Have you heard someone say that their back went out? Or have you experienced your back going out and had to call your local New Tampa chiropractor? Does the back really go out? How does a back go out? These are some of the questions that we need to focus on when talking about back problems. Although layman usually use the phrase ‘my back goes out’, the back is normally intact and does not go out unless a severe physical injury happens leading the spine or vertebrae to be anatomically dislocated out of the back.

When someone says that the back goes out, it simply means that there is some sort of back pain felt that may be due to a lot of reasons. The vertebrae are either not in their normal alignment, the disc has protruded; the spine is in an abnormal position and other similar conditions. The mechanism of this is usually traced from problems in the soft tissues in the spine causing the vertebrae to misalign or go into subluxation.

Spinal subluxation is a term used in chiropractic practice and even in health care pertaining to some sort of dysfunctional biomechanical spinal segment leading to problems in the back and other systems affected by which such as the musculoskeletal system. Spinal subluxation is broad and may be due to a variety of reasons such as:

• Disc herniation

Disc herniation is a common condition being referred to as the “back going out”. It involves the protrusion of the spinal disc outside its cavity in the vertebrae leading to compression of nerves, back pain and numbness and tingling sensations below the herniated disc. When the disc herniates, there is also a tendency for impairment in the normal position of the vertebrae causing weakness in the support to maintain the normal curves of the spine.

• Ligament strain

Soft tissue injuries such as straining the ligaments that holds the vertebrae together can also be a mechanism of the back going out. The ligaments connect two bones together and in the case of the spine, it holds adjacent vertebrae together. When the ligaments are torn from degenerative conditions or physical injuries, the vertebrae is not adequately stabilized causing vertebral subluxations.

When there is vertebral subluxation, the nerves are usually affected or irritated leading to a variety of symptoms. The nerves are responsible for both the motor and sensory functioning of the body so any nerve affectation may lead to discomforts. The most common symptom is the presence of back pain when there is nerve entrapment in the spine.

Vertebral subluxations are the focus of care of chiropractors and aim at removing these misalignments through a variety of managements. Once subluxations are managed, back problems are generally resolved such as back pain.

Knowing this, it is then understood that when someone says his or her back goes out, it does not literally mean that the spine went out of the back, but it is a metaphor to describe back pain as a result of misalignments or nerve compression in the vertebrae due to subluxation.