Not All Back Pain is the Same

Hurting? Not all back pain is the same.

Make sure your Chiropractor focuses on getting an accurate diagnosis.

Everyone likes to tell you what worked for them.  That’s because people often think all pain is the same but it’s not. Effective treatment is based on the elements of yourNot all back pain is the same specific condition.  Different diagnoses require different treatment approaches. The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner you can improve your ability to enjoy everyday activities.  Diagnosis starts with examining the source of the pain. There are many spinal structures that when irritated can cause severe lower back pain.   These include:

Soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons, facia)


Facet joints



All of the above structures interconnect to make up the human spine. A problem with any one of these can be the cause of a patients problem. Often times, there is more than one factor involved in a patients condition. Approximately 67% of it comes from two of these sources: discs and joints (facet or sacroiliac). (Refer to chart.)

When determining the cause of lower back pain, a description of how the pain feels, when it is felt and where the pain is felt, help guide your Chiropractor in making a preliminary diagnosis and determining an appropriate treatment plan.

The tissue sources involved…

Not all back pain is the same

Lumbago has many sources of pain and you can have more than one!

An accurate diagnosis for the patient is founded on three pieces of information:

The patient’s symptoms, the professional’s orthopedic and functional exam and the findings on diagnostic tests. By the time a Chiropractor orders diagnostic tests (x-rays or MRI ), they will have a strong suspicion as to the cause of the patients condition and diagnostic tests are used to confirm it and provide more detail if needed.

Despite all the advances in medical care for back pain, there is still a lot that science does not understand. In particular, the causes of back pain can be very complex. This is where partnering with an experienced Chiropractor can make a world of difference in recovery time. Taking an active role in the treatment can get you on the road to recovery sooner.

In conclusion, remember, no two patients are the same and no two cases of pain are either.  A Chiropractor, will take the time to understand and assess your specific condition and take the time to explain it to you. The efficacy of your treatment depends on it.

If you are currently hurting and would like to see Dr. Donovan, please contact us to schedule an appointment.


  1. The anatomical basis for spinal pain syndromes. JMPT 1995;18(9):603-5.Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Derby R, Fortin J, Kine G, Bogduk N.
  2. The prevalence and clinical features of internal disk disruption in patients with chronic low back pain. Spine 1995;20(10):1115-22.Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Derby R, Fortin J, Kine G, Bogduk N.
  3. Clinical features of patients with pain stemming from the lumbar zygapophyseal joints. Is the lumbar facet syndrome a clinical entity. Spine 1994;19:1132-37.Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Bogduk N.
  4. The sacroiliac joint in chronic low back pain. Spine 1995;20(1):31-7.Murphy DR, ed. Conservative management of cervical spine syndromes. New York:McGraw-Hill, 2000.
  5. Data from the National Health Interview Survey

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