Why Does My Back Hurt?

by Dr. David Dunham (D.C., D.P.T.) on March 26, 2012

If you suffer from back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is the most common cause of missed work in the United States. Here I will discuss some of the more common causes of back pain.

There are several reasons patients backs may hurt. The joints in a persons back (called Facets) may be causing the pain.  The facets may have arthritis or may have lost their motion. The muscles in a patients back may also be causing the pain (called Spasms).  Back spasms can be extremely painful and limit a patients ability to move.  The discs may also cause pain (called Slipped Discs). Slipped discs many times will cause pain into the arms and legs.  Finally, a patient may have pressure on a nerve (called a Pinched Nerve). The most common nerve to get pinched is the sciatic nerve called Sciatica (pain down the back of the leg).

The main concern is to find out where is the pain coming from in the back. I start with a health history of the patient to help narrow down the cause of the pain. I follow this up with an exam of the back bones, back discs, back muscles and I also exam the spinal nerves. The exam includes orthopedic tests, neurological tests, and x rays.

After the cause is found the proper treatment is prescribed. Look for my next blog on proper treatment of back pain.

Email me at drdaviddunham@gmail.com if you would like more information on what may be causing your back pain.

David J. Dunham, BSN-RN, DC,PT,DPT