Where Is My Pain Coming From?
Low back pain can come from many anatomical locations. To investigate, a case history and a physical exam are necessary to determine what tissues may be the primary pain generators. In some cases, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other tests may also be needed to find the source of low back pain.
Red Flags – Includes dangerous conditions such as cancer, infection, fracture, and cauda equina syndrome (a severe neurological condition where bowel and bladder function is impaired). These conditions generally require emergency care due to the life threatening and/or surgical potential.
Mechanical Back Pain – Diagnoses include facet syndromes, ligament & joint capsule sprains, muscle strains, degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), spondylolisthesis and spinal misalignments.
Nerve Root Compression – Conditions include pinching of the nerve roots most frequently from herniated disks. This category can also include spinal stenosis.
Mechanical back pain is the most common. This is the classic patient who overdid it and can hardly get out of bed the next day due to performing too many bending, lifting, or twisting related activities. Back pain is usually localized to the area of injury but can radiate down into the buttocks or back of the thighs.
Chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, spinal rehab, spinal decompression and other therapies can be very beneficial when treating mechanical back pain and nerve root compression.
If you experience low back pain for more than 2-3 days, consider talking with your chiropractor.