This is one of the most common questions I get asked when people first come into my office. Many times people are aware of how their pain started. Maybe they were lifting a weight that was too heavy for them, or maybe they bent over to pick up their child in an awkward way and felt immediate pain. Most people who come into my office though actually don’t know how or why they are having back pain. So quite often they come in confused and asking, “What caused my back pain?”
This is like asking your doctor, “Why did I catch this cold?” There are so many factors involved that it is very difficult to answer this question. Were you under stress? Have you been getting enough sleep? Are you happy? Have you been exercising? Are you drinking enough water? Is your spine in alignment? Are you working out? Answers to these questions are a great place to start when evaluationg why you caught a cold, but also just as important in trying to determine why you are in pain.
Other questions I would add in are: How long do you sit on average? Do you ever walk barefoot? Do you stretch? Have you had your exercise technique evaluated by a professional? How’s your mattress? How many pillow do you use at night? The list goes on and on.
Listen, our bodies are under constant and chronic stress from all facets of life. By nature the human body is very adaptable. After a certain amount of physical, nutritional, and emotional stress it will break down and experience pain and disease. That’s is why it is imperative to help your body adapt to all stresses as best as it can. The best way to do that is by keeping you spine and nervous system healthy, strong, and stress free.
Purpose of Pain
Pain exists for a reason. Pain is how your body alerts you to let you know that something is wrong. It acts like the check engine light in your car. Say you are driving along and the check engine light comes on. Say you ignore that light for the next 2-3 months, what ends up happening? Your car will have major problems. Pain is like that light, don’t ignore it because it will most likely lead to more serious problems later. Even worse than ignoring it, is to mask it with medications. This is like putting a piece of tape over your check engine light and pretending you never saw it. It is important to understand the purpose of pain.
It is important to ask “What caused my back pain”, but it is even more important to see a professional and have it looked at so a course of action can be taken to fix and correct the cause of your pain.