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How common is low back pain?

Low back pain is a very common complaint, with between 60% and 80% of the general population being affected at some stage of their lives. Although most individuals recover within 6 weeks, 5 to 15% are unresponsive to treatment and have continued disability, severely affecting their quality of life.


What are the causes of low back pain?

The majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature.  Acute low back pain are initiated by an acute injury or trauma which cause immediate damage to tissues in the low back area.  Accidents such as a fall, sports injury, or performing certain movements in the wrong way may precipitate an acute low back pain.  Chronic low back pain is usually associated with a gradual increase in or recurrent symptoms over a period of months or years.  Sometimes it may be related to an acute onset with a prolonged recovery.  Repeated minor injuries resulting from poor postures or faulty techniques in sports may also cause chronic low back pain.

Clinically, the exact cause of many incidents of low back pain is often difficult to determine due to the vast number of structures in the lower back that could be the source of pain.  It is important to obtain a correct diagnosis before proceeding with treatment.  Sometimes radiographic or other studies are required to confirm the diagnosis. The most common conditions seen by a chiropractor:

  • Lumbar (low back) sprain and strain

  • Discogenic pain

  • Facet syndrome

  • Sacroiliac sprain

  • Spondylolisthesis

What is the chiropractic treatment approach for low back pain?

  1. Reduce Pain - For both acute and chronic pain, the goal of treatment initially would be to reduce the pain, or to “break the pain cycle”. As the pain level is reduced, the muscles will relax, reversing the pain cycle. Certain modalities may be employed to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation at this stage, such as interferential current therapy, ice/heat cycle, etc.

  2. Restore normal joint mechanics - Depending on the examination findings, your chiropractor will adjust (manipulate) the vertebral joints that are misaligned (subluxated). A chiropractic spinal adjustment is a high-velocity, low-amplitude force directed to specific joint segment(s). Sometimes other techniques are also employed to effect the correction, including flexion-distraction, Activator.

  3. Improve flexibility and strength – To prevent future injuries, it is important to improve the flexibility of the joints and the strength of the core muscles. Your chiropractor will advise you on appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises according to your physical needs and fitness level.

  4. Lifestyle adjustments – Exercises, diet, working posture, sleep etc. play a vital role in the development and otherwise prevention of low back pain. Your specialist in chiropractic will work with you to identify lifestyle adjustments that will help you maximize the quality of your health.

Effective relief from low back pain starts from a proper examination and diagnosis. A chiropractors can help identify the causes of your back pain and formulate a treatment plan suitable to your needs. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions and you’ll receive professional advice based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

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Pain Care Chiropractic, PLLC