I have severe back pain but don’t remember injuring it. How is that possible?
Understanding the structure of the spine can help answer this question. Many people think of low back pain as being from discs out of place or pinching a nerve. However, these are surprisingly some of the least common problems. The spine is made up of disc, bone, ligaments, joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. An injury can occur to any one of these, or even a combination of them and each has a different feel or presentation.
Back pain often starts with the soft parts – muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These need to be elastic but tough. As we age, however, they become more brittle and lose their stretchiness or elasticity. This means they are more prone to breaking or being injured with even normal activities. These injuries can be subtle and go unnoticed for even years after the initial event because our bodies have back up structures or redundancies in the body that can make up for small injuries. For instance, if a ligament weakens, you may notice a small ache or a little bit of clicking when you move a certain way but the muscles surrounding that ligament can make up for it and make the injury practically invisible. This creates a new stress on the muscle, and over time may cause it to weaken other parts if the body doesn’t repair the original problem. As these injuries accumulate, they can hit a critical mass of problems that then cause a big problem and large amount pain.
So, if you have an injury and it doesn’t hurt, it is still a good idea to get it checked out by a medical specialist. Seeing a regenerative specialist can help you be proactive and catch problems early so they don’t develop into something more serious that will be harder to recover from.
Also, at Wellward, we recently launched a Massage Therapy service. Read more about massage therapy here and see if it is right for you.