that we necessarily feel pain. Approximately 10% of your nerves are even able to send the pain signal, which means 90% of your nerves – and therefore, 90% of the time – control how your body functions. Heartbeat. Breathing. Digestion. Immune response. The list goes on. If your nerves are irritated, your overall health begins to decline. Pain is only one type of symptom. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, allergies, indigestion, and constipation, to name a few.