What Causes Neck and Lower Back Pain?

Neck and thoracic, or mid-back, pain are very common chronic conditions which are often caused by our sedentary lifestyle. Neck and lower back pain is caused by a number of different factors, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Overuse and repetitive use
  • Injuries such as falls
  • Poor posture
  • Underlying medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia
  • Nerve pain, such as sciatica

Working long hours on computers, driving, and sitting down for extended periods of time can all contribute to general and non-specific aches and pains in the neck and shoulders, mid-back and even into the lower back and hips.

Effective Calgary Neck and Lower Back Pain Treatment

At Shephard Health, we use a combination of treatment modalities to effectively treat lower back and neck pain. Active release technique therapy for clients with neck and mid-back pain involves working on the muscles and soft tissues in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. We also use cold laser therapy to treat back and neck pain on a cellular level. Cold laser therapy helps cells to produce more energy, in turn promoting healing. As light energy is transformed into biochemical energy in the body, the blood supply to damaged cells is increased and the healing process is stimulated. Shockwave therapy is another one of the many treatments we use for lower back and neck pain, here at Shephard Health.

Our Most Common Treatments for Back and Neck Pain Include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Graston Technique
  • Spinal decompression

Are you experiencing lower back pain?

Check out this video on how back pain is caused.

Understanding back sprains & strains

Your "lumbar spine", or low back, is constructed and built from five bones that are stacked on top of each other with a shock-absorbing disc between each level.

Your low back is very much reliant on its surrounding muscles and ligaments for support. "Sprains" and "strains" are a direct result of these tissues being stretched too hard or too far, much in the same way that a rope frays when it is stretched beyond its normal capacity.

The term "sprain" means that the tough, durable ligaments that support bones have been damaged, while a "strain" refers to when your muscles or tendons that move your trunk have been partially torn.

It is very common to face back pain

The majority of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime, and 70% of those patients can attribute their symptoms to sprain/strain injuries.

Lumbar sprains and strains can often result from sudden or forceful movements like a fall, twist, lift, push, pull, direct blow, or quickly straightening up from a seated, crouched, or bent position. Most commonly, sprains and strains are not the result of any single event, but rather from repeated overloading.

The spine is very good at being able to manage small isolated stressors, but repetitive challenges often can lead to injury in much the same way that constantly bending a piece of copper wire will cause it to break. Examples of stress that can cause lower back pain include bad postures, sedentary lifestyles, poor-fitting workstations, repetitive movements, improper lifting, or being overweight. 

Understanding the symptoms of back pain

Symptoms from a sprain/strain can begin very abruptly but in most cases will actually develop gradually.

Symptoms can be varied from dull discomfort to surprisingly debilitating pain that becomes increasingly sharp when you move.

Rest may relieve your symptoms in some cases but often leads to stiffness. The pain is generally localized in your lower back but can also spread towards your hips or thighs. You should notify your doctor if your pain extends beyond your knee, or if you have weakness in your lower extremities or a fever.

Frequent symptoms of back pain include:


  • Stiff back
  • Soreness in back
  • Tenderness in back
  • Muscle ache
  • Loss of range of motion or flexibility 
  • Dull pain
  • Chronic pain 
  • Swelling in back
  • Stabbing pain
  • Radiating (or traveling) pain
  • Throbbing pain

Back strains & sprains need early & appropriate treatment

Sprain/strain injuries can cause your normal healthy elastic tissue to be lost and replaced with less elastic "scar tissue."

This process can lead to an ongoing cycle of pain and even arthritis. Patients who elect to forego treatment and "just deal with it" are known to develop chronic low back pain in 60% of cases.

It is critical to seek early and appropriate treatment like the type we provide.

Recovering from lower back pain

Depending on how severe your lower back injury is, you may need to limit your activity for a period of time, especially bending, twisting, lifting, and movements that cause pain.

Bed rest is not in your best interest. You should only allow yourself to return to normal activities as your symptoms allow.

The short-term use of a lumbar support belt may help reduce your symptoms. Sitting makes your back temporarily more vulnerable to sustain a sprain or sprain from a sudden movement. It may be wise to take "micro-breaks" from workstations for 10 seconds every 20 minutes. Following acute injuries, you can apply ice for 15-20 minutes each hour. Heat may also be helpful after several days or for more chronic origins of pain. Be sure to inform your doctor of your exact situation and to ask for specific ice/heat recommendations. Some patients report partial relief from sports creams.

Untreated Back Pain

With such significant, effective, and safe solutions to back pain, we encourage you to come to our clinic for a consultation. We know your time is valuable, but how much time are you missing out on because of your discomfort? 

Untreated back pain can cause more problems if not properly managed, including: 

  • Chronic or radiating pain 
  • Inability to work
  • Inability to perform activities, such as exercise and social calendar 
  • Nerve damage
  • Sleep complications 
  • Depression

We’ve got solutions for your back pain

Our doctors are ready to use all of our resources to get you the healthy, balanced body you’re craving. Our solutions are comprehensive, and our team is knowledgeable and skilled. We’ll determine the safest, most efficient chiropractic plan to meet your needs, and you’ll finally be on your way to the happiest, healthiest version of yourself. 

You Deserve Lasting Relief From Back Pain

Take that first important step and book an appointment today.

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