Lower Back Pain
There are many reasons one experiences back pain. Outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections, back pain is the second most common reason people visit the doctor. Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, it is estimated that each year more than half of the entire adult population and more than 10% of all people will experience frequent bouts of low back pain.
The rib cage supports and stabilizes the thoracic spine; however, the low back, like the neck, is an unstable part of the spine. This means that the low back is more susceptible to injury. This instability allows us the flexibility to touch our toes, tie our shoes, and pick something up from the ground, but there is a cost of increased risk of injury.
When it's healthy and functioning correctly, the low back can endure tremendous force and weight without receiving injury. This is proven by professional power lifters who can lift several hundred pounds from off the floor without damaging their low back. However, when the low back is out of adjustment or its supporting muscles have become weak, even a simple task such as lifting a bag of groceries from the trunk of the car, picking something up from off the floor, or even bending down to pet the cat can cause a low back injury.
Until recently, researchers believed that back pain would heal on its own. However, recent studies have shown this is not true. When back pain is left untreated, it may abate temporarily, but it will more often than not return. Therefore, it is essential to take low back pain seriously and seek professional chiropractic care, especially with pain that recurs. Contact O’Hara Family Chiropractic . . . we can help!
Causes of Low Back Pain
Low back pain can be caused by many different problems, including sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points, and inflamed joints. Sports injuries and accidents can also cause injury and pain, but sometimes it is the simplest movements, like picking up a pen from the floor, that can result in pain. In addition, certain conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress, and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can cause pain.
Truthfully, a lot of things can cause low back pain and some of those things can be quite serious if left untreated and not corrected with professional chiropractic care. Seeking professional chiropractic care to alleviate pain is very important for your overall health. Part of a chiropractor's expertise involves diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes for low back pain that I encounter:
When normal movement or positioning of the vertebrae is disturbed, pain and inflammation occur. These disruptions or dislocations are called subluxations. In the lumbar spine, subluxations usually occur where the lower spine transitions to the sacrum, causing debilitating low back pain. Subluxations are easily treatable and because of this, patients often experience considerable pain reduction immediately after they're treated.
Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not necessarily mean you will suffer from low back pain. In fact, one study determined that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc, even though they did not encounter any pain from it. On the other hand, the pain of a herniated disc can be intense and incapacitating and often spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, it rarely, if ever, heals entirely. However, patients can prevent further disc deterioration by regularly visiting O’Hara Family Chiropractic.
Sprains, Strains and Spasms
This are common sources of low back pain among weekend warriors. You know the type: they participate in little physical activity during the week, but once it's the weekend, they push themselves beyond their limit. When overworked, the tissues of the low back, found in muscles and ligaments, can tear, causing them to become painful, swollen, and tight. By Sunday night, you can find these warriors lying flat on their back, counting the hours until the chiropractic office opens.
How do you know when you're stressed out? Because your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding stress hormones throughout your body, and tightening your muscles. When you're frequently stressed, this chronic tension creates sore, weakened muscles that are burdened with multiple trigger points. If you maintain a stressful life and have low back pain, it is necessary for you to include relaxation exercises into your routine. Deep breathing and regular exercise are two ways you can successfully alleviate chronic stress.
Treating Low Back Pain with Chiropractic
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is straightforward. Usually, it entails a simple adjustment of the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis in order to restore your bones and joints to their normal motion and position.
Chiropractic for the low back has continually shown success as the most effective treatment for low back pain. Moreover, major studies show chiropractic care to be more effective, cheaper, and better at providing long-term success rates than any other treatment. This makes sense, as chiropractic treatment serves as the only therapy that re-establishes normal vertebral motion and position in the spine. All other treatments such as muscle relaxants, pain killers, and bed rest may only decrease symptoms. They do not correct the actual problem.