Eighty percent of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. It is estimated that more than half of the adult population and more than 10% of all people experience frequent bouts of low back pain every year. Back pain is the second most common reason people visit the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
The low back, like the neck, is a very unstable part of the spine, making it susceptible to injury and pain, unlike the thoracic spine, which is stabilized and supported by the rib cage. This instability is what gives us the flexibility to bend and twist at the cost of raising our risk for injury.
A healthy and correctly functioning low back can withstand tremendous forces without injury. However, if the low back is out of adjustment or has weakened supporting muscles, something as simple as bending over to tie your shoes can cause a low back injury.
Research has proven that back pain does not heal on its own. According to recent studies untreated back pain may go away temporarily, but it usually returns. Back pain should be taken seriously and treated by a professional. Contact our chiropractor for help treating your recurring back pain.
The Causes of Low Back Pain
Low back pain can be the result of many different conditions including: sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points and inflamed joints. While back pain and injury can often be caused by sports injury or accidents, simple daily tasks that also involve bending over can also have painful results. Additionally, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can be contributors to pain.
Chiropractors are diagnosis experts when it comes to determining the cause and proper treatment for low back pain. Due to the fact that there are many causes for low back pain, some of them serious if left untreated, it is important to seek professional help. Here are some of the most prevalent causes:
Subluxations can lead to debilitating low back pain. They are caused by a disruption in the normal movement or position of the vertebrae, and result in pain and inflammation. Subluxations usually occur at the transition between the lower spine and the sacrum in the lumbar spine. Subluxations are an easily treatable condition and often times relief are felt almost immediately.
Even though they did not suffer from back pain, one study found that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc. A herniated disc does not automatically mean that you will suffer from low back pain. On the other hand, herniated discs can also be the cause of an intense and debilitating pain that often times radiates to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, the chance of a disk healing completely after it herniates is rare. Regular chiropractic care can prevent further deterioration, but a complete recovery is uncommon.
Sprains, Strains and Spasms
Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight. Sprains, strains, and spasms are often the ailment of the weekend warrior who, while sedentary during the week, pushes their physical limits when the weekend comes. By Sunday night, they are counting down the hours until they can see the chiropractor.
Whenever you become stressed, your blood pressure and heart rate increase, flooding your body with stress hormones and causing muscles to tighten up. The chronic tension from frequent stress causes your muscles to become weak, sore and loaded with trigger points. To combat low back pain caused by stress, practice some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing. Regular exercise also helps.
Treating Low Back Pain with Chiropractic
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is often simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to re-establish normal position and movement of your bones and joints.
Chiropractic treatment has proved to be the most effective treatment for low back pain. Many major studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective, costs less and has better long-term results than any other treatment. All other treatments, such as muscle relaxants, pain killers and bed rest, only treat the symptoms, not the cause. Chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that returns normal vertebral motion and position in the spine.