A recently conducted study indicated that 25% of Americans reported having lower back pain during the course of a three-month period. A different study revealed that twice as many workers between the ages of 45 and 65 with back pain missed no less than ten days of work. That figure jumps to three times as many workers for people between 18 and 44 years old.
Fortunately, chiropractic care can aid in restoring function and reducing pain by diminishing the nerve irritation and compression that is responsible for lower back pain. Our chiropractor at Vital Wellness Center, Dr. Foss, has provided the following information about this condition and how we can help our patients obtain relief from it.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
Back pain can sometimes have an obvious cause, such as lifting heavy objects. Other times, it can come from no apparent cause. In our experience at Vital Wellness Center, frequent culprits behind pain in the lower back come from issues with the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones.
Getting ready to move from one home to another may represent new and exciting opportunities until one considers the back. Excessively lifting and carrying objects can suddenly cause pain in the back’s lumbar region. It can take four to six weeks for this type of muscle strain to get better. A few of the causes of back pain brought on by muscle strain include weak abdominal muscles, repetitive motion strain, and poor posture. The majority of back pain brought on by muscle strain is described as a dull ache.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
As much as 30% of low back pain can be caused by the sacroiliac joint which holds the spine and the pelvis together. Prolonged joint stress, differences in leg length, pregnancy, and giving birth are generally the cause of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The main purpose of the sacroiliac joint is to absorb shock from the upper body so the lower body is protected from injury.
Lumbar Disc Issues
The individual vertebrae of the spinal column are cushioned by the lumbar discs. A gel-like substance fills the lumbar discs and acts as a shock absorber for the spine. Unfortunately, these discs can develop various issues such as herniation, degenerative disease, and bulging. Bulging occurs when the disc becomes flattened due to compression causing the edges of the disc to bulge or stick out from the vertebrae.
Herniated discs are torn discs where the gelatinous material sticks out or herniates from the tear. If this gel-like matter enters the spinal column, it can lead to painful nerve compression. Bulging and herniated discs can be caused by car accidents, obesity, or repetitive motion strain.
Age-related disc changes can result in degenerative disc disease causing the discs to degenerate or break down. The discs start to get smaller with age as do the holes for the nerves to travel through. Since the nerves do not shrink, they become compressed causing low back pain.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the space within the spine carrying the nerves becomes narrow. As with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis leads to irritation, nerve compression, and low back pain. Back pain caused by spinal stenosis is made worse by standing and walking. Some of the painful pressure of this condition can be relieved by resting, sitting, and bending forward. Severe spinal stenosis may lead to the dysfunction of the bladder and other organs in the body, in addition to weakness and numbness. If loss of strength, sensation, or bladder control occurs, we encourage our patients to call us at Vital Wellness Center since these can indicate urgent concerns that call for emergency care.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
Facet joint dysfunction usually causes pain when patients lean backward or stand for long periods of time because these movements cause increased pressure on the joints. Due to age-related changes, inflammation may occur where the joints of the vertebrae come together causing pain.
Subluxation, or spinal misalignment, may cause painful nerve compression which occurs when the spine is not properly aligned. Chiropractic adjustment restores motion and nerve function by bringing the spinal vertebrae back into alignment which makes it possible to get results from stretching and other prescribed exercises.
Acute vs. Chronic Lower Back Pain
Two terms that are commonly applied to pain are known as acute and chronic. Acute pain typically occurs in response to an injury, such as an auto accident or a fall, and is a short-term condition. Muscle strain from lifting too much weight is another common cause of acute pain. This pain usually goes away on its own in just a few weeks, but seeking treatment can help to shorten this timeframe.
Chronic pain is usually caused by a disease such as cancer, arthritis, or autoimmune conditions and is a long-term condition lasting for a minimum of six months. Acute pain from an injury can sometimes cause more widespread nerve damage that can lead to a chronic pain issue.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Aches and loss of function are the main symptoms of back pain. Pain can vary significantly with some patients reporting only a dull ache. Other patients tell our chiropractor for back pain that they feel as if they are being stabbed in the back or they feel like their back is on fire. Everyday tasks can feel like major ordeals because of back pain and stiffness.
How Chiropractic Works to Eliminate Lower Back Pain
At Vital Wellness Center, we understand that our patients do not have time to waste on unproven or experimental therapies; therefore, we treat the underlying cause of pain in the lumbar region directly. One of the most popular therapies offered at our office is chiropractic adjustment.
Moving misaligned vertebrae back into the appropriate position is done by using spinal manipulation. Quick, short thrusts are used to restore proper alignment. The goal of this treatment is to restore typical performance, such as range of motion, and to reduce painful nerve compression. This form of therapy for mild to moderate back pain is supported by an impressive array of research literature.
Mobilization therapies are used to improve range of motion in the back. At Vital Wellness Center, we sometimes decompress the vertebrae by manually stretching a patient’s back. This helps to restore normal positioning of the lumbar discs while also serving to quickly relieve pain.
Prescribed exercises are another form of mobilization therapy. These can consist of stretches designed to maximize range of motion and are customized for each patient. Exercise improves blood flow, aiding in further recovery, while also promoting muscle relaxation and flexibility.
Benefits of Seeing Our Lower Back Pain Chiropractor
Chiropractic care for lower back pain can assist in providing holistic and wellness-based care. Vital Wellness Center offers patients a practical alternative to habit-forming pain medications and their side effects. We also help patients evade risky back surgeries and the downtime that accompanies them.
Another significant benefit to the care we provide is that we treat the person as a whole. We do not just focus on the muscle strain, herniated disc, or other condition that contributes to back pain. The goal is to target the underlying issues contributing to the pain, such as inflammation and nerve irritation that can cause or worsen the pain.
We help our patients focus on making gradual health changes that will last a lifetime. Some of our top tools for maximizing health are lifestyle choices such as wellness-minded movement, nourishing food selections, and routine chiropractic care.
Relief for Your Stiff, Aching Back
Although it can be a challenge, some of the most rewarding work we do at Vital Wellness Center is treating lower back pain. We find complete satisfaction in helping people feel less or even no pain as they go about their day and are able to accomplish personally relevant and satisfying goals such as completing a 5K walk or getting through an entire workday without stiffness. Stop searching for a “lower back pain chiropractor near me,” and call us today for a compassionate evaluation and treatment you can depend on.