FROM OUR EXPERTS
Sometimes back pain is not strictly related to spinal structures. Sometimes back pain comes from other places, specifically internal organs. In a process called referred pain , internal organs can send pain signals to other parts of the body. For example, when someone is experiencing a heart attack, the left arm may ache. Nothing is wrong with the arm, but this limb hurts because the heart is referring pain to it. The neck, mid-back and low back are also potential targets for referred pain. Here are two examples when "back pain" has nothing to do with spinal problems.
Gallbladder : The gallbladder is a small organ tucked up near the liver that helps with digestion. Within this internal organ problems can arise like a blockage from a stone, an infection, or just an inflamed gallbladder attack. Sometimes the symptoms clearly point to a problem with the gallbladder. These classic symptoms include right upper quadrant abdominal pain just underneath the right chest wall, nausea, gas, ...
Anyone who's ever had an asthma attack knows about the chest tightness and why it occurs. Yet what about the chest soreness that occurs the next day? Why does asthma causes chest pain?
The interesting thing to note here is there are no pain receptors in your lungs!!! The reason asthma causes pain is because asthma causes you to breathe the wrong way.
Confused? Allow me to explain with a pithy lesson on how we breathe. (To learn why we breathe click here )
Breathing is the process of moving air into and out of the lungs. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that can be done either consciously (you control it) or unconsciously (without thinking of it). Unconscious breathing : Most of the time you don't think about breathing, yet you continue to do it. This is an important safety net for life, because if we had to think about breathing 24-7 we'd accomplish little and most life would cease to exist. Air goes into your...
Walk this Way As someone with lifelong asthma, my upper and lower back are places that hold an extreme amount of tension. This is not uncommon for asthma sufferers. After a bad bout of bronchitis, my back and chest can hurt for weeks. Even during daily activities, I may notice chest heaviness on an allergic day. Back tightness is ever present. So, keeping my back, spine, chest and lungs healthy is a top priority. Sometimes the back has its own way of telling you what to do however, and major discomfort or spasm forces the body to stop, rest and regroup. Within the last ten years I've only had two lower back "incidents," by that I mean back-spasms. One was before my first alumni reunion weekend in Vermont. I woke up and I couldn't stand up straight. I went to my family chiropractor who gave me an adjustment and I was able to attend the weekend. The second incident occurred after I was lifting a television set (I know, I know). I felt my ba...
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