Back pain

Many of us have experienced back pain that is serious enough to require a doctor visit at some time or another. Additionally back pain is also a leading cause of disability worldwide, and furthermore with the backdrop of the opioid crisis an effective and safe treatment for back pain is sorely needed.

1. MID-SPINE

This is a very general word, caused by hundreds of different chiropractic conditions. Most of them originate in the spine, the rib joints or muscles, but a referred ache from the organs does occur occasionally.

A stomach ulcer can give you discomfort between the shoulder blades; so can a tumour in the pancreas. That is rare, fortunately, being 100 percent fatal, even if diagnosed early, which it only occasionally is. Steven Jobs, the Apple-Mac man, had access to the very best treatment, and still succumbed.





The upper part is a particularly troublesome area, being a transitional zone between the cervical and thoracic spine. It is subject to deep upper back-pain that may radiate to the arm.

Because the term back-pain is so general, click on the links to the relevant part of the spine.

The mid-back is called the thoracic spine. The name comes from thorax which is that part between the neck and the diaphragm, the large muscle separating the chest from the abdomen.

The thoracic spine has twelve bones, and a myriad of joints and muscles relating to the ribs. Each of them makes three connections with the back and one with the sternum, where so-called costosternal chest pain occurs.

There are twelve pairs of ribs; do you get it?

12 vertebrae x 2 ribs x 3 joints in the back, plus one in the front with the sternum, which gives one hundred, give or take a few. Yes, you do get it; pain.

Pain in the breastbone (sternum) is known as costosternal chest pain.

This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 2nd February, 2020.


Midback and rib pain treatment


There are few things more discomforting than a sprung rib, causing very severe mid-back pain, often after a sneeze. Every breath becomes a nightmare; it feels like someone is stabbing you with a rusty screwdriver.

The treatment of rib pain is something that chiropractors specialise in.

Rib pain treatment CaseFile gives a typical scenario.


Scheuermann's disease

Kyphosis causing midback pain.

Scheuermanns disease is a not uncommon condition causing back pain, and affecting about 5 percent of teenagers. Sadly, parents have often been told it is growing pains, a condition which does not exist in my opinion, and by the time they get to us, it is already chronic, and a spinal deformity is inevitable.

Like all conditions, from diabetes to hypertension to Scheuermann's disease it comes in very mild to severe stages; catch it early.

This need not be so. As with adults, any pain that your child experiences which does not of itself go away should be investigated. When it comes to back pain too, prevention is better than a cure.

Interestingly, researchers have shown that people with Scheuermann's disease have a much higher incidence of conditions of the stomach. This is because the stomach, which is really just a specialised muscle, is innervated in part from the mid thoracics, where the condition is usually found.

Are you suffering from indigestion and related heartburn? Part of the solution may be found in a probiotic like kefir that will overwhelm any pathogens like Heliobacter by their sheer numbers.

The remedy gelatine powder has proved to give enormous help to everything from ulcers to the cartilage in conditions such as Scheuermann's disease. Make your own at home; it is so easy.


2. LOWER MID-BACK: THORACO-LUMBAR REGION.


Maigne's Syndrome

The junction between the very stable thoracic spine (owing to the ribs) and the highly mobile lumbar spine is a vulnerable area often causing back pain that may spread into the buttock and side of the leg, giving the appearance of a sciatica.

This is also the area incidentally where kidney stones can cause severe pain. This is a typical Maigne's syndrome casefile. 

These Maigne's syndrome exercise feature prominently for a long term good prognosis.

Maigne's Syndrome Casefile



Thoraco lumbar spine showing muscles.

3. THE LOWER BACK and Tomato Prostate ...

The lower-back or lumbar spine stretches from the diaphragm to the pelvis, and consists of five bones. This is where most serious back pain comes from.

Low back pain used to be called lumbago, but we do not use the word any more. It is too vague. It can be caused by anything from a slipped disc, to a sacro-iliac joint problem, to arthritis, or a tumour so forget the word.

Referred pain can also occur, for example menstrual cramps often refer to the back.

Every man must, it is compulsory, eat a tomato a day. Whilst metastatic disease in the spine and pelvis is relatively uncommon in comparison with all the other causes of back pain, prostate cancer is still the most common terminal tumour in men.


Van Gogh's gardeners would have suffered from low back pain.

In Vincent van Gogh's days probably nobody knew about back exercises, but today every gardener should do a few exercises before venturing out. Gardening and back pain are so synonymous that in Holland they use the same word for gardening (spitten) and acute back pain (spit).

If you sign up for Chiropractic Tips (they are free), you will get a simple set of basic back exercises.

Slipped disk and a SLIPPED DISC SYMPTOMS Case File

The so-called slipped disc, a very broad layman's term for a very complex syndrome, is a condition that Chiropractic excels in. The trick is to prevent a Grade I from progressing to a Grade 4. If you suffer from low back pain, then you ought to know about the FOUR grades of slipped disc.


Lumbar facet syndrome

Small joints in the spine are probably the most common cause of LBP, the lumbar facet syndrome, characterised by back pain when bending into extension and to the side.


Spondylolysthesis and a casefile

A lateral lumbar x-rays showing a spondylolysthesis.

Good chiropractic is all about, in part, a find understanding of anatomy, and particularly that pertaining to the joints of the body. Henry Gray was the first doctor who systemised the subject and Gray's Anatomy still stands as a tribute to this giant redwood in the forests of doctors.

This is one cause of chronic low back pain. It may be caused either by a stress fracture (usually in early childhood) or by degenerative change in the older person. These abnormalities allow one vertebra to slide forwards over the vertebra below it. This can also trap the nerves travelling to the legs causing pain and weakness in the legs.

Read more about the Chiropractic management of spondylolysthesis. It is not at all uncommon; a stress fracture in the low back.


Leg pain with NO low back pain

There is an unusual condition called Intermittent Claudication that causes pain in the leg, with exercise, with no low back pain. Read more about INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION; LEG PAIN caused by an artery blocked with cigarette ash.

Chiropractic help

Chiropractic help is a very large website covering many aspects of back pain, as well as other parts of the body such as the lumbar facet syndrome, or the slumped, aching teenager who may be suffering from Scheuermann's disease.

There are today, at the time of writing 436 pages; finding your way around can be a nightmare. Use the site search function in the navigation bar at the top left if you are hunting for something.

At the bottom of this page you will find a section where you can pose questions about your health.


FROM THE CHIROPRACTIC COALFACE

Mrs S taught me a new Dutch word. I have ontiegelijke pijn. I had no idea what the word meant, but I grasped her meaning; totally unbearable. And, she had had it for two long miserable years.

At 83 she had been told by numerous doctors that she had arthritis, and at her age simply had to live with the pain. Little do doctors know.

Bending over backwards caused severe pain, so she walked like she had a carrot up, to put it crudely, you know where.

In chiropractic terms, Mrs S had what is described as lower back and leg pain.

Her various doctors had refused to take x-rays of her low back, and so I really don't know just how severe the wear-and-tear in her lumbar spine is. Quite advanced I expect. Thank goodness it's not cancer. The long and the short of it is that Mrs S has about 60% less back pain (after about two months of treatment) and she can now walk upright, like the good God-fearing woman she is.

Is she cured? Certainly not, chiropractic help cannot totally fix back pain, and she will have to wait for heaven for the new spine that brings no tears. She now comes in once every three weeks, and we are both well pleased. The carrot is out, and the two-year of totally unbearable pain is of the past.

She has a good understanding of what I call the 50 percent less pain rule; the dangerous time.

She is doing my exercise program faithfully, and knows that digging in the garden, and even vacuuming her home, is a thing of the past. Luckily Mr S is in good spirits.


4. THE PELVIS and SacroIliac joint anatomy

The pelvis , a ring of three large bones below the lumbar spine, is also a source of low back pain. A very common source actually. For more information about the sacroIliac joints , click here, SACROILIAC JOINT ANATOMY.

Financial burden of LOW BACK PAIN

Low back pain is causing an enormous financial burden on society, a burden that is rapidly increasing, despite so-called progress.

Oscar Wilde was the first to promote the idea that the great problem with progress may be that it goes forwards rather than backwards. Medical 'progress', yes and perhaps even chiropractic progress I hear you saying, may in fact be adding to that burden.

MAINTENANCE CARE

For chronic back pain, like other chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothroidism there is unfortunately no substitute for maintenance care.



And faithfully done lower back exercises are a vital part of that maintenance care. A minute and half every morning (and better evenings too, but the morning before getting out of bed is the vital time) that is all they take.

There is lots of research showing that the joint cartilage will not heal without a proper supply of oxygen. The best medication, surgery and chiropractic in the world will not succeed in treating back pain satisfactorily if you are a smoker.

Stop smoking permanently by Allan Carr is one way to do it. This is especially important in 2020 with the corona virus honing in on with poor lung function.

FOOT PAIN

In the practice, we often find a problem in the foot or ankle may be the underlying cause of back pain. It may be frank pain causing you to limp, or simply a dysfunctional joint.

If you back pain, or your neck for that matter, is not responding the way you would like it too, ask your chiropractor to look at your foot, and the length of your leg.

  1. Chiropractic Help
  2. Back pain and chiropractic treatment

Have A Question about your lower back?

I receive many questions about Chiropractic. It might be help with a spinal condition, but it might also be from a person who can't walk after a hip operation, or some such thing.

I will do that by answering your questions personally, but it will be converted to a Web Page so others can benefit from your questions. Omit your name if you like.

However, do understand that, in the main, I'm going to be directing you, should it be pertinent, to a Chiropractor in your neck of the woods. I'll respond to all reasonable inquiries, but please be specific, and give as much detail as you can.

Do understand that lower back pain is extremely complex, so I can only give general guidelines. There's no substitute for a careful thorough chiropractic examination.

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 X-rays of your spine (optional)[ ? ]

 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors.

If you find my answer useful, please ask friends to grade it.

Can't stand without burning/numbness in thigh and low back pain 
Hello. I have had no injury or incident - other than one morning I woke up with severe low back pain; I had "thrown my back out" somehow while sleeping? …

Persistent femoral nerve pain  
Hello. I have a long history of lower back problems, with 3 bulging discs in the lower region. I had gone several years without a bad spasm and was being …

Left leg only slight tingle and numbness 
left leg only slight tingle and numbness Hello and good day, I came across your website, and would like to take the chance to post my question. …

Pain in my lower back 
I hurt my back about 5 months ago fr work and physio told me I strained my muscle.I had my physio for 8 weeks after the incident but until now the pain …

Low back and SI Joint Pain 
While I was in physical therapy, end of last year, my therapist told me that she thought my coccyx and sacrum were straightening out making my lower back …

Burst fracture 
Had burst fracture in 2010. Have a little discomfort and some pain. Wondered if a chiropractor could help with pain and discomfort. Dr. Barrie …

Tingling in the toes Not rated yet
I had Koch's infection in 2016 and had the medication for 9 months because I was diabetic. After 9 months, I had this tingling and sometimes pricking sensation …

Lower back pain seriously neglected in the defence force Not rated yet
Lower back pain seriously neglected in the defence force is a tale of woe. Hi, My partner has been having lower back issues for around 18 months. …

Pain in upper back with bad indigestion Not rated yet
I have been experiencing back upper back pain with indigestion. I went to the chiropractor and he found that my T2 was out. It was fine and a while and …

Pain specifically down left side of Back Not rated yet
Dear Dr B, Over the years I have always had ongoing nagging burning tight muscle pain down the left side of my back, it is not in my …

Severe lower back and leg pain Not rated yet
5 months ago I hurt my back by lifting my bed, and it hurts not matter what o do. I can sit down stand up walk and out doesn't get rod of the pain. Out …

Sciatica / mid-upper right back pain and numbness/tingling right arm. Not rated yet
I have been having issues with sciatica for almost a year. For the past 2 months have been going to a chiropractor because of the sciatic pain. He did …

Aching back in 8 year old female  Not rated yet
Aching back in 8 year old female (for last 10 months) also mid back loss of sensation. My daughter has been complaining of a 'bad back' for some time. …

Annoying tingling in legs, inability to sit for too long, stiffness when getting up Not rated yet
I have a problem with my L5/S1, most doctors would send me off for a spinal fusion. I manage to live a fairly normal life (no running) after months of …

Pain in the hip Not rated yet
First of all THANK YOU! I have enjoyed your web site and information I have several good friends that are Chiropractors and respect them all but I …

Lower and mid back pain Not rated yet
I have always sufferd with a bad back which got progressively worse since the pregnancy and birth of my daughter. She is now two and the last few months …

Pain in the lumbar spine Not rated yet
My L4 vertebra has slightly moved from its position. Later I felt the pain a lot and also I felt the pain in my right leg..... My question: is this …

Numbness in mid back Not rated yet
I have been going to a chiropactor for 2 years. He believes I have a problem with my neck. Recently I am having numbness in my mid back with numbness …

Spondylolisthesis L5-S1 over 50%  Not rated yet
I filed for ssi and been denied twice, I retained an attorney and he wants me to get a report as to: how long I can sit,stand,walk etc... What type of …

Groin-hip-pubic pain Not rated yet
I am woman age 67. For many years on a few occasions I have had a sharp pain in right groin. Recently it is almost every day and especially as I try and …

Click here to write your own.

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.