My Back Hurts- What Do I Do?
By Dr. Murray MacDonald
So you woke up and your back feels like you’ve been hit by a bus (or at least a particularly aggressive trolley). First of all, as Douglas Adams would agree, DON’T PANIC. Back pain is very common, usually nothing dangerous, and normally doesn’t last long. But still - it hurts. So let’s go over a few things you can do to help yourself.
What might have caused it?
Did you actually get hit by a bus (or suffer any other trauma)? Do you have another medical condition that might have caused it? If there’s nothing that springs to mind, the pain is likely a mild-moderate strain/sprain of some kind e.g. muscle, joint, that built up over time - postural strain, mental stress, overdoing it in the gym lately, etc.
How bad are the symptoms?
It’s time to go straight to the doctor if you have any signs of an infection e.g. fever and swollen joints, or if you have nerve-related symptoms that are getting worse e.g. numbness, weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control. Also consider seeing someone if the pain doesn’t seem to be going away.
Can you control the pain at home?
Things like applying a cold- or hot-pack to the area, gentle massage with gel/ointment, and over-the-counter medication (chat to a pharmacist first) can be helpful. Also keep in mind that these painful episodes can take 2-3 days to settle down initially.
Should you rest it?
Yes and no. Sure - don’t do anything that provokes the pain excessively. What’s “excessive”? Up to you. But also realize that rest - though it may feel better - won’t help you recover faster. Too much inactivity can actually DELAY the recovery process. Modify activities where necessary, but try to do as much as normally as you can.
When should I see the chiropractor?
You can see the chiropractor from day 1 if you like. Chiropractic treatment can provide significant pain relief through a variety of techniques including joint manipulation or “adjustment”. But chiropractic treatment becomes increasingly important if the pain isn’t going away and is affecting your quality of life. A chiropractor can tell you what’s wrong, help you to fix what needs fixing, and/or refer you to others who can help you
Pain is a fact of life. But we don’t have to suffer through it. Look after yourself, and get the help you need when you need it. Call the chiro.
At The Chiropractic Health Centre we aim to restore mobility, function and health through natural, hands-on therapy and offer:
- Chiropractic Treatment
- Functional Nutrition
- Massage Therapy
We make use of the latest, evidence based treatment modalities during our chiropractic consultations to ensure an optimal recovery rate. These include:
- Custom Orthotics and Foot Scans
- BioFlex Laser Therapy
- Shock-wave Therapy
- Dry Needling
Products We Offer
We offer a wide range of products to optimize and maintain your health and vitality. These include various ergonomic supports that provide relief for today’s strenuous modern lifestyle:
- Spine Align pillows and low back support
- FormFunc Office Ergonomics
- SOHO lumbar support
- Custom Orthotics
Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy specializing in restoring normal balance and function to the neuromuscularskeletal system and thus, facilitating the bodies natural ability to heal itself.
The term 'Chiropractic' means practiced by hand and, as the name suggests, Chiropractic is a drug and surgery-free approach to natural health and healing. Since the first Chiropractic manipulation was performed in 1895, Chiropractic has become the 3rd most popular primary health care profession in the world.
Doctors of Chiropractic are highly skilled at assessing and treating neuromuscularskeletal conditions which affect the nervous system, muscles and joints in the body and specialize in the biomechanical integrity of the spinal vertebrae. Individual vertebral joints that are not functioning normally may irritate the spinal nerve that exits their 'intervertebral foramen/opening. This irritation may affect the related nervous supply and result in back pain, neck pain and many other problems.
The Chiropractor aims to identify and manipulate/adjust the dysfunctional joint, and thus, restore natural balance, mobility and function to the body.
Who should see a Chiropractor:
• Babies and kids- "as the twig bends, so grows the tree"-David Noer. Children's bodies and nervous systems are rapidly adapting as they grow. It is important to correct any spinal problems early in life.
• Pregnant women- Chiropractic can make delivery easier and decrease back pain during and after the pregnancy.
• Office workers- Today's world requires us to sit in unnatural positions, with poor posture and minimal activity for extended periods of time.
• Elderly- After years of wear and tear, the elderly can be susceptible to spinal issues.
• Athletes- Athletes place large amounts of stress on their bodies in order to perform at their peak and push their bodies to the limit. It is important to maintain optimal health and prevent conditions from developing later in life.
Common conditions treated by Chiropractors include:
• Neck pain
• Low back pain
• Chronic headaches and migraines
• Shoulder pain
• Arm pain (elbow pain and tingling in the hands)
• Hip pain
• Leg pain
• Knee pain
• Foot and ankle pain
Initial Consultations: R580
A full case history, postural, orthopedic and neurological examination will take place. Based on this, the Chiropractor will decide on an appropriate management strategy.
Follow-up Consultations: R500
This will include re-evaluations if necessary, and continuation the treatment protocol.
We accept cash / card on the day of your consultation – you may claim back from your medical aid. Contact us to make a booking!