Back pains represent the reaction to certain nervous stimuli warning us that some perturbation has occurred at the level of the vertebral spine
How does the vertebral spine work
It is an assembly that has a non-dissociable functional unit consisting in vertebral joints, ligaments and disc. This sequence of mobile units is harmonious, also providing “joining”, more precisely, a bridge between two vertebrae under which the nervous root passes.
The injury of one of these mobile units will cause the unbalance of the mobile segment.
Consciously, we cannot regulate the operation of this mobile segment, maybe only when we are contracting our muscles with some programmed effort. We may consciously influence the basic movements of the back, thus moving all the anatomic elements.
Some disturbance may occur in this system, some muscular over-stress, called a contracture, which is a mechanism of defense against aggression. This contracture causes pain by initiating the receivers’ activity.
Causes of back pain:
- The mechanic irritation of the nervous root or of the spinal bone marrow;
- Chemical irritation;
- Vascular epidural mechanism;
- Inflammatory mechanism.
Stoddard theory about back pains
It is the theory that approaches the human body as a closed bioelectric circuit. Stoddar states that electricity does not travel only through nerves, but by blood vessels as well, by tendons, ligaments and bones. All live cells have a certain electric potential, almost all body functions being controlled electrically.
The electrical circulatory network is very delicately balanced
Following trauma, dehydration, infection, incorrect body posture, lack of mineral substances, etc., the bioelectric circuit is disturbed or even blocked on certain portions. The blocking of the electric connections is the real cause of the pain. This is why decompression, mobilization, sufficient hydration, physical exercise, neuromuscular therapy may remedy these blockages, restoring the functional continuity of the bioelectric network.
Hole 1982 Theory about back pains
A trauma may generate the release of certain chemical products coming from the decomposition of proteins of histamine and acetylcholine. If these chemical products exceed a certain threshold, they may stimulate the pain receivers made of free nervous fibers.
These receivers have protection function and they are stimulated whenever the tissues are traumatized. The resulting sensation is felt unpleasantly, warning that something is not alright.
Although the pain receivers may be stimulated by a variety of factors, including temperature, mechanic and electric changes, they are particularly sensitive at chemical stimulations.
A deficiency in the tissue oxygenation may also generate pain.
The back pain may be felt directly in the injured area, but it may also be felt in another part of the body (radiated)..
Trauma, shocks, uncontrolled physical effort, vicious postures, lack of movement, exposure to cold, draft, stress, these are factors that destabilize the vertebral system. /strong>
At the beginning, modifications of the physical-chemical properties of intervertebral discs occur, which will lose their thickness and mobility. The outline of the articular surface is modified. The muscles and the ligaments become lax and less elastic and then the instability occurs. The vertebrae will move more than it will be necessary, more than it normally happens, and the movement triggers a scissors effect, causing pain and decreasing the body mobility.
The third phase is the body’s attempt to re-stabilize itself. The injured part of the vertebral spine reacts by becoming stiff. Mobility is lost, the ligaments thicken and lose their elasticity, osteophytosis occurs.