Back Pain and Neck Pain

Just how common is Back pain and Neck pain?

  • There is mounting evidence that lower back and neck pain is in fact very common. Lower back pain (1) affects at least 80% of us some time in our lives, perhaps 20-30% of us at any given time. It is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits in the U.S. It is usually recurrent, and subsequent episodes tend to increase in severity.  Back and Neck pain can strike at any age but is most prevalent between the ages of 20-50 years
  • A recent EU Commission study (2) suggests that 67 million people suffered pain in their lower or upper back in the previous week.

Is all Back pain and Neck pain the same?

  • The short answer is no Back and Neck pain is not all the same, there are two broad categories of pain Mechanical Back pain and Neck pain and Secondary Back pain and Neck pain.

Mechanical Back pain and Neck pain:

  • Approximately 98% of back pain patients are diagnosed with mechanical back/neck pain, pain which has no serious underlying pathology. Non serious meaning that which is not life threatening.  Mechanical Conditions can  include  A  Vertebral fracture, Vertebral joint Sprain, Intevertebral Disc pain, (DJD)Degenerative joint disease’ also known as Arthritis, Spondylosis, Facet Syndrome, Whip lash, Sciatica , Scoliosis and Sacroiliac joint sprain. While mechanical back and neck pain may not be life threatening it can be life changing with many patients experiencing a severe loss of function due to incredibly pain that requires them to take days off work if no successful intervention such as Chiropractic care is sought.

Causes of Mechanical Back pain

  • Causes of mechanical back pain can include car accidents, poor posture, lifting, gardening, sports injuries, emotional or physical stress, toxins such as prescribed and un-prescribed  drugs and fallen foot arches to name just a few. In most cases Mechanical Back pain responds incredibly well to Chiropractic care.  The second type of back pain and neck pain classification is in fact called Secondary back pain and neck pain.

Secondary Back pain  and Neck pain:

  • Secondary Back pain and Neck pain which is caused by an underlying condition accounts for nearly 2% of all cases. Underlying causes in these cases may include metastatic cancer and spinal osteomyelitis which are life threatening conditions.
  • This is why getting the correct diagnosis and intervention from a professional such as a Chiropractor as soon as you experience back pain is so critical. Not only could the correct diagnosis and treatment reduce your pain, save you time and money by getting you back to work sooner ,it could ultimately be  life saving.
  • The last topic I wish to cover is Back pain during pregnancy.

Back pain and Thoracic Pain During Pregnancy

  • It is believed that possibly up to 50% of women experience some form of lower back pain during pregnancy (3).  Back pain in pregnancy may be severe enough to cause significant pain and disability and pre-dispose patients to back pain in a following pregnancy. While Back pain  during pregnancy is often self limiting in many cases once the baby has been born some woman experience ongoing back pain post delivery. A second cause of back pain for some new mothers is Thoracic pain (Shoulders and upper back) and Neck pain while breast feeding. Given that successful breast feeding relies on correct positioning any relief from such pain can be hugely beneficial for both mother and baby.  For further information on any Back pain and Neck pain that you or a loved one may be experiencing you can contact us today at Chiroworks West Auckland on (09) 8186565.


  1. Missouri- Columbia ( School of health Professionals )
  2. European Commission, Special Eurobarometer, 272e, Nov 2007
  3. Ostgaard HC, Andersson GB, Karlsson K, May 1991