Posts Tagged ‘low back pain’

Understanding Back Pain and How to End It

Posted on: November 7th, 2018

Most people will experience lower back pain at some time in their lives. For some, it may come and go, but for others it can be chronic pain, lasting for several years.

Chiropractic care should be your number one go-to for treatment. Chiropractors will look to find the main cause of your pain and will work with you to relieve your pain and reverse the problem.

Even if you’ve already seen an orthopedist, have had injections, surgery, or are on medications, and you’re still in pain, it’s not too late to seek chiropractic help.

To understand why you may be having lower back pain, it’s important to first understand the areas of the spine that make up the lower back.

Pelvis. The pelvis is a large bony structure that you rest your body on, and it includes your pelvic bones, also known as hip bones.

Sacrum. The sacrum is connected to your pelvis and is a triangular bone at the lower part of your spine.

Vertebrae are the individual segments that are stacked on top of the sacrum.

Spinal discs are located between each vertebra. They provide shock distribution and act as spacers for nerves to come out of the sides.

These parts of the spine need to stay in alignment for your body to function properly and feel its best.

In most cases, lower back pain occurs from misalignments in these areas, which puts pressure on nerves. The nerves overreact, trying to protect the affected area. They may connect to muscles in the lower back, causing spasms. They may go down the leg and cause numbness, tingling, and weakness. These nerves also lead to organs in the lower back and include the nerves leading to the digestive system and reproductive system.

Research shows there is a specific design you should have in your lower back in order for it to function properly.  This design should be a 40-degree bend with the lower portion of the back having about 90 percent of that curve. The upper portion of the lower back should be flat.

This research also showed that many people with lower back pain had a lumbar curve of fewer than 40 degrees (closer to 34 degrees). This is known as an irregular curve. This irregular curve can be the cause of pain.

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s best to look for someone who can manage the pain conservatively, before seeking other, invasive treatments (such as injections or surgery).

Looking to find the root cause of the pain is the best option so you can use natural ways to correct the problem. You may be able to treat your lower back pain with chiropractic care, massage therapy, a personal trainer, or rehabilitation.

If the cause of your pain is not found, you may need to undergo invasive treatments such as medications, surgery, or injections, and it is best to avoid these treatments if possible.

How can you help your lower back pain naturally?

If you have lower back pain there are things you can do at home that may give you some relief.

Stretching

Whether your back pain comes from a disc injury, sciatica, facet syndrome, or any other problems with the lower back or further up your spine, stretches are a great way to loosen up your hips and gain more mobility.  These are my 3 favorite stretches to help people with lower back pain:

  • Stretch #1

  1. Lie on your back, bend one knee, keeping the other leg down.
  2. Use your hands under your thigh to pull your knee as close to your chest as you’re able to.
  3. Hold this position for about 10 seconds.
  4. Next, keeping your hands in the same position, straighten your leg up as much as you can (not completely straight, and you should feel no pain). You should feel a stretch on the back of your leg.
  5. Hold this position for about 10 seconds as well.
  6. Place your leg back down and hold in the first stretch position.

Repeat these stretches with the other leg, holding about 10 seconds for each stretch.

  • Stretch #2

  1. Lying on your back, bend up one knee, placing your hands on top of your knee.
  2. Use your hands to pull your knee up toward your chest and slightly across your body.

You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg. Some people may feel this stretch in the crease of the hip. If this happens, you need to modify the stretch and place your hands under your thigh, straightening your leg, shifting it over slightly. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds.

Repeat this stretch for 10 seconds on the other side.

  • Stretch #3

  1. Lie on your back and bend your right knee up.
  2. Cross your left leg over your right knee, with your left ankle resting on your knee.
  3. Use your hand to push down on your left knee and hold for about 10 seconds if possible.
  4. Staying in that position, use your hands to grab behind your right knee, placing one hand between your legs and the other on the outside. You can grab just under the thigh, or on top of the shin if you prefer.
  5. Bring your right knee back toward your chest as far as you can and hold for 10 seconds.

Again, repeat this stretch for 10 seconds on the left side.

It’s important to note that you should not feel pain during any of these stretches and you don’t want to do anything to cause pain. If you feel pain during any of these stretches, stop the stretch.

Get in your car properly so you don’t aggravate your lower back.

If you have a long commute to and from work, sitting in your car for that amount of time can do a number on your back pain. You want to make sure you’re getting in and out of your car properly to avoid this.

While getting in your car, sit first. Then place one leg in the car, and then the other.

When in the car, scoot your bottom all the way to the back. If you have a mechanical lumbar support on your seat, push it all the way forward. If you don’t, make sure your head and your bottom are all the way back to get a good curve in your lower spine. You also may need to consider adding some lumbar support.

Get out of the car the same way you got in with one leg out first, then the second leg. Place both feet on the ground and then stand up.

What can a chiropractor do for me?

If you’ve tried the methods listed above and still need further relief from your pain, a chiropractor may be the solution for you.

  • Exercises for spinal remodeling.

    A chiropractor can instruct you in specific exercises to change your posture and reshape your spinal curves in a process known as spinal remodeling. This process can reverse problems such as spinal, back, and leg pain, even pain that has been going on for years.

Spinal remodeling has been introduced and studied in over 250 peer-reviewed articles and has been shown to help reverse the problems that may have been building up over years. This process takes the pressure off muscles that are contracting in the wrong way and lets the spine flow like it’s meant to, helping you feel your best.

  • An adjustment is one of the main tools of chiropractic care. First, the doctor has you lie down and checks for misalignments.

There are a couple tools he may use to make adjustments. The first is an ArthroStim. This is an instrument that provides rapidly beating, gentle impulses into the spine to help vertebrae go back into place.

The chiropractor may also use his hands to make adjustments.

After any adjustments, he will then go back to check the alignment.

  • Tractioning is a sustained hold in a certain position. A tool commonly used in tractioning is a Denneroll and is designed to conform to the arch where the lumbar spine should be.
  • You will lie down and this tool will be placed under your lower back. You’ll most likely begin with a short time frame of about 3 minutes, increasing it over time.

These are all ways in which chiropractic care can help relieve your pain and reshape your spine. It is always best to go this route first, before undergoing any invasive treatments such as medication, surgery, or injections.

Even if you’ve already gone through other, unnatural treatments and have found no relief, it’s not too late to take a different approach. A chiropractor may be a better option to help you understand and treat the cause of your pain.

maybe use invasive instead of unnatural?  I don’t know which one would you more likely to do something?  You are our target.  I can’t tell if you have hit the 30 yoa mark but female, parent focused on their health and the health of their family.  We usually target 30-65 YOA Women.

Forward Head Posture and Low Back Pain

Posted on: September 1st, 2016

Article review: Forward Head Posture and Low Back Pain

By Ryan Winslow DC

This is one of my favorite papers. It compares typical physical therapy for low back pain to therapy focusing on reducing Forward Head Posture (FHP). The best parts of this study are that it takes place over 2 years, has an excellent spread of outcomes and demonstrates which treatment is superior in the long term. This is an important examination of which treatment has true long term benefits, since many treatments provide immediate relief which does not continue over time.

Moustafa, I. M., & Diab, A. A. (2015). The Effect of Adding Forward Head Posture Corrective Exercises in the Management of Lumbosacral Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Study.

Link to full-text PDF article, click here

Quick Takeaways:

1: Reducing FHP produces lasting reductions in low back pain.

2: Typical physical therapy treatments like core strengthening and general conditioning do not appear to produce long term improvements.

3: Reducing FHP leads to IMPROVED NERVE FUNCTION AND LESS PAIN MEDICATION USE!

4: One of the best indicators for long term improvements is the amount of FHP seen on a lateral radiograph (x-ray).

Background:

This article is an in-depth investigation into the long term benefit of correcting forward head posture (head being too far forward) for patients who have low back pain which radiates down one leg (unilateral lumbosacral radiculopathy). Forward Head Posture AKA “Text Neck” or “Anterior Head Carriage” is a common dysfunctional posture. Other research studies  have demonstrated that forward head posture puts biomechanical tension on the low back through a lever arm effect, and also puts tension on the spinal cord itself (review research by Alf Breig and Renee Caillet). The general treatment strategies employed by most therapists today focus on the area of pain, which is the low back in this case. Treating a non-symptomatic area of the body to improve biomechanics and reduce stress on the painful area is not a common treatment strategy. This is why this article is so great. It compares the two strategies head-to-head, and then compares the long term effects of each. (more…)


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