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Why Is Low Back Pain So Common? How Can I Find Relief?
Low back pain ranges from a mild, nagging ache to a sharp, debilitating pain. It may resolve in a few weeks or turn into a chronic, lifelong condition with your sciatica. No matter what form it takes, it’s one of the most common causes of pain, as more than 80% of all people experience low back and sciatica nerve pain sometime during their lives.
Your lower back is vulnerable to pain for two reasons
Its lack of structural support: The lower spine is designed to be flexible so you can twist, bend, and move. But that mobility also means there’s little structural support to hold it steady, which makes it unstable and prone to severe injury.
It supports your body weight: The 5 bones, or vertebrae, in the lower back support the weight of your entire upper body.
This constant strain damages the discs that serve as cushions between the bones.
One of the most severe chronic back pain symptoms result from spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine and is commonly misdiagnosed by doctors and specialists.
Damage or injury to other regions of the body such as the neck and shoulders can cause lower backache. This is why doctors will prescribe medication such as pain killers due to the fact that they cannot find any problems with your back because the real injury is somewhere else.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
Muscle spasms, spine or muscle injury, and degeneration of the spine due to normal wear and tear are all common causes of lower back pain. Low back pain also develops from underlying health conditions such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia.
While there are many different causes, our chiropractic specialists frequently treat lower back stemming from the following problems:
Spinal misalignment: When bones in the spine are dislodged or displaced from their normal position, the misalignment may damage discs, irritate nerves, or restrict blood flow, which result in pain and inflammation.
A herniated disc (when the disc bulges out between vertebrae) may not have symptoms, but it usually causes intense pain that radiates down your left and right leg. Herniated discs seldom heal completely, but regular chiropractic care may prevent progressive deterioration in your lower left and lower right back.
Sprains, strains and spasms: Running, gymnastics, sports, lifting a heavy object, over-exercising, and pivoting the wrong way are just a few causes of sprains, strains, and muscle spasms.
Stress: Muscle tension increases when you’re stressed or anxious, which leads to pain, often in the lower back. Then a cycle develops; chronic back pain causes stress, which in turn triggers more pain. Adjustments to the realign the spine can stop that cycle.
How Will A Chiropractor Treat My Low Back Pain?
Chiropractic treatment of low back pain has an advantage over medications and conservative remedies such as rest, heat, and ice. Those strategies only treat symptoms, while chiropractic adjustment corrects the problem by repositioning the spine.
Depending on your history and condition, your chiropractor will assess your back with an on site digital X-ray, determine optimal chiropractic adjustments, and develop a unique exercise regimen to help you regain strength and function in your back.
How Can You Help Me Manage Back Pain?
The goal of chiropractic treatment for low back pain (and upper back pain) is to reduce the painful symptoms while improving range of motion, strength and flexibility in the spine.
We will begin by taking a complete medical history to determine if you have risk factors for specific diseases or lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your pain. We will also perform a thorough evaluation of your back using exercises, stretches and other techniques to determine where the pain is occurring and what movements trigger the pain. In some cases, additional testing or diagnostic imaging may be needed to identify or confirm the cause.
Once the cause is determined, chiropractic treatment may involve adjustments of the upper and lower back to release impingements and improve circulation and range of motion, physical therapy, spinal decompression, massage and at home exercise routines.
The most common approaches typically include x-rays, MRI exams, and CT scans, prescription medication, and even injections to numb the pain. But sadly, these methods rarely detect or treat the real cause of low back pain. Why?
Countless studies have actually found little correlation between x-ray and MRI findings and the actual level of pain reported by patients. It’s imperative to go beyond the typical scans and test results to uncover what’s really causing your low back pain. That’s exactly what our lower back specialists at our Salinas office do.