Back pain is a very common reason to seek medical attention because of the severity of the pain and its accompanying physical dysfunction. Back pain can be so intense that strong opioid pain-relieving and anti-spasmodic drugs are required to provide relief.
Back pain can affect several regions:
- Neck (cervical) and head pain is often associated with traumatic vehicular injury (e.g., whiplash). Such neck pain often radiates to the head as recurrent headaches or “migraines”, as well as to the face, eyes or temporomandibular joint.
- Upper-to-mid-back (thoracic) back pain is often associated with cervical whiplash injury or compensatory scoliosis.
- Low-back (lumbar) back pain is often associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which is often accompanied by the compensatory changes of a dropped shoulder, scoliosis, limp and/or a shortened leg. This ligament pain often radiates or refers up into the mid-back or down into the buttocks, groin, or further into the thigh into the leg. This type of ligament-generated leg pain often mimics neurogenic “sciatica“.
- Poor posture
- Muscle spasm and tendon or joint ligament strain or sprain from normal wear-and-tear and osteoarthritis
- Repetitive occupational or sports joint strain and sprain
- Direct sprain injury to the skeletal, muscle or ligament tissues of the spine due to a traumatic accident
- Lifting heavy objects or twisting while lifting
- Proactive exercises such as yoga
- Structural dysfunction such as compensatory or developmental scoliosis—or
- Compression fractures associated with loss of bone density (i.e., osteoporosis, osteopenia).