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Low Back Pain and Chiropractic
Drugs can silence the painful alarm, but overlook the cause.
Pain of any kind is a signal that something's amiss. Some people silence their symptoms with a pain reliever and ignore the message. But that would be like removing the battery to quiet a smoke detector!
Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. In fact, it is estimated that low back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year and more than 10% of all people experience frequent bouts of low back pain.
The susceptibility of the low back to injury and pain is due to the fact that the low back, like the neck, is a very unstable part of the spine. Unlike the thoracic spine, this is supported and stabilized by the rib cage. This instability allows us to have a great deal of mobility to touch our toes, tie our shoes or pick something up from the ground, but at the cost of increased risk of injury.
The low back can withstand tremendous
As long as it is healthy and functioning correctly, the low back can withstand tremendous forces without injury. Professional powerlifters can pick up several hundred pounds off the floor without injuring their low back. However, if the low back is out of adjustment or has weakened supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk of their car, picking something up off the floor, or even simply bending down to pet the cat can cause a low back injury.
Until recently, researchers believed that back pain would heal on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. Recent studies showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return. It is important to take low back pain seriously and seek professional chiropractic care. This is especially true with pain that recurs over and over again. Contact us today . . . we can help!
The Causes of Low Back Pain
There are many different conditions that can result in low back pain, including: sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points and inflamed joints. While sports injuries or accidents can lead to injury and pain, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pencil from the floor, can have painful results. In addition, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can lead to pain.
Due to the fact that there are a whole lot of things that can cause low back pain, and some of those things can be quite serious if left untreated, it is important to seek professional help. Chiropractors are the experts at diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes I see:
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Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not automatically mean that you are going to suffer from low back pain. In fact, one study found that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc, even though they did not suffer any back pain from it. On the other hand, herniated discs can be a source of intense and debilitating pain that frequently radiates to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, they rarely, if ever, completely heal. Further deterioration can often be avoided through regular chiropractic care, but a complete recovery is much less common.
Sprains, Strains and Spasms
This is commonly the source of low back pain among the weekend warriors. You know, the type who have very little physical activity during the week, but once the weekend arrives, they push themselves way too much. By the end of the weekend, they are lying flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get in to see their chiropractor. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight.
Whenever you become stressed, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding your body with stress hormones and tightening up your muscles. When you are stressed all the time, the chronic tension causes your muscles to become sore, weak and loaded with trigger points. If you are stressed out all of the time and you have low back pain, it is important to do some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, as well as to get regular exercise.
Treating Low Back Pain With Chiropractic
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is usually pretty straightforward. Most commonly, it's simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to re-establish normal motion and position of your bones and joints.
Chiropractic for the low back has been repeatedly shown to be the most effective treatment for low back pain. In fact, major studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective, cheaper and has better long-term outcomes than any other treatment. This makes sense because chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that serves to re-establish normal vertebral motion and position in the spine. All other treatments, such as muscle relaxants, pain killers and bed rest, only serve to decrease the symptoms of the problem and do not correct the problem itself.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Isn't some back pain normal?
A: Pain of any kind, at any age, is a sign that something is amiss. Pain is the way your body signals that a limit has been reached or a problem has developed. Since we can adapt, minor aches and pains are often shrugged off. While they may go away, if the underlying problem remains unattended, the problem may slowly worsen until it becomes more difficult and expensive to resolve.
Q: What about muscle relaxers?
A: First, chiropractors don't dispense drugs. We rely on natural methods. Muscle relaxers and even the most common over-the-counter pain medications fail on two counts. First, while convenient, they don't address the underlying cause of your problem. Second, side effects such as addiction, kidney failure, liver damage and even death can result. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects associated with pain medications.
Q: How does chiropractic work?
A: Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if the body is working correctly. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments are designed to improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
Q: Does Insurance Pay for Chiropractic
A: These days many policies cover at least a little of the care you'll need. It's convenient when an insurance company or some other third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don't allow the profit motives of a huge corporation to make decisions for you. If you sincerely want your health back, we can probably help. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.