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Why does my Back Hurt?

Stubborn back pain can suck the fun and energy out of anyone. When injured, it can be obvious where our pain comes from. Sometimes back pain can be trickier. There was no one injury, it should have healed by now and hasn’t, or maybe you have a few reliable aches that always seem to come back.

What causes it, and why do remedies seem to work for some, but not others?

“Back pain”, like a headache, is a symptom. That means it can have one or more of many different underlying causes. Some causes even feel similar, but respond to different treatments.

So what kind of back pain is your back pain?

For severe injuries, extreme pain that prevents you from getting up, or pain lasting longer than 3 months, you always need to see a physician or physical therapist to prevent further injury and start down a path of healing. Do not commit to a treatment plan without a physician or physical therapist. The articles here can help you understand back pain and how to talk about what you are going through, but are not meant to diagnose your specific condition.

Without getting too complicated, we can usually break down back pain into a few useful categories. Pain could stem from ‘static’ structures (bone and ligaments), ‘Dynamic’ structures (muscles and joints), irritation or damage to a nerve, referred pain, or somatic pain. This is a big topic, and it gets messy quickly. You may even have one or more of these issues at the same time, especially if you had a big injury or your pain has lasted. For a long time

Because our experiences with back pain can be so messy, it can be hard to describe your issues to a doctor, or maybe to have left out some details in the past. These articles may give you a basis to speak to your doctor more effectively!

Ethan Adams, DPT


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