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Chiropractors/Upper and lower back pain. Can't tell if it's muscle or spine. Please help


Thank you for taking the time to look at this question. My name is Charles and I'm 21 years old and pretty health. I have always been nervous about my back because my uncle has ankelosis sponadlytis (no clue how to spell it,honestly) and I know it's genetic. I am the only son to my mother and I have 2 sisters, both with scoliosis. I haven't had my back looked at much ever and without medical insurance I don't have a way to see a doctor. This is some background. About 3-4 months ago I tweaked my back and got especially nervous. I was diagnosed with anxiety years ago so that is to no surprise. I say I "tweaked" by back because I woke up and felt fine as far as I can tell. I walked to the kitchen and got a drink and came back to the room and sat down on foot of the bed. After setting my drink down I turned my body and used my upper body to sort of thrust myself up toward the pillows. That is when I immediately felt pain and soreness in my lower back and couldn't move much or be in certain positions without being in some serious pain. The pain was aching and I needing my back kind of bent for some relief. The pain kind of started in my very lower left back on my hip and the pain would work it's way to my lower middle back and then lower right. It felt really terrible the first day and gradually got better with icing it and hot showers. It stopped bothering me entirely about after ten days. My question to you sir is should I be worried about what my uncle has? I tend to worry a lot and I'm constantly trying to stretch and see how far I can turn my neck just to make sure I'm not losing flexibility. Am I just worrying and this has a much more simple explanation? My back has been hurting randomly all day today. Upper back around my spine and lower back around my spine. Can stress cause this? Thank you again.

Hi Charles,

It truly sounds like you simply strained your back and irritated the sacroiliac and facet joints based on your explanation of how it happened and how it got better. Great job with the icing and heating. The random back pain could be the remaining symptoms from the muscle guarding that happened when you tweaked it. As far as ankylosing spondylitis, there will be constant stiffness and achiness in joints and tendons as well as consistent pain if this is the diagnosis. Of course the only way to tell is if you take an x-ray. But to be honest, it doesn't sound like AS. You should be exercising regularly and stay active which keeps you flexible and firm regardless of genetics. Remember, genetics is not a guarantee you will have AS. Work on core strenthening and stability drills that will keep you from tweaking your back and you should be fine. Hope that helps.  


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Vishal Verma DC CCSP


I can answer questions about acute and chronic pain and their conservative management, sports injuries, back and neck pain, extremity pain, herniated/bulging discs, sciatica or other neurological issues, rehabilitation and fitness concerns, spinal decompression and cold laser therapy. I can't answer questions about specific medications and their prescription. I can give general information about them at best.


I have years of experience in sportsmedicine and conservative care of musculo-skeletal injuries with the use of chiropractic, rehabilitation, and fitness/exercise as well as the use of advanced technologies such as spinal decompression and low intensity laser therapy. I have private practice experience as well as experience within an integrated medical setting with concurrent care of patients with both medicine as well as alternative therapy. I am a board certified sports chiropractor and have treated athletes of all kinds in the conservative management of sports injuries and performance enhancement.

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