Our lower backs are engineered to provide support, strength, and flexibility to our upper bodies. That is also why our lower backs are so sensitive to injury and pain. Lower back pain can be the result of a variety of things and can range from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating. Some 31 million Americans report having lower back discomfort or pain at any given time and 80 percent of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point during their life.
Many cases of lower back pain can be attributed to muscle strain, overuse, or injury, but specific conditions can cause lower back pain as well. If you’re not experiencing pain relief from the home remedies and exercises, or if your symptoms are prolonged or recurring, it may be time to schedule a full chiropractic exam to find out what’s really causing your lower back or sciatica pain.
Together, we will create a personalized treatment plan catered to YOUR body, YOUR pain points and YOUR speed. What is right for one won’t be right for another. We specialize in the following methods to create a customized treatment plan.
You may have heard the term “subluxation” used by chiropractors to describe the abnormal position of the vertebra that causes discomfort or pain and can restrict movement. Chiropractors view subluxation – and your lower back pain – as a process, rather than a fixed condition.
Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain usually involves some type of manual therapy. This may be spinal manipulation, known as a chiropractic adjustment, that applies gentle pressure to abnormal vertebrae to help reduce nerve irritability and restore range of motion in the lower back. Mobilization is another chiropractic treatment that refers to a lower-velocity manipulation that stretches the muscles and joints, increasing the range of motion.
Chiropractic can help manage lower back pain by correcting the cause of the pain (typically misaligned vertebrae). This additionally allows for the ligaments and muscles to return to their natural state which otherwise add to the pain. Routine chiropractic care offers pain treatment through gentle manipulation and other treatments that are non-invasive and safe.
That “sudden” pain might not be as sudden as you think. It could have been years in the making. A lifetime of poor posture, weak back muscles, and incorrect spinal alignment may have set the stage for joint strain and soft tissue issues long ago. In addition, age related changes such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, and bulging or herniated discs may result in inflammation and pain.
Pain signals can travel along nerves from other areas of the body in a phenomenon known as referred pain. Musculoskeletal imbalances anywhere along your spine can also result in stress and pain in the back, especially as your body attempts to compensate through unnatural positioning that eventually causes additional pain and problems.
The key to controlling back pain is to maintain proper spinal alignment. When the spinal structures are out of alignment, they impinge on space needed by other components of the spine. This can result in swelling and pain that affects posture and often develops into more painful conditions. Proper alignment of the spine allows the structures of the back to work together in harmony pain free.
Sciatica is a condition that affects the lower back and results in pain that travels down the sciatic nerve path. The pain starts in the lower back and extends to the hip, buttocks, down the leg, and to the feet. In most cases, only one side is affected. While it can result in severe pain, it is often resolved with chiropractic care in a matter of weeks without surgical intervention.
Although pain from sciatica may be felt anywhere along the nerve pathway, it is likely to follow a path from your lower back into your buttock and then the back of the thigh and calf. The pain may be a mild ache or a sharp, burning, excruciating pain. It may be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting may aggravate the symptoms. Some people also experience tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness.
Sciatica often occurs due to a herniated disc in your spine, or a bone spur (overgrowth of bone) on your vertebrae. In rare cases the nerve may be compressed by a tumor or damaged by disease such as diabetes. Certain factors may be risk factors for sciatica including age, obesity, occupation, and prolonged sitting.
Treatment for sciatica may include medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatments may help strengthen muscles supporting your back, correct your posture, and improve flexibility. If these options don’t work, steroid injections around the involved nerve root may be done by your physician, or as a last resort, surgery may be considered.
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to restore the body so it can heal itself using non-invasive, drug-free methods. Chiropractic treatments for sciatica may include spinal manipulation, disc solutions, TENS treatment, ultrasound therapy, and stretching exercises.
Sciatica may appear to go away on its own after several weeks of pain. However, if the underlying cause of the sciatica is still present, symptoms may return over and over until you correct the underlying issue.
Routine checkups of the spine can help identify and treat any future spinal imbalances before they can turn into sciatica. Exercises and lifestyle modifications can help you maintain a healthy posture and strong back.
Pain typically starts in the lower back and buttock and may radiate to the lower hip, upper thigh, and groin. Although it often occurs on only one side, it can occur on both sides. In addition to pain, people may also experience tingling, numbness, and weakness in the leg. Symptoms may worsen with standing, sitting, walking, climbing stairs, or sleeping. Pain may also get worse with transitional movements.
SI joint pain can occur when ligaments become too tight or too loose. This can occur due to work injury, falls, car accident, pregnancy or childbirth, or spine or hip surgery. Sacroiliac pain may also occur when movement in the pelvis isn’t equal on both sides. Uneven movement may occur when one leg is weaker or longer than the other or there is arthritis in the hip or knee. Autoimmune conditions such as axial spondylarthritis, or biomechanical conditions such as wearing a walking boot following surgery can lead to sacroiliac pain.
Treatment for SI pain may include stretching exercises, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractic adjustments of the SI area can prove to be extremely beneficial in treating SI joint pain. These manual manipulations help to realign your body, decrease inflammation, restore mobility, and relieve pressure – all imperative pieces to allow real healing to take place. Additional adjustments of the spine and extremities can also help your entire body be more receptive to the natural healing process.
Rest, ice therapy, and pain medication are often prescribed for SI joint pain. However, chiropractic treatments may offer a more effective solution that addresses SI joint stress, immobility, and pain by realigning the body, decreasing inflammation, and relieving pressure.
The joint becomes painful when supporting ligaments become too tight or too loose. This may result due to injury, surgery, accidents, childbirth, or surgery. It may also occur if movement in the pelvis is not equal on both sides.
SI joint pain may be mild to severe depending on the cause and extent of the injury. It may occur suddenly and will usually heal within several days to weeks. SI joint pain can also be chronic if it persists for more than three months.
SI joints are located between the sacrum and the iliac bones. The joints provide stability and support and play a major role in absorbing impact when lifting and walking. The SI joints are located below the waist where the two dimples are visible. There is a small amount of motion in the joint for normal flexibility. When the cartilage wears down, the bones may rub together causing pain. SI joint pain may be mild to severe and may occur suddenly or little by little.
Ankylosing spondylitis, or spinal arthritis, causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of lower back pain in older adults. The lower back contains five sets of facet joints, and just like any other part of the body, the lower back facet joints can be injured or become inflamed.
Spinal arthritis causes stiffness and lower back pain. These are often worse upon waking and tend to lessen with activity and then worsen again at the end of the day. Lower back pain due to arthritis often runs from the back and into the buttocks and may feel more like hip pain than back pain. Many people report burning in the outer part of the thigh and even down the leg.
Arthritis in the spine typically occurs due to damage to the facet joints. The surfaces of the joints are lined with smooth cartilage, however, if one side of this cartilage gets damaged, the injured areas rub against each other causing friction and injury. The friction leads to inflammation and pain.
Anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and lifestyle changes are often used to treat arthritis of the spine. These can be used to reduce stress of the spine and decrease inflammation.
Chiropractic manipulation often provides excellent relief from the symptoms that are causing you pain and discomfort. (Keep in mind that chiropractic manipulation should be limited to the non-acute inflammatory stage of spinal arthritis, so as not to injure any connective tissue.)
Numbness is often a sign that the nerves are involved. If spinal arthritis is causing nerve irritation or impingement, it could result in weakness, burning, tingling, or numbness in areas other than the actual location of the arthritis.
Chiropractic care can help restore alignment and movement by manipulating soft tissue and stopping muscle spasms. Your treatment will be adjusted for your specific type of arthritis and meet your specific needs.
Because adjustments to the spine alignment the spine and restore movement, adjustments cannot cause arthritis. In fact, they have actually been shown to do the opposite. Chiropractic treatments can slow down, prevent, and in some cases, even reverse spinal arthritis.
Vertebrae may slip out of place without any symptoms at all, or symptoms may show up months or years later. Symptoms may include lower back pain, pain in the buttocks, pain that radiates down one or both legs, tight leg muscles, walking difficulties, pain that increases with bending or twisting, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
Causes of this condition vary based on lifestyle, age, and heredity. Children may suffer from the condition due to injury or birth defects, although people of all ages are susceptible if the condition runs in their family. Playing sports such as football, track, gymnastics, and weightlifting can cause strain and stress to the lower back resulting in spondylolisthesis. Spondylolysis, or a fracture in the vertebra, is often a precursor to spondylolisthesis.
Treatment for the condition is based on the damage identified by your doctor. Rest is often the first course of treatment by primary physicians, as are anti-inflammatory medications. Other treatment options may include bracing, steroid injections, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care is a fantastic, safe, and natural treatment regime for addressing spondylolisthesis. Chiropractic care utilizes gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities to realign your body. These gentle adjustments help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax and allow actual healing to take place. These adjustments are effective at treating cases of spondylolisthesis in particular because they address misalignments of the spine directly– the cause of much of the pain that stems from this diagnosis
Chiropractic is often a preferred treatment for spondylolisthesis because it doesn’t require medication or surgery. It has been found very effective in treating the condition and routine adjustments can help not only treat the condition but prevent it.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis may be progressive, which means it gets worse over time. In addition, it can cause stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal and result in spinal cord compression.
Medical intervention is crucial for relieving the symptoms of this condition. It may cause chronic pain and permanent damage if left untreated. Without treatment, eventually you may experience weakness and leg paralysis if nerves are damaged.
Although vertebrae of the spine may shift and slip, the discs between them do not. It’s a huge misnomer and the two are not the same condition.
This is a condition where one vertebra slips forward over another vertebra below it. This is often confined to the lower back area and can result in lower back pain and weakness or numbness in one or both legs. In severe cases, an individual may lose control of their bladder or bowel function, although this is rare.
If you’re not experiencing pain relief for your sciatica and lower back pain from self-care or exercises–or if your symptoms are prolonged or recurring–scheduling a full chiropractic exam can help find and address the underlying cause.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, your practitioner can also provide guidance on proper rehabilitation exercises to perform at home. These personalized exercises will help you continue to address the root of your problem outside of a practitioner’s office and help to speed your recovery process.