Understanding the Complexity of Back Pain

December 21, 2023

Ashley Cathers

Discover why back pain never seems black and white and how St. Louis Sports Clinic can help make sense of your back pain.
Back pain highlighted

Discover why back pain never seems black and white and how St. Louis Sports Clinic can help make sense of your back pain.

Back pain is one of the most prevalent diagnoses that affects vast portion of the population. I am sure anyone reading this right now can think about those moments when a seemingly simple movement caused an agonizing backache. We often wonder how picking up a feather-light object or performing routine tasks could result in such discomfort.

The reality is, back pain stems from various causes, seldom attributed to a single muscle, nerve, or joint. Factors like joint wear, decreased resilience of vertebral discs, nerve irritation due to muscle spasms, degeneration, or inflammation, or other systemic processes can contribute to this condition.

Even if diagnostic imaging performed, it is not always a definitive indicator of where your back pain is stemming from.

Diagnostic imaging, while often sought to identify the source of back pain, frequently falls short in pinpointing the exact pain generator. Despite its widespread use, imaging methods like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans rarely offer definitive insights into the root cause of back pain.

While these tools provide valuable anatomical information, they might not necessarily correlate with your experienced pain. It’s not uncommon for imaging results to reveal structural irregularities, such as disc herniation or joint degeneration, in people who are asymptomatic. Conversely, someone experiencing severe back pain might exhibit minimal or no discernible issues on these scans.

How is this possible?
How can one person’s back look relatively “normal” on imaging but be in significant pain and discomfort?

This doesn’t imply that your pain isn’t valid. Rather, it highlights the multifaceted nature of back pain. Identifying the root cause often involves a combination of factors, not a solitary source.

The good news is the body is incredibly resilient. At St. Louis Sports Clinic, we recognize the interconnected nature of low back pain and the limitations of relying solely on imaging. Utilizing our treatment Frameworks we are able to tap into your body’s resilience to accurately identify and address the underlying causes of discomfort.

These Frameworks have helped countless people overcome pain, helping them regain movement and optimal well-being.

While some trial of cares vary from patient to patient depending on their goals, our comprehensive approach to your care – our “Frameworks” – will always be the backbone of our treatments.
(Check out this blog that goes into detail of our Frameworks and why they work! https://stlsportsclinic.com/our-framework-our- philosophy/)

After a comprehensive assessment that confirms we can help you overcome your pain, we seek to first alleviate your pain. This will typically involves discovering a specific movement direction that your body can tolerate, and instructing you to move in that direction as often as possible. As the saying goes, “motion is lotion, rest is rust.” Even if certain movements seem intolerable, our focus is on identifying comfortable and soothing motions tailored to your needs.

Treatments in office also include chiropractic care, soft tissue therapy, dry needling, and personalized exercise rehab progressions to help you start moving with ease.

At the end of the day, we want to help you feel confident in your body’s ability to support you throughout your daily life and perform the activities that you most enjoy.

Are you or someone you know experiencing back pain? Give us a call and see how our Frameworks work for you!

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