Here’s the Back Story Behind Your Back Issues

Although chiropractors are trained on treating the body’s various joints, their two primary areas of specialties are, of course, the back and the neck.

Medical professionals estimate that more than 80% of individuals currently suffer, or will suffer, from back-related issues and pain during their lifetime. The American Chiropractic Association also reports that nearly 265 million “sick days” are taken by employees in the U.S., alone, each year due to back pain.

Needless to say, back pain is a big deal, especially for those who have to deal with it on a regular basis. Treating such issues can be complicated, depending on the cause and severity of the debilitation. Fortunately, chiropractors are able to evaluate each patient closely and carefully to not only diagnose the issue, but customize a treatment plan to address the specific condition.

Oftentimes, back-pain sufferers have no idea what their particular issue is, which it understandable. After all, they’re not trained professionals or, more than likely, even familiar with the anatomy of the back. What they can tell you, however, is that they are in pain and desperate for a solution.

Enter...the chiropractor Delray Beach!

Being able to self-diagnose and treat your back troubles is usually not a realistic goal. However, having a better understanding of the way the back is constructed may prove helpful in pinpointing your pain point(s), which will likely make it easier to describe to your chiropractor Delray Beach and enable him or her to better and more quickly address your problem.

To help with this, here’s a brief overview of the different regions of your back.

At the center — literally and figuratively — of the back is the spine. The spine is the vertical column of bone that runs from the top of the rear torso to the bottom. It is also referred to as a backbone, for obvious reasons.

Located adjacent to the spine is the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. The spinal cord is actually part of the nervous system, and an extremely important part at that. The spinal cord is actually the main carrier of functionality and information from the brain to the rest of the body’s nervous system. Keeping this body part healthy and intact is clearly vital, which is why having a Chiropractor in Delray Beach can help.

The spinal cord is composed of tissue and extends from the base of the brainstem to the lower back, or lumbar region (more on that in a moment). It’s shape is round, or tubular, and it is extremely thin. Its role, as mentioned, is to transmit information from the brain to the body, and also contributes significantly to our body’s motor functions and reflexive movements.

The spine is comprised of a series of bone structures called vertebrae. The human body has 33 of these and they interlock along the sine. In addition to forming the spine, these segments actually serve three purposes — to support the body’s weight, allowing us to remain upright; protection for the spinal cord; and as a location to attach ligaments.

Located between each vertebra are discs. Round and flat in shape, discs serve, essentially, as cushions, and absorb shock, impact and other mild trauma to the spine. Discs have a gel-like composition but are surrounded by a hard shell.

Herniated, bulging or slipped discs — all the same thing — are common problems (painful problems) associated with discs. A good chiropractor Delray Beach can help.

The spine is broken down into five different regions.

The top region, which is where the spine actually connects to the skull and extends downward is called the Cervical region. This region has seven vertebrae and the top two vertebrae are called the Atlas and Axis. These are the vertebrae that connect the skull and spine.

In addition to connecting the skull to the spine, the Cervical region’s primary function is to support the head.

The second region of the spine, located directly below the Cervical region, is the Thoracic region. Made up of 12 vertebrae — the most of any region — this region is where the ribs are connected.

Below the Thoracic region is the Lumbar region. You’re probably familiar with the term “lumbar,” as it relates to the lower back, which happens to be a very common problem area. It is so problematic, as a matter of fact, that many products such as chairs, pillows and mattresses, to name a few, have been created to help support this region and reduce or eliminate back pain. Most vehicle manufacturers even offer lumbar support settings in their seats.

The Lumbar region of the spine is made up of five vertebrae and helps support both the muscles of the lower back and abdomen. This region also is also the most weight-bearing and allows for a great deal of the body’s flexibility. These are obviously very valuable functions. However, because of that great responsibility and almost constant usage, the Lumbar region absolutely breaks down over time and frequently results in pain or discomfort.

Located directly beneath the Lumbar region of the spine is the Sacral region. It is comprised of five vertebrae that are fused together. The region is shaped like a triangle and while injuries to this area are uncommon, leg pain known as sciatica often originates where the Sacral and Lumbar regions connect.

Lastly, at the bottom or base of the spine, lies the Coccygeal region, or Coccyx. It is by far the smallest region of the spine and features four vertebrae that are fused together. This area is most commonly known as the tailbone and if you’ve ever fallen on your rear end, there’s a very good chance you’ve grabbed it while in agonizing pain. However, it’s not just a slip that can cause pain to the tailbone. Even the most benign activities, such as sitting for long periods of time or riding a bicycle can result in tailbone pain.

Hopefully this bit of knowledge helps you better understand any back issues you may be experiencing and, more importantly, allows you to better communicate with your chiropractor Delray Beach. They can and will obviously explain the various parts of the back, especially those causing you problems, in greater detail.