Back pain affects more than your back. It’s a complex condition that influences your work and personal life. A recent study found that 39% of adults have had back pain in the past three months. Our chiropractic medical team has assembled the following guide to describe some common causes of back pain and how we treat it.

Back Pain Basics

Although the low back is the most cited location, back pain can also occur in the upper and middle portions of the back. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Car accidents and falls
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Disc degeneration
  • Improper posture
  • Stress

Sprains and Strains

Although you might think of an ankle or wrist when considering a sprain or strain, these injuries can occur in the back. As is the case with an ankle, a sprained back involves torn or twisted ligaments. Similarly, torn or twisted muscles and tendons are called a strain. Heavy lifting and sudden movements can both cause these common conditions.

Car Accidents and Falls

Vertebrae can fracture during an accident or in a fall. This broken bone can press into or injure the spinal cord or surrounding nerves causing profound pain. Whether you fall or are in a car accident, you can possibly get a muscular injury in addition to these bone issues.

Overweight or Obesity

Carrying excess weight can also increase your risk of back pain. This is due to the increased pressure that too much weight exerts on your spine. Excess fat also excretes biochemicals that increase levels of tissue inflammation, which can worsen back pain.

Disc Degeneration

With age, the discs between your vertebrae can become increasingly worn down. Since these discs help absorb shock, you’ll be in more pain when they are in poor condition. Another factor related to disc issues that can increase your back pain is called a herniated disc.

A herniated disc occurs when the material from inside a disc is pushed out from the spine. Since this can press on local nerves, this condition can cause a variety of nerve-related symptoms, including pain, numbness, and tingling.

Improper Posture

When you hold yourself with poor posture, you can misalign your spine. This can put additional pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that connect to it, causing improper processing of pain signals. When your spine is misaligned, your back muscles are taxes in a way they weren’t designed to bear weight. As a result, the muscles are overworked as they attempt to compensate for this imbalance.


Like excess fat, stress triggers the release of powerful pro-inflammatory biochemicals. These increase the pain in your back. They also cause physical symptoms that can worsen pain, including increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension.

Chiropractic Care Overview

Whether your back pain is shooting, stabbing, or a dull ache, it can interfere quite a bit with everyday activities. This is because back pain involves the nerves. Since nerves have sensory and motor functions, any problems with the nerves in your back will also impact how your back functions. When you see us for back pain, we focus on restoring easy, pain-free movement.

Comprehensive Health History

We believe that health is cumulative. Your health is the result of past illnesses, medical procedures, and medications you have taken. It’s also the result of the health choices you’ve made. As a result, we begin our work together by taking a comprehensive health history in which we ask you about the history of your body and your health.

Physical Assessment

Once we’ve completed your health interview, we perform a physical assessment. This is when we look, listen, and feel the soft tissues, bone, and other structures of your body. During this examination, we often find evidence of your medical history. It’s always fascinating to see how the body is an excellent historian.

Functional Movement Observation

In addition to examining your body, we will also observe it in action. During this portion of our examination, we will watch you sit, move, and stand with a focus on how your back performs during these activities.

DynaROM Soft Tissue Testing

Scans can reveal quite a bit of information. The DynaROM is a method for testing soft tissue throughout your body. When used on your back, it can help us observe your range of motion and detect the electrical activity in your muscles. Since electrical impulses are carried by the nerves, this testing gives you valuable insight into your neurological health and how your chiropractic treatment is impacting it.

Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic adjustment is the hands-on portion of our treatment that many people associate with chiropractic care. In our practice, we work to realign your spine and other structures using a variety of techniques, including flexion-distraction, Graston, and active release techniques.

Non-surgical Spinal Decompression

Non-surgical spinal decompression involves using our Hill DT table to stretch and relax your spine strategically. This therapy can reduce the pressure between the discs and provide several benefits that relieve back pain, including improving your spinal alignment and promoting disc health.

Shockwave therapy

Shockwave therapy is a convenient, non-invasive treatment for back pain involving focusing fast, high-energy bursts on your back. Since this treatment is at the cellular level, it requires no downtime and minimal discomfort. A review of multiple research studies has also shown that shockwave therapy reduced pain intensity and disability from lower back pain.

Cold Laser Therapy

Like shockwave therapy, cold laser therapy involves using a handheld device aimed at a ailing body part. The difference is that light waves are used rather than sound. The light from this therapy penetrates your skin to trigger cytochrome C, a protein that boosts cellular energy production. It also increases nitric oxide production which helps increase the rate of cellular waste product removal, which speeds tissue healing.

Massage Therapy

Besides being a wonderful form of self-pampering, massage is a powerful treatment for back pain. Our highly-skilled massage therapy team directly relaxes tight muscles and promotes tissue healing by increasing blood flow to your back. As a result, a massage can be a very helpful addition to several other chiropractic treatments.

Ergonomic Consultation

What you do daily has a major impact on how your back feels. During an ergonomic consultation, we take a detailed look at how you perform your work and the equipment you use to perform it. We also offer recommendations to help reduce your pain and enhance your workday experience.

We’re Here to Help Your Back Pain

If you’re living with back pain, you’ve probably tried a variety of treatments. We don’t want to become one more item on a list of failed efforts. This time, you can successfully treat your back pain. Schedule a no-obligation back pain consultation with our Denver Chiropractic team today.