Lower Back Pain
Low back pain affects nearly 60 percent of the population at some point. Our low back supports our upper body weight and provides mobility for bending and twisting motions. Since we rely on the low back muscle to make every move, it is susceptible to injuries. Alarmingly, chronic lower back pain can lead to total disability. Today, lower back pain is one of the highest causes of disability in the elderly. As such, the importance of seeking medical attention doesn’t require overstating.
The primary goal of back pain treatment is to relieve the pain and restore mobility. Unlike pain medications or surgeries, chiropractic care for lower back pain is a safer, more effective, and cost-friendly alternative. General practitioners have inadequate training in this area and lack the necessary skills to diagnose and treat lower back pain. T98 chiropractors specialize in the field and mainly focus on identifying, treating, and managing lower back pain.
What is Low Back Pain?
Your low back design offers your upper body support, strength, and flexibility. It isn’t a wonder why it is so delicate to injuries and pain from daily activities. Low back pain ranges from mild to severe. It can source from various causes, including ligaments, joints, muscles, or vertebral disc damages. Our body counteracts any injury by rallying an inflammatory healing response. Although inflammation sounds negligible, it causes acute pain.
How Can T98 Chiropractor Help Those with Low Back Pain?
Chiropractic care is an excellent way to relieve and manage low back pain. T98 chiropractors provide a non-invasive and non-addictive treatment for the patient. Unlike using prescription pain medications, T98 chiropractors address the pain root cause. Unfortunately, pain medications only mask the symptoms. By addressing the root of the problem, the patient is likely to recover much faster.
T98 chiropractors offer a gentle, non-invasive treatment identified as a chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment helps minimize joint misalignment in your spine. The process will also help minimize inflammation and boost the function of the nervous system and affected joints. The chiropractor will help increase your joint mobility and strengthen your nervous system, giving your body a better chance to manage the low back pain symptoms.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Generally, soft tissue injuries and mechanical problems are the leading low back pain cause. The injuries include intervertebral disc damage, improper spinal joints movement, and nerve roots compression. Another leading lower back pain cause is a pulled or torn muscle and ligament. Below are some of the leading lower back pain causes. The list includes the common causes of mild back pain and underlying causes that cause severe pain.
Muscle and ligament sprain
Lower back pain may happen abruptly or build up gradually over time from muscle degradation. Although back strains and sprains are easy to manage and do not have a long-lasting effect, acute pain can be quite debilitating. A strain develops when your muscle stretches too far and tears. Sprains occur when the tearing damages the ligaments, which holds the bones together. The symptoms and treatments for muscle and ligament damage are similar. Here are some of the leading causes of Sciatica.
- Lifting heavy items
- Sports injuries that involve twisting
- Sudden movements that stress the low back muscles such as a fall
- Poor posture for a long time
Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain becomes chronic when it exceeds your body’s natural healing process. Chronic back pain persists for more than three months. It usually involves irritated nerve roots and joints problems. The leading causes of chronic Sciatica include.
Lumbar herniated disk
A lumbar disc has a jelly-like center that contains proteins. When lumbar disc brakes, the proteins cause inflammation when exposed to a nerve root. The exposure may also cause nerve compression, resulting in nerve root pain. The lumbar disc wall also consists of numerous nerve fibers. When the wall tears, it causes severe pain.
Degenerative disc disease
Newborn’s intervertebral discs are at their healthiest and are full of water. As the age progresses, the discs are dehydrated and weakened. The loss of hydration makes the disc weaker and no longer resists the forces, as it should. Instead, it transfers the force to its wall. The force wears the wall down, and tears or weakness may develop, leading to herniation. At its worst, the disc collapses, contributing to stenosis.
Facet joint dysfunction
The lumbar spine has a two-facet joint located at the motion segment of each disc. The joints have cartilage in between the bones. A capsular ligament with numerous nerves also encompasses the facet joints. When the cartridge depletes, the joints become extremely painful.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
The Sacroiliac is the joint that connects the spine’s bottom to the sacrum on each side of the pelvis. The strong joint absorbs tension and shock between the lower joint and upper body. The joint can become painful when there is too little, too much motion or when it becomes inflamed
Spinal stenosis may lead to severe back pain as it causes the spinal canal to narrow. The narrowing will affect the nerve root location. The condition causes nerve root irritation, leading to inflammation and nerve compression, which is quite painful.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition that develops when a vertebra slips over the adjacent vertebra. Despite having five Spondylolisthesis types, the most common type results from mechanical facet joints instability or pars fractures.
Osteoarthritis is another leading lower back pain cause that results from the joints’ wear and tears. The condition may lead to pain, instability, and inflammation at single or multiple sections of the lower spine. Osteoarthritis is commonly associated with aging.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms
Lower back pain often begins as acute because of injuries, but it can also become chronic over time. Visiting the T98 chiropractic and rehab center allows our chiropractor to manage the pain at an early stage. Managing lower back pain as early as possible minimizes symptoms faster. The chiropractors will identify the symptoms and give a diagnosis that addresses the underlying cause. Lower back pain is categorized into three groups- chronic, acute, and neuropathic.
Common Symptoms of Lower Back Problems
Identifying and describing your symptoms to the chiropractor helps them develop a more accurate diagnosis and right treatment plan. Lower back pain characterizes one of a combination of these symptoms.
Dull, aching pain
Pain localized within the low back is dull and achy. This pain is non-stinging or burning and accompanied by limited mobility, muscle spasms, and aches in the pelvis or hips.
Pain that radiates down to the buttocks and feet
Low back pain may also have a stinging, sharp tingling, or numb sensation that radiates down to your buttocks, thighs, and low legs. Also known as sciatica, the condition results due to sciatic nerve irritation.
Pain that worsens after sitting for a long time
Sitting for an extended period puts pressure on the disc, leading to low back pain. Stretching, walking, and exercising may help alleviate the pain, but it may return when you return to a sitting position.
Pain that eases when you change the position
Depending on the root cause, you will feel uncomfortable in some positions than others. For instance, spinal stenosis causes pain when you are walking normally. However, the pain becomes less when you lean forward to a walking stick. Describing how the symptoms differ when you shift position will help the chiropractor identify the pain source faster.
Intense pain when you wake up but eases when you start moving around
If you experience intense low back pain in the morning but eases when you start to move, you may be stressing your back muscles. The pain is due to decreased blood flow and stiffness that arises after long periods. The mattress and pillow quality could also put pressure on your lower back.
The onset of Low Back Pain Symptoms
The underlying cause of low back pain usually dictates the symptoms. As such, the onset symptoms vary from one person to the other. Below are some of the onset symptoms of low back pain.
Pain that develops gradually
Lower back pain that develops because of stress-inducing positions or repetitive motion start as mild but worsen over time. The pain usually develops when you take part in certain activities for long hours. After a long day at work, the pain may occur and feels like a constant ache on your lower part of the spine.
Pain that comes and goes but worsens over time
Degenerative disc diseases cause pain that comes and goes. Unfortunately, the pain will gradually become worse.
Abrupt pain after an injury
Collision, a fall, sudden or jarring movement can also injure the spine and the surrounding muscle. The impact leads to immediate, acute pain.
Delayed symptoms after an injury
After an injury such as a fall or car accident, you might feel okay due to the adrenaline rush. However, lower back pain may develop or worsen after a few hours or days. While the delayed pain is part of a natural healing process, it is essential to have a chiropractor assess the damage.
Symptoms That Require Immediate Attention
From time to time, low back pain may indicate a severe underlying medical condition. If you experience any of the below symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
- Fever and chills
- Loss of bowel control
- Drastic weight loss not due to change of diet or exercise
- Severe, relentless abdominal pain
It is also to seek medical attention when you experience any of the mentioned symptoms following a trauma such as a fall or auto accident. It would be best if you also visited T98 chiropractic and rehab center when you feel that the lower back pain is interfering with mobility, sleep, and other daily activities. In most cases, chronic low back pain comes with other symptoms. Individuals suffering from lower back pain may also report leg pain, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and depression.
What Does Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain Involve?
Getting the right diagnosis that recognizes the underlying causes of lower back pain helps guide treatment. Our diagnostic process starts with the patient providing a detailed description of the symptoms. The chiropractor collects the patient’s medical history to get a general idea of the lower back pain source.
Collecting the information
Before getting on the examination table, the chiropractor will request the patient to provide detailed medical history and symptoms. The inquiries process includes the following steps:
Current symptoms information
The chiropractor will ask the patient some questions that help him understand the nature of the injuries. Here are some of the questions that the chiropractor may ask you.
- How far does the pain spread?
- Is the pain constant or worse when you perform some tasks?
- Is the pain better or worse when you wake up?
- Do you have other symptoms such as numbness or weakness on your back?
- What does the pain feel like- dull, sharp, stinging, or tight?
Next, the chiropractor will ask questions to understand your activity level. The chiropractors will ask you how often you exercise and what your work involves. Generally, people with a more active lifestyle are likely to have better back health than those with a sedentary lifestyle. For instance, if your work involved sitting at a computer desk or standing for hours, you are likely to exert stress on your lower back muscles.
The chiropractor will want to know how many hours of sleep you get. He will also ask you about your preferred sleep position and the quality of the mattress you use.
If you had a recent accident such as an auto crash or a fall, it might have injured your back. The chiropractor will also ask about any other past injuries, which may have worsened over time.
Answering the above questions truthfully will provide the chiropractor with your daily life. It also indicates the likely possibility for low back pain.
The primary goal of the physical examination is to narrow down the possible lower back pain causes. At T98, we understand that lower back pain has numerous sources. As a result, we perform a detailed physical exam to find out the root cause. A typical physical exam for lower back pain includes a combination of the following steps.
The chiropractor will touch or instead massage your low back and locate any tenderness, muscle spasms, or joint abnormalities. The exercise will also help the doctor find any tightness or inflammation that may contribute to the discomfort and pain.
The neurologic exam involves manual movement of your knee, hip, and big toe flexion and extension. The chiropractor will also move your ankle backward and forward and see how you respond. He will also conduct a sensory exam that tests the patient’s reaction to a pinprick and light touch on your toes, lower trunk, and buttocks.
Range of motion test
The chiropractor may also ask you to twist or bend in various positions. These activities will help the professional to find the position that eases or worsen the pain. It will also enable him to see whether the pain limits some specific movements.
The professional will also test your reflexes in the legs. The test will evaluate decreased muscle strength and weakened reflexes. Diminished reflexes often show that a root nerve is not as responsive as it should.
Leg raise test
The chiropractor will ask you to lay on your back and raise your leg as high as possible. If raising your leg causes low back pain, you might be suffering from a herniated disc problem.
Diagnostic Imaging Tests
In most cases, the chiropractor will diagnose the low back pain based on medical history and physical exam. However, sometimes further tests are needed to pinpoint the root cause. Diagnostic imaging tests will provide more information on the lower back pain cause. The standard imaging tests include X-rays, CT scans, and MRI.
Lower back treatment
Chiropractic treatment for back pain usually involves one or more manual adjustments. The chiropractor will manipulate the lower back joints using a controlled, sudden force to restore the right spine alignment. Spinal manipulation eases the pressure on the muscles and restores the bones to their original position. T98 chiropractors also incorporate nutritional counseling, rehabilitation, and exercise programs in the treatment. Our main chiropractic care goal is to restore the typical lower back function in no time and prevent the injury from worsening.
Research has shown that spinal manipulation to ease lower back pain is safe and effective for tackling the injuries that cause discomfort. Although the acute back pain gets better on its own, our chiropractors will help alleviate it and prevent further damage. Our experienced chiropractors also address chronic pain, which may interfere with your daily activities.
Taking the right care for your lower back is crucial to ensure a productive life. Let our T98 chiropractors assist you in alleviating the pain and maximizing your health. Getting the right diagnosis for lower back pain will help our chiropractors come up with a suitable treatment for you. We perform a thorough physical examination to identify the root cause and contributing factors. We also carefully consider your family and personal medical history when devising the treatment plan. The treatment will depend on the results of our examination but typically involves non-invasive and drug-free pain management. Our plan includes spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments, which reduce pain, inflammation and encourages faster healing.