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Lower Back Pain Treatment

man with severe low back painUp to 80% of all people in the US will suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. This leads to it being the number one cause of disability in our country. While low back pain may be common it is not normal.

It’s very important to treat low back pain quickly to keep it from becoming more severe. In a chronic condition, where degenerative issues are present, muscles, ligaments, joints, and discs can often work in tandem to cause lower back pain.

How We Treat Low Back Pain

#1. Comprehensive consultation and exam

This involves a detailed history and review of when the problem started, how it is affecting your life, and how we can keep it from getting worse in the future. We’ll be doing chiropractic, functional, orthopedic, and neurological tests that are individualized to your specific case.

The goal of this is to get to the root cause of your problem. Based on the results of your exam, we may do digital X-rays to get very specific on identifying any type of abnormal posture, functional deficits, scoliotic or curvature changes, and any degenerative changes that could be affecting your condition.

#2. Specific chiropractic care

Subluxation is one of the most important aspects of chiropractic. A subluxation is when your spine or vertebral body is rotated causing neurological dysfunction, tenderness, and pain. In its abnormal rotation or alignment, it compresses the nerves which causes dysfunction of that nerve.

In the low back, this dysfunction manifests itself in low back pain or sciatica and a multitude of other symptoms such as menstrual conditions, digestive problems, and urinary conditions.

The goal of chiropractic care is to take pressure off of the nerve. This will decrease the damage and stress being applied thus allowing the body to heal and function the way it’s designed to.

#3. Customized therapeutic exercise plans

Based on your X-ray findings, your exam results, and your goals we’ll develop a customized exercise plan. This plan will address any issues of muscle imbalances, muscle weaknesses, upper cross syndrome, lower cross syndrome, forward head posture or tech neck. The functional and corrective exercises we do in the office will be supplemented with supportive exercises outside of the office.

#4. Spinal decompression

We use spinal decompression as an adjunct therapy when the progression of your chiropractic care has slowed or plateaued. It works very well with keeping issues from progressing further by relieving any radicular symptoms, spinal compression issues, herniated or bulged discs. Spinal decompression works by pulling apart the discs in an axial manner, taking pressure off of the nerves and allowing the discs to rehydrate and heal.

Common Causes of Low Back Pain

Bulged lumbar discs

The disc is the space in between the bones of your vertebra that allow for padding and cushioning as well as space for the nerve to exit from the spinal cord and travel to the rest of your body.

When this disc gets damaged it can start to bulge or press out through a weakened area on the outside of that disc. This puts pressure on the nerves and causes pain. This damage can happen from degeneration over time, traumas, dehydration, spinal subluxations, or curvature issues.

Herniated lumbar discs

A herniated disc is a more severe progression from a bulged disc. Not only has the disc started to push and stretch the outside of the disc, but now it’s torn through the fibers and is breaking through to the outside of the disc. The goal with any herniated disc is to focus on low-invasive conservative care, like chiropractic, to avoid surgery.

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is a very common condition we see in our office. This is an age-related disease as the body begins to break down, but your lifestyle plays a large role in the process and how quickly it starts to happen. When the discs shrink, becoming smaller and compressing the nerves, it causes loss of mobility, bone spurs, pain, and weakness. Degenerative disc disease cannot be reversed, but we can slow it down. That’s why it’s so important to take care of things early versus waiting until it gets bad enough to force you to take action.

Spinal stenosis

Another age-related, wear-and-tear condition is spinal stenosis when the inside of the spinal column starts to degenerate and squeezes the spinal cord. This can also affect the nerve roots. As spinal stenosis can’t be seen on a standard X-ray, we must rely on an MRI or CT scan. This is very concerning because once it gets to a certain point it can cause major organ issues not just pain-wise but also affect organ function.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI joint pain)

Where the sacrum and pelvis meet is the SI joint. About 30% of low back pain cases are from a dysfunction of this joint. The sacroiliac joint absorbs shock between the upper body and the pelvis, so it takes a lot of pressure. This can cause leg length issues, or the perception of a leg length issue, through an abnormal pelvic rotation. Pregnancy can also affect the SI joint due to hypomobility or hypermobility.

FAQ

When should I be worried about low back pain?

Low back pain is something you should be concerned about, even at the early stages, due to the chronicity of it progressing in the future. Any small symptom is a sign that the body has already undergone damage or dysfunction. It’s trying to warn you of something more severe. So the goal is not only to decrease the symptom but treat and address the cause.

How do I tell if lower back pain is a muscle or disc issue?

Muscle issues manifest themselves with tension, tightness, and more of a dull type of pain. It may be something that has slowly gotten worse over time. You may notice it more after doing certain activities like maybe it’s worse right in the morning when you wake up.

With disc issues, it is very common to have radicular pain, sharp/nerve pain, numbness or tingling coming down the leg. The pain may be a bit sharper. A concern is that you have all the symptoms of a muscle issue along with the more severe disc-related issues.

Why won’t my lower back pain go away?

You probably never treated the cause. Instead, you may have only patched things up with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, did a stretch or massage (which is great), but the reason it never went away was that you didn’t address the underlying cause. You may have needed to be more proactive and consistent with follow-up and prevention. Our bodies break down and heal on a daily basis so we have to keep up with that.

When should I see a chiropractor for lower back pain?

Anytime, but ideally, we would see you before you even had pain. That’s why we see so many families in our office. That’s also why so many of our patients are in wellness or proactive care. The goal with anyone is to see them before they’re in pain before it’s gotten bad enough where it affects all parts of their life–before it’s gotten so bad that they’re routinely taking medications or considering orthopedic consults or other more invasive treatments.

Book an Appointment

You don’t have to put up with low back pain. Contact Buchar Family Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment!

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Back Pain Treatment Aurora IL | (630) 820-1330