There are various causes of back pain and symptoms vary from person to person. Some types of pain are solely muscle-related while others involve nerve pain that may or may not radiate to other areas from the back.
In all of these cases, the muscles of the entire body must be assessed in order to treat and prevent pain effectively. While pain may present locally, muscle tension and structural and functional abnormalities of distal areas of the body will contribute to pain symptoms.
Focused treatment on the local area involves releasing muscle tension of the pain region in the back. This is true for pain due to muscle tightness or strain as well as disc herniation and nerve pain. Muscles are the entities that hold bones and joints (including the spine) in their proper place. If the muscle is tight, it will pull nearby bones and joints out of their normal, balanced state. This causes joint spaces to be altered causing conditions like arthritis and misalignment between spinal vertebrae as well. Misalignment in the vertebrae can cause a range of problems in the back from minor aches and pain to herniated discs and nerve conditions such as sciatica. As the spaces between the vertebrae are altered, uneven stress onto the discs (jelly-like substance between two vertebrae) causes them to protrude out of their space. Nerve impingement can also occur which can causes stiffness and pain and even radiating pain into the hips and lower limbs. This is also true of the cervical (neck) area where numbness and tingling can be felt in the arm and hands/fingers. Even in cases where nerves are not affected, numbness and tingling can occur when tight knots in the muscle impede flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the area. Therefore, it is very important to release muscle tension along with getting chiropractic adjustments for spinal conditions. No matter how many times the spine is adjusted, it will go back to its unhealthy state if the muscles are left untreated and the muscles continue to pull and cause strain onto the spine.
Distal areas apart from the immediate area of pain must also be examined when treating for pain. The body is dynamic and muscles are interconnected with and respond to one another (called “compensation”). For example, the muscles of the hips (gluteus maximus, commonly referred to as “glutes”) are connected to the latissimus dorsi (commonly known as “lats” that is a huge muscle covering almost the entire back). This entire area is also covered by the thoracolumbar fascia (a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds muscles). Therefore, in many cases patients presenting with hip problems also have back pain and vice versa. Even when pain is not felt in both areas, both areas will be tight and contribute to each other’s condition, whether healthy or unhealthy.
Just like this example in the hip/back area, all muscles in the body are connected with each other and affected by one another. Therefore, pain in one area can eventually develop into pain in another. The pain must be looked at holistically in order to not only treat the pain but also prevent pain from coming back.
What patients are saying…
My neck and shoulder pain was so bad that it would make me throw up. I also got constant headaches and it even affected my vision. After my first visit, I could tell that my muscles loosened up a lot. I also felt very relaxed and the treatment made me less stressed. Working at my desk job made my neck pain so bad that I would get tingling in my arms and fingers. After 3 treatments, I no longer have the tingling sensation and my vision is back to normal. The headaches are also reduced. Christy recommended that I see her a few more times to manage the pain and maintain my health. I trust that I’ll feel even better after a few more treatments. Definitely would recommend her for any kind of pain! -K.M., 28
My back pain because of my disc bulge was getting in the way of my active lifestyle for a long time. There was not much else I could do besides back surgery which I desperately hoped to avoid. I tried physical therapy and it helped for a bit but my progress sort of stopped after a few months. And then things turned for the worse when I started getting shooting pains into my hip, legs and knees. I’m very happy to say that after seeing Dr. Kim, I have pretty much zero knee pain and my back and hip pain subsided drastically. I still go for regular treatments but I’m hoping for more progress and I’m definitely not a skeptic of acupuncture anymore.
Working in a highly stressful and routine atmosphere, I started noticing pain to my shoulder and lower neck area. I started off by taking pain medications but that didn’t last very long. The chronic pinching and tension started affecting my work/life. I sought professional help by testing out different chiropractic and acupunctural services. After seeking these professionals for the last year, I noticed that the pain was not completely eliminated. Tired of paying the fees and getting only minimal results, I started seeking other professionals that could help eliminate the pain entirely. I started visiting Christy regularly for about three weeks. I’ve had acupuncture and cupping done to my discomfort area. Eight weeks later, I am still pain free! -K.U.
I was deathly afraid of needles and was very hesitant about trying acupuncture. But when my back pain didn’t stop for months even while getting chiropractic, PTtreatments and even painkillers, I knew I had to see someone. The very first day I saw Christy, I noticed a huge relief of pain. I was able to exercise normally and did not feel any pain at all. Christy takes care to go over everything she does with me to put my mind at ease and I feel comfortable and safe getting treatments and I got over my fear of needles right at the first visit. I could feel myself getting healthier already even besides the pain. I feel more energetic overall throughout the day and we are working on my weight loss now. -M.P.
am a loyal patient for almost 1 year now and I don’t know where to start. I started seeing Christy because of my back pain but she’s helped me with so much more throughout the months. After started acupuncture, I have more energy, less frequent allergy flare ups, improvement of my IBS which I’ve had for a very long time, better sleep, relaxation for when I’m stressed with work, decreased pain in my back, legs, shoulders, neck, and NO MORE MIGRAINES! I highly recommend her! -J.J., 56