Low Back Pain
Dull throbbing aches? Shooting, sharp pain down your leg? You are most likely suffering from low back pain (LBP). If you’ve never had low back pain, chances are you will at some point in your life. It is a very common, yet a condition not to ignore.
While it is true that most low back pain is caused by biomechanical joint dysfunction within the spine, associated with local muscles spasm that rarely require emergency care, chronic low back pain can lead to long-term disability and other chronic conditions. For example, numbness and tingling can occur as the low back pain continues to deteriorate. Furthermore, difficulty standing, loss of lower limb strength, inability to participate in physical activities, etc. can be long term complication from chronic low back pain.
Like cervical spine pain, low back pain is commonly caused by:
- Injury and Accidents
- Degenerative disorders
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Poor posture
Other important contributing factors why are we more susceptible to low back pain than ever before:
- Extra bodyweight – puts greater demand on our spines and other joints
- Sedentary and Industrialized lifestyles – Prolonged sitting may negatively affect your muscles and joints and lead to deconditioning (decline in physical functioning), fatigue and stress on the spinal discs causing pain in the lower back.
Therefore, seeing a qualified health professional, such as a chiropractor, who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the spine, can help treat and manage your low back pain effectively.
Can chiropractic help your low back pain?
Chiropractic treatment relieves low back pain using effective clinical tools. A common treatment for lower back pain is a spinal manipulation or an adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment restores spine and nervous system function to reduce pain and help with healing. Other methods like mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education, modalities (i.e. ultrasound, laser), spinal traction and rehabilitation.
Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing “adjustments” which have been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition. Patients treated by a combination of adjustments and exercise reported significant improvement at three and 12-month follow-ups – a vital point since low back pain recurrence rates are high.
Important to note that patients who received chiropractic care were 55% less likely to fill a prescription for opioids when compared to their peers who did not receive chiropractic care. If you are experiencing low back pain or neck pain, look for our chiropractor. Proven effectiveness makes it a solid choice both for managing pain, as well as keeping the financial side of treatment in check, before resorting to prescription medications or costly surgery.
Association between Utilization of Chiropractic Services and Use of Prescription Opioids among Patients with Low Back Pain”. James Whedon DC, MS – http://clinicalcompass.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/NH-Opioids_Whedon.pdf
There are seven small vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and form our neck – this is the cervical spine. The cervical nerve roots, from C1 through C8, exit the cervical spine and branch out to supply muscles that enable functioning of the upper extremities (shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers). They also carry sensory fibers to the skin that provide sensation.
When any nerve root of the cervical spine is irritated through compression, irritation or inflammation, symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness can radiate anywhere along that nerve’s pathway into the shoulder, arm, hand and/or the fingers. In medical term, this is called a cervical radiculopathy, or more commonly known as a “pinched nerve” when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated.
Cervical radiculopathy most commonly appear intermittently in the beginning. This means the symptom comes and goes, but they could also develop suddenly or gradually. When the condition deteriorates, the individual normally experiences constant symptoms.
Basically, any condition that can compresses or irritates a cervical nerve will cause cervical radiculopathy. This radicular pain is frequently exacerbated by any manoeuvre that raises the tension along the course of the spinal nerve. For example, a radial nerve tension test can aggravate radiculopathy along the radial nerve. This orthopaedic examination will be carried out by the Chiropractor is radiculopathy is suspected. Axial compression may also reproduce or aggravate the symptom of radicular pain.
Some possible and common causes of radiculopathy, in their order of prevalence, include:
- Herniated disc with nerve compression – by far the most common cause of radiculopathy
- Spinal stenosis – more common in elderly adults
- Nerve root injuries (Whiplash injuries)
- Scar tissue from previous spinal surgery that is affecting the nerve root
Can Chiropractic help with your cervical radiculopathy?
There are many different treatment options available for cervical radiculopathy; recommendations depend on your level of pain, length of symptoms, and degree of abnormal findings on exam. Treatment for cervical radiculopathy can be non-surgical. However, if nerve root irritation is too advanced, you might be referred to an orthopaedic doctor to discuss some other invasive options.
Chiropractors are highly trained to diagnose, treat, and manage this problem effectively and conservatively without surgical procedure. Manual/physical therapy can be beneficial in many cases to treat cervical radiculopathy. Calming pain and inflammation, increasing mobility, and improving stability and strength are often the priority step in managing the radiculopathy. All these can be achieved through spinal rehabilitation including cervical traction, manual manipulation, ultrasound, electric stimulation.
Many studies have shown great effectiveness in the treatment of radicular pain with Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation. Conservation treatment methods like spinal manipulation to improve joint motion restrictions, and spinal traction have been well documented to improve patient’s radicular pain.
- Chiropractic treatment of cervical radiculopathy caused by a herniated cervical disc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8169540