Chiropractic Health & Wellness Blog

Back Pain-Lower – Can we help!

November 21, 2010
Back Pain-Lower – Can we help!

Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. In fact, it is estimated that low back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year and more than 10% of all people experience frequent bouts of low back pain.

The susceptibility of the low back to injury and pain is due to the fact that the low back, like the neck, is a very unstable part of the spine. Unlike the thoracic spine, which is supported and stabilized by the rib cage. This instability allows us to have a great deal of mobility to touch our toes, tie our shoes or pick something up from the ground, but at the cost of increased risk of injury.

As long as it Quick read more or view full article is healthy and functioning correctly, the low back can withstand tremendous forces without injury. Professional power-lifters can pick up several hundred pounds off the floor without injuring their low back. However, if the low back is out of adjustment or has weakened supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk of their car, picking something up off the floor, or even simply bending down to pet the cat can cause a low back injury.

Until recently, researchers believed that back pain would heal on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. Recent studies showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return. It is important to take low back pain seriously and seek professional chiropractic care. This is especially true with pain that recurs over and over again. Contact our chiropractor at Lyn Lake Chiropractic... we can help!

The Causes of Low Back Pain -
There are many different conditions that can result in low back pain, including: sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points and inflamed joints. While sports injuries or accidents can lead to injury and pain, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pencil from the floor, can have painful results. In addition, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can lead to pain.

Due to the fact that there are a whole lot of things that can cause low back pain, and some of those things can be quite serious if left untreated, it is important to seek professional help. Chiropractors and Medical Doctors are the experts at diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes:

Subluxations -
Whenever there is a disruption in the normal movement or position of the vertebrae, the result is pain and inflammation. In the lumbar spine, these usually occur at the transition between the lower spine and the sacrum. Subluxations can lead to debilitating low back pain. Fortunately, subluxations are easily treatable and often times a significant reduction in pain is experienced almost immediately after treatment.

Disc Herniations -
Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not automatically mean that you are going to suffer from low back pain. In fact, one study found that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc, even though they did not suffer any back pain from it. On the other hand, herniated discs can be a source of intense and debilitating pain that frequently radiates to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, they rarely, if ever, completely heal. Further deterioration can often be avoided through regular chiropractic care, but a complete recovery is much less common.

Sprains, Strains and Spasms -
This is commonly the source of low back pain among the weekend warriors. You know, the type who have very little physical activity during the week, but once the weekend arrives, they push themselves way too much. By the end of the weekend, they are lying flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get in to see their chiropractor. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight.

Stress -
Whenever you become stressed, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding your body with stress hormones and tightening up your muscles. When you are stressed all the time, the chronic tension causes your muscles to become sore, weak and loaded with trigger points. If you are stressed out all of the time and you have low back pain, it is important to do some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, as well as to get regular exercise.

Treating Low Back Pain With Chiropractic -
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is usually pretty straightforward. Most commonly, it's simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to re-establish normal motion and position of your bones and joints.

Chiropractic for the low back has been repeatedly shown to be the most effective treatment for low back pain. In fact, major studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective, cheaper and has better long-term outcomes than any other treatment.

This makes sense because chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that serves to re-establish normal vertebral motion and position in the spine. All other treatments, such as muscle relaxants, pain killers and bed rest, only serve to decrease the symptoms of the problem and do not correct the problem itself.

If we can help, please call Lyn Lake Chiropractic to see one of our Minneapolis Chiropractors. Please call 612-879-8000 Read Less


September 19, 2010
Early treatment leads to better outcomes:

If you've suffered from low back pain over the past few days, or if you get back pain sometime in the future, the tendency will be to wait it out and see if it gets better. Sometimes we even decide to take time off and lie in bed, hoping we will eventually be feeling better and back to our usual activities or work. However, more and more research shows that lying in bed or waiting it out is the worst thing you can do for yourself. Remember, only 10 percent of people develop chronic low back pain, but those cases account for an estimated $100 billion a year in health care and other costs. It's a safe bet that most of them have taken this incorrect "wait and see" approach.

Research suggests that when it comes to back pain, early intervention is best. There are many Quick read more or view full article reasons for this concept, but here is a basic summary of what current guidelines are saying:

Low back pain can sometimes be due to something more serious than a simple sprain. That's why it's important to see your chiropractor right away so they can evaluate you for anything more serious.

Spinal manipulation is one of the only treatments that is consistently being recommended for those with acute low back pain - and yet far too many people don't visit a chiropractor and choose to pop over-the- counter pain medication instead.

Avoid bed rest as much as possible. Yes, I know that it feels good and frankly, when I had an episode of low back pain once, I was tempted to lie in bed all day, too. On a basic level, it's the most "rational" thing to do. However, bed rest actually wastes away your muscles, and this effect lasts even for the lucky ones who improve with their low back pain.

For those who are pain free, the bad news is that the muscles still waste away. ?What does this mean? It means that although you may be lucky enough to be out of pain, your muscles will have put you in a position where you will most likely suffer back pain again.

That's why trying to stay as active as possible in the early stages can go a long way not only to get over the back pain, but also to help prevent future back pain episodes from happening. ??Early exercise will help ensure that your muscles and bones will continue to move to prevent stiffness and pain. I often have patients tell me that they have Googled an exercise program for their back pain and are using it. Unfortunately, there is no-one-size-fits-all exercise program for low back pain.

The type of exercises you do for a disc herniation can be totally different than the ones you do for a simple strain or sprain caused by playing a sport or lifting something at work. In fact, some exercises that you may see posted on the Internet may actually cause further damage or prolong your back pain. That's why it's so important to see your health professional to get an expert opinion on which exercises will be beneficial for your condition.

There are ways to predict if acute pain will end up developing into chronic pain. One of the most frustrating things health professionals face is the fact that although some patients may have undergone treatments, they still develop chronic low back pain. The good news is that there are certain predictors that can identify someone who may end up developing chronic back pain.

When you look at these, it becomes more apparent that seeking treatment and following all the above points is crucial to getting better. One of the biggest predictors is called "pain avoidance behavior." Quite simply, it means once you get the pain, you will do everything you can to avoid anything that will cause pain.

What happens next? You guessed it. This type of person lies in bed as much as possible. This type of person will try to avoid any exercise that may cause the slightest discomfort. Essentially, they will avoid everything that could be helpful to their condition.

That's why I always take time with my patients to stress the importance of not letting the pain overtake their lives. Continue doing what you did before, no matter how small of an effort you put in. The back pain feels like your back is going to break in two. However, with proper supervision and the right recommendations for treatment, you will not be able to damage your back any more than the situation it is in.

So, the next time you experience back pain and feel like you can't do anything, always remember that any movement or activity or treatment that keeps you moving is crucial for your recovery. Another factor is that you may be deconditioned and not fit enough.

With back pain, you can become even more deconditioned. That's why starting to move and then progressing to an exercise program is crucial to ensure not only that you get better, but also that you don't get future bouts of low back pain. Read Less

Did you know we now have five Lyn Lake Chiropractic locations? If you're on the North side of Minneapolis, look us up! Or in the St Paul area, check us out!