Understanding Midback Pain
Your spine is made up of 24 bones accumulated on top of each other with a soft "disc" connecting each segment to provide flexibility. Ordinarily, every joint in your spine should move freely and individually. To help imagine this, picture a healthy spine functioning like a large spring moving smoothly in every direction. A spine with a joint restriction is like holding a section of that spring welded together. The spring may still move as a unity, but a portion of it is no longer working as it should.
Joint restrictions can occur in multiple ways. Sometimes they are taken on by an accident or an injury. Other times, they occur from repeated strains or poor posture. Being overweight, smoking, strenuous work, and emotional stress can make you more receptive to potential problems.
Restrained joints give rise to a self-perpetuating circle of pain. Joint restriction causes swelling and inflammation, which triggers muscular guarding leading to more major restrictions. Since your spine operates as a single unit, rather than as detached pieces, a joint restriction in one area of your spine often makes "compensatory" problems in another. Think of this as a rowboat with multiple oarsmen on every side. When one rower quits, the others are placed under added stress and can become overworked.
Joint restrictions most regularly cause local tenderness and pain. You may notice that your variety of movement is limited. Movement may increase your pain. Pain from a restricted joint often trickles around your rib cage or up & down your spine. Be sure to describe to your chiropractor if your symptoms include any chest pain, shortness of breath, unusual cough, indigestion or flu-like complaints.
Long-standing limitations and restrictions are thought to result in arthritis - much like the way a somewhat misaligned wheel on your car causes premature wearing of your tire.
You should realize that your problem is normal and commonly treatable. Chiropractic care has been proved to be the safest and most powerful treatment for joint restrictions. Our office gives several tools to assist in easing your pain. To speed your recovery, you should avoid exercises and activities that increase your pain. Be sure to take regular breaks from sedentary activity. Yoga has been shown to help back pain sufferers so consider joining a class or finding one online.