WHAT CAUSES LOW BACK PAIN?
Almost all pain is caused when pain nerves, called nociceptors, found in muscles, ligaments, joints and blood vessels in or near the area of pain are stimulated. The pain nerves are stimulated by inflammatory biochemicals produced by the body in response to repetitive stress, irritation or injury. Stimulation of pain nerves also causes muscle spasm or tightness. Low back pain is simply the pain process occurring in the region of your low back or pelvis.
Examples of repetitive stress, irritation or injury to the body include the following: a car accident, work or sports injury, improper lifting, reaching or twisting, sneezing, poor posture, lack of exercise, extended sitting or standing, inadequate rest, poor diet and emotional stress.
If you ignore the pain and discomfort associated with repetitive stress, irritation or injury to the body, then over an unspecified period of time, numerous muscular and biomechanical conditions can develop including:
- Low back and hip muscle trigger points
- Lumbar facet joint dysfunction/stiffness/restriction
- Sacroiliac and hip joint dysfunction/stiffness/restriction
- Abdominal/Core muscle weakness
- Lumbar disc problems, including disc derangement and protrusion/herniation
- Lumbar spine osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic is a field of manual medicine that literally means “by hand.” Chiropractors specialize in the treatment of low back pain and many other neuromusculoskeletal pain conditions. Although their primary treatment is manual manipulation or adjustments, chiropractors are trained and licensed to provide many types of therapy to relieve pain. Chiropractors can help low back pain because they utilize a comprehensive model of examining and addressing a person’s entire body, posture and activities.
The chiropractic approach to conquering your low back pain begins with a thorough history/consultation and physical exam, which may include x-rays or other tests. If it is determined that chiropractic can help, then a treatment plan will be recommended. If your condition is not suitable for chiropractic treatment, you would be referred to another medical specialist.
The chiropractic treatment approach includes manual procedures, therapy and advice such as:
- Chiropractic spinal and extremity adjustments or manual manipulation: Adjustments are vitally important because they correct biomechanical joint restrictions that are almost always present with low back pain.
- Physiotherapy: The primary purpose of physiotherapy is to address acute pain, inflammation and muscle spasm.
- Muscle/soft tissue techniques: When applied with an adjustment, these techniques help to reduce muscle/ligament pain, tightness, adhesions and improve muscle/ligament function.
- Therapeutic exercises: Therapeutic exercises are often prescribed early in chiropractic care, before undertaking a comprehensive exercise program. Specific “low tech” rehabilitation exercises and assisted stretches are recommended to regain core stability; strengthen weak/inhibited muscles; improve flexibility, range motion and balance; and prevent re-injury.
- Diet and supplement suggestions: An anti-inflammatory diet with appropriate supplementation can significantly help reduce pain and prevent the development of serious low back conditions.
- Lifestyle modifications: If there are things you are doing at work or with your recreational activities that are contributing to your low back pain, then those issues need to be addressed.
THE CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT
Chiropractic adjustments are the most effective way to correct stiff/restricted/fixated spinal and extremity joints that develop as a result of repetitive stress, irritation or injury in the low back region.
- Gently applied by hand
- Stimulates pain blocking nerves called mechano-receptors, which helps restore normal joint movement
- Reduces and inhibits pain
- Reduces and inhibits muscle spasm and tightness
- Increases arterial blood flow, which helps reduce inflammation and pain