The Little Truth on Back Pain

Low back painBack pain is commonly felt but no one can be blamed for it. It is difficult to figure out and far more difficult to describe. Confusion often arises during diagnosis and patients almost always fail to understand what exactly is hurting and what causes the pain. In this article we will try to resolve some of the most common confusions that often arise as myths.

People often confuse the spinal cord with the spinal column.  The spinal cord is an extension of the brain, there for it is soft tissue.  It is what connect the brain to the rest of the body, a bridge of sort.  From the spinal cord a lot of nerves extend to carry messages from the brain to the body.  You have seen people with eyes who can’t see, people with legs who can’t walk.  The reason that is because the connection between the brain and that non-functioning body part is broken.


The spinal column is the collection of bones that extend from the bottom of the skull to the buttocks.  The spinal column is also called the spine.  All the bones of the spine are connected by a spongy plastic like structure to provide cushion in between each other to allow movement, while creating a tunnel like space for the spinal cord to reside.

The spinal cord almost never have anything to do with back pain. Nor does the spinal cord causes any back problems, unless damage is made directly on the spinal cord. This is when paralysis occurs. Otherwise, the chord has nothing to do with frequent back pain rather, the problem may be associated with nerve roots.

The spinal cord ends around the lumbar segment 1(L1), then extend into a tail like structure down the back. Yes, humans have tails but it is invisible. The spinal column is divided into several sections, the lumbar section comprise the lower back where weight is generally concentrated. Additionally, it is in the lumbar where nerve roots may be located, impairment or any condition that may lead to such is the proponent to pain but never the spinal cord. In any case, paralysis due to back pain is often impossible.

Few people knows that back pain afflicts around 80% of all people some time in their lives. Even people who suffer from back pain believe they are the only one and maybe a couple of others suffer from it. Nobody escapes from this truth, it seems that back pain is a normal part of any stage of life. It will most likely appear during old age but there are people who have been suffering over the pain since ancient time.  The oldest of civilizations, the Chinese, the Africans … have their own treatments for back pain.

In America alone, back pain is reportedly the leading cause of disability among individuals of working age, and above 45yrs of age it is expected to last the rest of an individual’s life. Low back pain is also known to arguably be the second, if not the primary reason why people visit care clinics and stands third for the most frequent reason why people get surgical procedures and fifth to cause hospitalization.

Moreover, there is no general rule as to who will be affected with back pain. Back pain does not discriminate. It doesn’t imply that if you are healthy, young and do exercise regularly that you may not be susceptible with this form of ailment.

Youth sometimes means foolish.  Because of their feeling of invincibility often do silly activities that cause low back pain,  some may agree that once you start having some serious low back pain, it does not completely go away.  I am not talking about a little soreness from over exercising or from failure to stretch.

In effect, people experience episodes of back pain regardless of the activity they engage into.  There is a difference between a soreness and persistent sharp back pain.

Acute pain is new back pain.  If the back pain has been there for a while, a couple of weeks, it is referred to as chronic.  An acute pain is treated with ice the first couple of day to prevent swelling and lessen the pain thru numbness of the area.  It also prevent further muscle cell damage.

Chronic is treated other ways but the simplest way is to use heat.  Ice, one might say, is the enemy of chronic pain.  Of course, a back pain that last more than the four or five days of initial ice treatment, followed by heat should consult a qualified physician.

Within a couple of days, without straining activities, ice followed by heat should improve most typical back pain.

Having low back pain doesn’t mean that there is an ongoing damage or degeneration on the lower back. Unlike with acute pain where the level of pain may be associated with the degree of damage on the affected part, chronic back pain doesn’t normally correlate with the level of damage.

There are other myths and beliefs that may be associated with back pain. Elimination of such through sensible education and sensible action can be very effective for people seeking help with the treatment and the coping with back pain.

Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions and questions in the box below. I welcome the opportunity to discuss and learn from you.  I am not only a healer, I am a back pain sufferer who wish to continue to help people and inform them of what has helped me.  Remember nothing is more important than your health. Pain is usually the first sign that you are not as healthy as you should be.


3 thoughts on “The Little Truth on Back Pain

  1. I never really thought about the difference between spinal cord and spinal column. I always knew they were not the same but it didn’t occur tome to think of them separately.
    Is it possible that a portion of the spinal cord is being pinched by the spinal column and that can cause back pain as well? I am a firm believer in chiropractic care and know that I feel better when my spinal column is aligned and in the right place so that everything else is working properly too.

    Thanks for the information. I have gained a lot.

    1. Excellent question, the spinal cord is well protected by the spinal column (the bones that form the spine) those bones can not pinch the cord but rather the nerves that extend from the cord and pass through a special hole for them in between two bones of the spine. These segments of the spine because they are joints that allow for movement, can also get out of place an create less space for the nerve thus crushing/pinching it leading to serious pain and other condition.
      By other conditions, I mean if that nerve going thru is carrying a message to your stomach from the brain so the stomach can function properly. If that nerve is being pinched, the signal from the brain will not get there properly or on time, thus stomach will malfunction.

  2. Great post, Joel. One factor that people tend to forget is obesity. The added weight of belly fat strains your back muscles and ligaments, causing back pain. One of the preventive measures against back pain is to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. — Young people may not understand that as they still have time and energy to exercise and eat healthy, one of the health issues they are protecting themselves against, is, YES, back pain that can be paralyzing sometimes.

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