When low back pain strikes, we often think it’s a brand new problem. But why did coughing, twisting, or doing the hoovering cause injury this time? These are activities we normally do every day.
What is the problem this time?
The problem is caused by joint dysfunction. This is often a ligament or muscle problem that occurs by tiny micro-traumas repeated over many years, or sometimes a traumatic event such as car accidents or falls.
The ligaments can stretch or the muscles tighten, causing the joints and vertebrae in your spine to become displaced or stuck. This can irritate the delicate nerve fibers in the area. The body will usually find a way to compensate to take the pressure off that area over the next few days or weeks. The pain that accompanies this injury eventually lessens and sometimes goes away all on its own.
But has the problem really gone away?
Usually its still there in the background, because when ligaments or muscles are damaged, the repair mechanism involves the laying down of of scar tissue in the damaged area. Scar tissue is less elastic than the original tissue and this makes the joint vulnerable to re-injury. Oftentimes it impairs the normal motion of the spinal bones.
The Doctor of Chiropractic examines for this type of joint strain/sprain using a technique called motion palpation. They are looking for tenderness and swelling in the area. Sometimes x-rays are needed to see the directions the vertebrae have moved or whether they are moving at all. These specific analyses tell them the vulnerable joint directions and how the bones in the spine need to be repositioned to promote normal movement and good alignment.
When joint movements are faulty in the spine, it can lead to premature degeneration of the bones and discs and early arthritis in the area.
This may be why an everyday task such as hoovering the floor can flare up your back so easily. You may be performing the task with good posture but with faulty mechanics in the spine, a painful episode of back pain is a possible result.
Sometimes, the discs in the spine are so damaged that a simple cough or sneeze can lead to cause severe pain.
When these simple tasks seem to trip you up, there is likely an underlying problem that needs to be addressed and treated.
If you have been suffering with symptoms similar to this, please call our Belfast clinic to book an appointment with the Chiropractor.