Low back pain is one, if not the most common complaint, that people will have in their lifetime. At somepoint, there is a good chance you will experience some type of lower back pain. It can present in many forms. The pain you experience can be dull, achy, sharp, crampy, or electric. It can be localized to one specific area, generalized over a larger area, or even radiate into the legs. People can have an acute episode or can suffer from a more long-term chronic injury. If you have any of these symptoms, chiropractic can help!
What causes low back pain?
Low back pain can be caused by many different things. The most common causes are usually muscles strains and ligament sprains. More serious causes of low back pain include injuries to the discs which sit in between the vertebrae, fractures, stenosis, and visceral referred pain. Visceral referred pain is when an internal organ/vessel has damage or irritation, which causes pain in the low back area. The SI joint can also cause low back pain. If the pelvis is not moving properly it can put stress on your low back. Many muscles connect the SI joints to the low back. If these muscles are tighter or weaker than they should be, they can cause pulling and tension on the low back.
How do you injure the low back?
The low back can be injured in many ways. First let’s start with acute trauma. This is when a person performs an action that leads to injury, and immediately after, they experience pain. Whether it’s a severe injury or just a minor injury, most acute low back injuries happen after someone performs a movement in an unguarded position. What I mean by unguarded is that typically when someone moves their spine, they usually have muscles and ligaments working together to support their spine in movement. If they make a sudden movement that muscles and ligaments aren’t ready for, this can lead to injury. Other acute injuries can be caused by direct traumas, for example, a car accident or a sports collision. Chronic injuries can also occur in the low back. Chronic injuries occur by performing repetitive activities that put stress on the structures in the low back, without giving the body enough time to recover. With a lot of repitition and minimal rest, the structures can generate pain over time.
How do chiropractors treat low back pain?
Chiropractors have a large variety of things they can do to treat low back pain. They can utilize chiropractic adjustments or mobilizations that will help restore joint motion within the spine and SI joints. Chiropractic adjustments and mobilizations have shown evidence to decrease low back pain and improve function. A wide range of soft tissue techniques can be used to decrease muscle and connective tissue tension and pain. Some examples of these are cupping and instrument assisted soft tissue techniques. Some chiropractors are even certified in specific soft tissue techniques like ART. Chiropractors also utilize exercises and lifestyle modifications to help decrease low back pain. Exercises are taught to the patients to help build strength in weak areas, increase range of motion in areas lacking motion, and to work on muscle control when performing certain movements. Lifestyle modifications can be taught so that patients know how to avoid injury-prone movements or positions.
As chiropractors, we take an in-depth history and a thorough exam to find out the exact cause of your low back pain. After we have figured out what is causing your pain, we will utilize the treatments above to develop a specific treatment plan geared towards you.