For many of us, low back pain is somewhat of a middle age problem. Lots of sufferers begin to seek chiropractic care in their 30s and 40s and wonder how it all happened. Perhaps it was a sneeze, a long drive, or gardening in the yard that set the pain off. But you were always able to do these things before without so much as a twinge from your low back. But now things are different…
So how come your back seems so weak, when it was so strong before? What changed? Not much actually. The reality is that back problems begin during our youth. With advances in MRI technology, we can study changes in the disks of the back to see when these injuries first occur. Spinal degeneration begins to occur at age 10, provided some trauma has occurred, such as from competitive sports or simply goofing off as a child. Rarely is significant pain involved and children seem to shake off the injury with little future consequence. But having back pain is not the same as a having a back problem, such as a sprain of the disk. When the pain subsides, it does not always mean that symmetrical motion of the joint is restored and the vertebrae are now back in their normal position.
Our bodies have a tremendous capacity to heal on their own without any type of doctor helping out. But sometimes recovery and return to full and optimum health is incomplete…
Over time, the effects of gravity and daily stress can cause the joint to become more injured until something as simple as making the bed causes excruciating pain. But was it really the bed making? Probably not since this is something you’ve done every day of your life. A thorough examination by a doctor of chiropractic prior to the onset of pain could have perhaps discovered one of these “silent” injuries. But most people wait until the pain happens before seeking help.
It’s important to be checked after a trauma, even in young children. Properly diagnosing the extent of injury is the first step to getting you the care you may need. The pain often goes away quickly and we often think the problem has also completely healed.
Getting regular check ups to make sure the motions of your spine are fluid and symmetrical is one potential way to avoid bigger problems down the road. Your doctor of chiropractic can also advise you on preventive strategies to minimize the risk of injury, such as proper lifting techniques.
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