LOW BACK PAIN
The most common condition that brings people into our office here at Balderston Chiropractic is Low Back Pain. It is estimated that four out of every five people will experience low back pain at some point in their life. If you'd like to learn more, please visit https://www.balderstonchiropractic.com/.
CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
So, what causes back pain?
Well there’s really no short answer to that. It can depend on many variables including specific incidents such as accidents or injuries, or can be more difficult to pin down. In those cases it’s often more than just a single event that led up to being in pain, but an accumulation of less serious stressors that accumulate over the years and finally get our attention.
WHAT CHIROPRACTORS DO FOR LOW BACK PAIN
What can Chiropractors do for Low back pain?
After speaking with you regarding your past history and other factors related to your condition we will do an examination and take radiographs, if necessary.
Radiographs can tell us a lot about your condition. They show us the structure of your spine and show how your body has responded to your daily activities over the years. If you’ve been a manual laborer or a desk jockey, we will typically find evidence in the form of changes in your spine. The major things we look at are alignment of the bones of the spine in relation to each other, the condition and shape of the individual bones, as well as cartilage and intervertebral disc spaces. Often times, as we age the discs in our spine can degenerate. These discs have a very high water content and tend to dehydrate and shrink over time. This has an effect on the function of our spine. When the disc spaces have decreased, it increases the stress on the rest of the spine, particularly the posterior joints. An increase stress on the posterior joints can increase your susceptibility of pain or injury to the spine. Another effect of degenerative disc disease is nerve root irritation. When you experience radiating symptoms from your spine, such as sciatica, x-rays will often reveal degenerative changes in the lower back.
After looking at the radiographs and correlating them with the findings of the exam we will discuss what is likely causing your condition. The following are common sources of pain - lack of motion in the spine, nerve irritation, inflamed spinal discs, tight muscles, and many more.
After finding the cause of your pain we outline what the best course of treatment is. In most cases, conditions won’t completely resolve in just one treatment but may take several treatments.
During your visits you may be given a variety of treatments such as spinal manipulation, therapeutic modalities, spinal decompression, or soft tissue mobilization. Each treatment is aimed at correcting or relieving a specific condition.
Spinal manipulation is administered to spinal joints that have lost their normal motion with one another. This can happen in any area of the spine. When 2 or more joints lose their proper motion with each other it creates a cascade of events. Swelling begins to form in the area as well as muscle tightness. If muscles are tight or spasmed muscle stimulation can be used to relax the muscles. This stimulation of the muscles not only causes them to relax but encourages the release of endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical your body creates to relieve pain, the same way that morphine does.
Soft tissue mobilization is a bit different than muscle stimulation in the fact that it can be more specific in the location of treatment and done by hand or with tools. When a muscle or other soft tissue is injured the body starts laying down new tissue in its place. When it does so, however, it does not lay it in an organized, linear pattern. New collagen is layered in multiple directions. This makes it very strong but not great for overall function of the muscle or soft tissue. The goal of soft tissue mobilization is to encourage this collagen formation to be linear, making it more functional. This also can aid in reducing muscle spasm and increasing blood flow to the area to stimulate healing.
Each person responds differently to care and treatments vary for each individual. Therefore, it’s difficult to give an exact timeframe to expect relief. At the beginning of your care plan you typically won’t have much “homework”, or things to do on your end. The beginning phase is focused on controlling the pain and allowing your body to function the way it is supposed to. After your pain has subsided it is still important to stick with your care. Pain is typically the last symptom to show and the first to leave. So after the pain, we need to start working on what caused the pain. If during our examination we found specific muscles needing to be strengthened or stretched this is when we will begin to work on that. A normal expectation is that we will instruct and implement specific exercises for you in the office and have you complete them at home. After doing them consistently for a period of time your body will have adapted and you no longer have to continue them as frequently.
The doctors at Balderston Chiropractic may also give you suggestions for your activities of daily living such as improving your posture or the proper way to lift, sit, or sleep. These alterations in daily activities can have a great impact on the health of your body over the years.
Ultimately, your health is in your hands. We are here to help get you back to what you love doing most and giving you all the tools and information you need to stay healthy.
Dr. Mark Balderston
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