Whether the damage was caused by a major trauma or a minor trauma, back pain has 3 primary sources. The 3 most common causes of back pain are: muscle strain, ligament sprain and disc injury. Regardless the cause, back pain can wreak havoc on one’s life.
Before delving into the 3 most common causes of back pain let us discuss the primary mechanisms of injury behind a muscle strain, ligament sprain and disc injury. A major trauma, otherwise known as macro trauma, is a major event that takes place causing and injury or trauma to the muscles of the back. Common major traumas causing injury to the back could be improperly lifting, a fall, a sports injury, an auto accident or a work accident. Minor trauma, otherwise known as micro trauma, is typically associated with repetitive movements over a long period of time. Common minor traumas associate with back pain can be caused from repetitive bending, twisting, lifting, sitting or standing. Minor trauma is commonly referred to as an overuse injury.
Now let’s discuss the 3 most common causes of back pain. A back muscle strain refers to damage to the muscles or tendons of the back. It is commonly called a muscle pull and can be caused by a minor or major trauma. When a person has not done a specific activity in quite a while, then attempts to perform the activity, this can cause a back muscle strain. Additionally a muscle strain can be caused by quick heavy lifting. A back muscle strain can also be caused when normal activities of daily living are overdone. Muscle strains can be very painful, debilitating and may present with swelling and bruising.
A ligament sprain happens when the ligaments in the back are over stretched or torn. Ligaments are tough tissues that hold bones and joints together and allow our bodies to move. When a ligament is damaged it is typically because the joint is stretched beyond its normal range of motion and normally happens because of a major trauma. A back sprain can be insignificant and resolve in a number of days, or it can result in a significant tear that can take months to repair.
A disc injury can be caused by either a major trauma or a minor trauma. The spinal disc is located between each spinal vertebra and has two primary purposes. It acts as a shock absorber for the muscles of the back and it allows space for the spinal nerves to exit the spinal cord. A major trauma to the disc, such as a bulge or herniation, can lead to excruciating pain, missed work days and even surgery. Degenerative disc disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is typically associated with minor trauma to the spine and can take years to develop.
Chiropractic physical medicine if most often the treatment of choice when injuring your back because it can help to reduce pain and inflammation and allow the damaged tissues to begin to heal properly. Used-along with other treatment modalities chiropractic adjustments will ensure your back injury a steady recovery.