Low Back Pain
Low back pain tends to make-up the majority of a chiropractor’s work. According to the “Global Burden of Disease Study” in 2010 that looked at 20 years of data, it was determined that worldwide, low back pain was the leading cause of disability and lost days of work. It has been my experience that even those who have never seen a chiropractor know that this is what we do and are the ones who can handle it best. Clinical practice guidelines used throughout the western world (Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Spain, for example) recommend spinal manipulative therapy due to the improved outcomes when compared with those prescribed bed rest, medication, traction or ultrasound. Diagnosing the actual cause of low back pain can be difficult, so it is in your best interest to get it figured-out early and dealt with so that it does not become a recurring problem. Mechanical low back pain, facet syndrome, disc lesions, cancer, or even sprain/strain for example, all can have a similar presentation, so accurately identifying the pain-generator is paramount and then treatment and rehab can begin. Research done by notable figures such as Drs. Nikolai Bogduk and William Kirkaldy-Willis have substantiated not only the efficacy of chiropractic care, but also its cost-effectiveness. If you want to get better as quickly as possible with the least financial burden, chiropractic is the way to go.
Simple joint dysfunction – improper mobility – of the lumbar spine joints is the usual cause of low back pain. Due to work or lifestyle factors the joints lose their ability to ‘slide’ on each other and can become stuck at some point. If you’ve ever wondered what to do for back pain, it is the chiropractor’s job to determine where this is occurring and why, and then restore the mobility to that area. Depending upon how long someone has been dealing with the problem, there can also be compensatory areas of excessive (hypermobile) or inadequate (hypomobile) motion above and/or below the area of complaint which must be dealt with as well. It is not uncommon for the painful area to be a location of compensation rather than where the actual problem is. So even simple joint dysfunction is not always to simple and the actual cause of the complaint must be found with a professional examination and history-taking. The issue then becomes how to relieve back pain and chiropractors accomplish this by spine adjustment (or some like to call manipulation) to effect a change in the vertebrae’s mobility. The vertebral joints and surrounding muscles share the same nerves, so by improving mobility to the vertebrae, the muscle spasm will also diminish and make you more comfortable.