Common Back Problems

We are here to help with all back, neck and joint pain.

Chronic and Acute Pain

There are three main types of back and neck pain that people experience. 

Acute Pain

This is a pain that has just happened. The pain can be felt anywhere from the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, sacrum or anywhere in-between.  It is often the first time that a patient has suffered from this type of pain and they may or may not know the cause. 

If someone has fallen, had a trampoline accident or been involved in a car accident the cause of the pain is often known, however, sometimes people just wake up in pain or have a sudden onset of pain they have never experienced before which is called acute pain.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain by definition is pain that has lasted for 6 weeks or more.  Many people suffer from chronic back pain that has been around for years but only tend seek help when the pain becomes unmanageable.  We always recommend taking action when the first signs of pain appear to prevent the problem from getting worse.  For patients who have chronic back pain, regular maintenance care can help manage the condition.   

Acute Exacerbation of a Chronic Problem

Many people who suffer from regular aches and pain in the back will either manage them with a maintenance care program or ignore them until the pain forces them to act .  If you live with regular pain and after a while, something changes in the level or intensity of the pain, this is likely to be an exacerbation of a chronic problem.  This means something has happened which has caused your chronic pain to move up a level in its intensity.   If treated as soon as the intensity is changed this can often settle down again after a few treatments.  However, to help avoid this situation we often recommend a maintenance care program.  Maintenance care is where the patient attends the clinic at regular intervals e.g. monthly to treat the chronic condition, realign the spine and joints and restore the body back to balance to help prevent further painful ‘flareups’.

Sciatica

Sciatica is one of the most common symptoms presenting to a chiropractor.  It is caused by irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.  The most common cause of sciatica is where a disc in the lower back region (lumbar spine), puts pressure on one element of the sciatic nerve, which becomes swollen and inflamed causing a burning pain to run down the leg.

However, the term sciatica has become so common that it is now used to describe any leg pain that is referred from (originates in) the back.  Quite often, the joints in the lower spine or certain muscles can refer pain down the legs giving similar pain to sciatica, which is not actually sciatica.  It is important to get the correct diagnosis of the origin of your pain to ensure the best treatment outcomes.  In general, sciatic pain, being referred from the muscles or joints can be relieved much quicker than the sciatic pain resulting from bulging discs in the spine.   

Chiropractic care can treat specific discs and joint alignment issues, releasing pressure, and bringing the body back into balance to relieve pain.

Lower back pain

There are numerous causes of lower back pain ranging from disc damage or arthritis of the joints to sprained ligaments and muscle spasms.  

Some of the classic symptoms for inflammation which is often linked to joints or disk disfunction is lower back pain after you’ve been still for a while. For example, pain when you get up first thing in the morning or lower back pain after you’ve been sitting down for a little while.  By comparison, muscle related issues often feel great after rest, like first thing in the morning, but will get worse as the day goes on.  However, in reality, most lower back pain consists of elements of both joint and muscle dysfunction.  Chiropractic care can help lower back pain as it brings the body back into balance by aligning and mobilising the joints whilst relieving muscle tension and releasing trigger points.

Headaches

There are two main types of headaches that people suffer from these being migraines and tension headaches.

Migraines

Migraines are throbbing headaches which often last hours or days and usually effect one side of the head. They are often accompanied by visual disturbances and nausea and can be very debilitating.  Migraines are fairly common, and it is estimated that are around two million people in Australia who suffer from migraines.

One of the common causes of migraine can be dysfunction in and around the top joints (occipital joints) in the neck.  Many patients with this issue respond well to chiropractic care as it not only mobilises the joints, but it releases the sub occipital muscle tension to bring relief and help prevent future occurrences.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are headaches that are very persistent and often hang around for days or even weeks.  They can affect any area of the head and are not usually accompanied by visual disturbance.   The majority of this type of headache is caused by tension through the shoulders, which refers pain into the head.  Postural issues, stress and lifestyle factors can contribute to these types of headache, but chiropractic care often brings relief and successfully helps manage these conditions.