Low Back Pain & Chiropractic
Eighty percent of people will suffer from low back pain at some time of their life. Because back pain can affect all aspects of our health, pinpointing the details of your injury or experience of pain is essential.
Low back pain may reflect nerve or muscle irritation, joint locking or bone lesions. Low back pain can often be the result of an injury or trauma to the structures of the lower back.
This can lead to a herniated disc, sciatica, a pinched nerve or a bulging disc in more serious cases.
Conditions That May Cause Low Back Pain Are
- Disc Injury
- Facet Joint Disorders
- Muscle Strain/Tear
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Spinal Degeneration (Osteoarthritis and Spinal Stenosis)
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
The low back is very vulnerable as it carries a great deal of our weight and is relied upon for most activities that involve rotation, bending and lifting.
As we age, our bone strength, muscle elasticity and tone tend to decrease. Discs lose fluid and flexibility which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae.
When someone lifts something too heavy or over stretches for example, lower back pain can result as muscles begin to spasm and inflammation builds.
Most low back pain follows injury or trauma, however pain may originate from other causes such as degenerative conditions including osteoarthritis (or other forms of arthritis), disc disease, osteoporosis or other bone diseases, viral infections, irritation to joints and discs or congenital abnormalities in the spine.
Obesity, smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, stress, poor physical condition, poor posture and poor sleeping position may also contribute to low back pain.
Your Chiropractor will be able to identify what is causing your low back pain or will refer you to your doctor for further diagnosis.
Acute Vs Chronic Lower Back Pain
Sometimes episodes of low back pain can go away within a few days, where as others take much longer to resolve and can lead to more serious conditions.
Low back pain in its initial stages is referred to as acute low back pain, sometimes lasting only a few days to a few weeks.
Chronic low back pain develops, when the acute phase is unresolved and the pain lasts longer than 3 months.
In the acute stage it’s important to have low back pain assessed thoroughly to determine the cause and potentially avoid a chronic situation.
How Serious Is Low Back Pain?
When the spine becomes increasingly irritated, strained or compressed, a spinal disc may bulge or even rupture.
This rupture is often referred to as a disc hernia or disc herniation. This bulge or herniation may put pressure on the nerve roots that exit the spinal cord at these levels.
Nerves transmit signals from the brain to the body and are responsible for controlling movement, sensation and even organ function.
When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, low back pain, as well as numbness, tingling, weak muscles and radiating pain into the buttocks, hips, thighs, legs and feet can occur.
This radiating pain is often felt down the back of the legs and is referred to as sciatica.
Warning: Occasionally, low back pain may indicate a more serious medical problem.
Pain accompanied by fever or loss of bowel or bladder control, pain when coughing and progressive weakness in the legs may indicate a severely compressed nerve or other serious condition.
People with diabetes may have severe back pain or pain radiating down the leg related to neuropathy.
People with these symptoms should contact their Chiropractor or GP immediately to reach a diagnosis and find the optimal help to prevent more permanent damage.
What Does Chiropractic For Back Pain Involve?
Your chiropractor will first takes a medical history, perform a physical examination, digital postural analysis and may use diagnostic imaging in the form of plain film x-rays or CT’s or MRI to determine if chiropractic treatment is appropriate for your low back pain.
The treatment plan may involve one or more manual adjustments in which the chiropractor manipulates the joints, using a controlled, sudden force to improve range and quality of motion.
There are many ways that a chiropractor can work with the spine, so the chiropractor will find a method that best suits your body type and problem.
Your chiropractor will also incorporate exercise/rehabilitation, traction and stretches into the treatment plan, where appropriate.
The goals of chiropractic care includes the relief of pain, normalisation of musculoskeletal function and correction of posture.
Chiropractic has consistently shown to be effective in relieving low back pain in the long term, by addressing the deeper problems connected to the pain.
By releasing tension in the joints and muscles, chiropractic provides a safe, simple and efficient form of therapy for back care.
Take This Quick Test
Low back pain can also be accompanied by a variety of symptoms, some of which indicate very serious problems.
Do you currently have or have you experienced any of these symptoms?
- Leg pain with numbness, tingling and/or weakness?
- Back or leg pain with coughing or sneezing?
- Difficulty standing up after sitting for any period of time?
- Morning stiffness?
- Pain after extended walking?
- Pain in the hip, buttock, thigh, knee or foot?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these symptoms, it’s time you got help from a Chiropractor.