Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why are there so many people with back pain?

 By: Dr. Frankie Rodríguez

This is a complex question that is going to need us to delve into the forces that are affecting the back. Most people have hurt their backs at some point in their lives and most don’t know why.  Unfortunately there aren’t any movements of the body that can be performed without stabilizing the core muscles of your abdomen and back. Core stabilization puts our back under immense forces.
Here’s a basic overview of the forces on the spine during normal everyday use.
Shearing forces - Unaligned forces pushing one part of a body in one direction, and another part of the body in the opposite direction.
Compression Force -  The application of power, pressure, or exertion against an object that causes it to become squeezed, squashed, or compacted.
Axial torsion loads
The stress or deformation caused when one end of an object is twisted in one direction and the other end is held motionless or twisted in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately the back is a very complex structure that has to deal with all these different forces in different directions acting upon it.  The forces on the spine during normal movements can be strong enough to cause injury. However, when we are healthy and have normal function of our bodies the likelihood of an injury is very minor. Also, the body is built with ways to disperse these forces on the spine including your bones (vertebra of your spine), muscles, ligaments and tendons. When conditioned properly these tissues are able to absorb and disperse these forces. However, when they are overused and abused is when things break down and you get hurt

Here are a few reasons of why people get injured.
o Being Inactive 
If you are not a physically active person your muscles, tendons and ligaments are used less. Which increase the likelihood of structural damage upon strenuous use. Think about it as a car that hasn’t been turned on in a year and then you want to turn it on for an emergency and drive. The car can turn on but if you go to fast it might pop a tire or start leaking from a tube. People like cars don’t do well with inactivity. You want to stay active and make sure your body is constantly moving.
o Range of motion 
Lack of range of motion can place excess stress on different parts of the body. If there is a lack of motion of any part of your back this is going to put unnecessary stress on the surrounding structures.
o Poor nutrition
Poor nutritional habits is like having a Lamborghini and giving it regular gas. The car will run but it will not run at its optimal performance. Our bodies need certain vitamins and food groups to function optimally. Without the right fuel your body is more likely to have deficiencies and degenerate. Lack of the essential building blocks we get with a balanced diet are what lead to degeneration.
o Overuse 
This is geared toward people who work in a physically demanding job that requires them to use their back muscles or your workout enthusiast. Unfortunately as we learned all movement require your core stabilization. Meaning that all repetitive movements can cause this problem. Whether that is prolonged standing, walking, exercising, or even sitting. Any motion in excess will cause wear and tear on our bodies. If you are sitting, standing, or working out for an hour on the same body part. This will create imbalance in your muscles and eventually lead to damage. The most important factor is Balance, nothing in excess is good.

This is what you should do. Find somebody you trust to help address your injury and help prevent future injuries. A good place to start is Estner Injury Centers because we understand the biomechanics that caused your injury and are well versed in different techniques to alleviate your back pain.

Dr. Stephen Estner is a Chiropractor in Rhode Island with office locations in Pawtucket and Cranston, Rhode Island. His offices offer chiropractic rehabilitation through acupuncture, massage therapy, and manipulation of the spine, joints, and muscles. Dr. Estner treats all spinal injuries, back pain, and symptoms including those due to automobile accidents, workplace and sports injuries, pregnancy, and provides general care and maintenance of the spine.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please visit: