Most of my patients present with back or neck pain that just gradually started. This can be frustrating for patients, because it is more obvious and understandable when you hurt your back from shoveling snow or a fall.
This is one part of care that I enjoy, teaching and educating patients about why they are having the symptoms now and what we can do to correct their issue and then build them back up and make them stronger. Of course in hopes of preventing these issues in the future.
A good way to help people understand this “insidious” back pain, that means there does not appear to be a cause, is with an analogy. If you have a heart attack tomorrow the odds are that condition has been building over many years. Too many cheeseburgers and not enough exercise! If you have a cavity at your dental check up that didn’t just happen because you ate a cookie last night. The exact same applies to your back. Your spine is made up of 24 movable segments that can become misaligned. Fortunately, every time we get a slight misalignment we don’t have pain. However, over time if this is ignored it will continue to rotate, put more pressure on the joints and nerves, causing swelling and eventually pain.
Wear and tear without repair is what causes these gradual onset issues of back and neck pain. Regular wellness care is vital to a healthy spine, and there is a lot more to being healthy than just being pain free.