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Back Pain: Lower

Did you know that 80% of the population suffers from lower back pain at some point in their lives? It is the second most common reason people visit their health care professionals, second only to upper-respiratory infections. In fact, studies have shown that lower back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year while 10% experience frequent lower back pain.

Unlike the thoracic spine, which is supported by the rib cage, the neck and lower back are not afforded this type of support; therefore, these two areas are susceptible to injury. Such instability affords us a great deal of mobility, but the risk of injury is greatly increased.

As long as it is healthy and functioning properly, the lower back can withstand tremendous forces. Case in point: Professional power lifters can manage several hundred pounds weight without sustaining injury to the lower back. However, if the lower back is improperly aligned or its supporting muscles are weak, something as simple bending down to pet the cat can cause injury.

Research has proven that lower back injuries do not heal by themselves. In fact, if left untreated, pain may diminish, but only temporarily. Most likely, it will return—only worse. Therefore, it is imperative seek professional chiropractic care as soon as lower back pain manifests.

The Causes of Low Back Pain

Among the causes of lower back pain are ruptured disks, trigger points and inflamed joints. While sports injuries and automobile accidents can lead to injury, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pencil from the floor, can result in pain. In addition, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can also play a role.

Because lower back pain can originate from a variety of sources, it is crucial to seek a chiropractor’s expertise. They are the experts at accurately diagnosing the cause of your pain, and determining the optimal treatment. Below are a few of the most common conditions relating to lower back pain:

Subluxations

Whenever normal placement of the vertebrae is disturbed, pain and inflammation can ensue. In the lumbar spine, this typically occurs between the lower spine and the sacrum. Left untreated, subluxations can lead to debilitating lower back pain. Fortunately, they are easily treated and many patients report a significant pain reduction almost immediately after an adjustment.

Herniated Discs

Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc is not always at the root of lower back pain. In fact, one study revealed that nearly half of all adults have experienced a bulging or herniated disc, quite unawares. Conversely, a herniated disc can also cause intense and debilitating pain that may extend to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, it rarely heals completely. However, further deterioration may be circumvented by consistent and professional chiropractic care.

Sprains, Strains and Spasms

These are the common complaints among “weekend warriors,” meaning those who are fairly sedentary during the work week, and transform into pseudo-athletes on the weekend. By Sunday evening, they are lying flat on their backs, wishing their chiropractor would suddenly appear. Taxing the muscles and ligaments in the lower back can cause small tears in the tissues, resulting in painful swelling and tension.

Stress

Stress affects the human body in a variety of ways. When we are in a stressful situation, our blood pressure rises, heart rate quickens and our muscles clench and tighter. When we experience stress on a regular, nearly constant basis, our muscles become sore, weak and encumbered with trigger points. When lower back pain is stress-related, yoga, meditation, deep breathing and a customized exercise regimen can assist in pain management.

Treating Lower Back Pain with Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments are a standard treatment for lower back pain. Typically, it is simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to restore the spine to its natural position.

Chiropractic care is the optimal treatment for lower back pain. Moreover, clinical studies have shown that chiropractic care is more successful, cost-effective and produces a higher level of long-term results than alternative treatments. This comes as no surprise since chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that serves to return normal vertebral movement and positioning in the spine. Alternative treatments, such as prescription drugs and bed rest, serve only as Band-Aids® in that they temporarily relieve the pain, rather than addressing its root cause.

In 1999, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) of Kansas compiled the results of a statistical study focusing on the various treatments for lower back pain. The results revealed that chiropractic care was more a more cost-effective option than anesthesia, neurosurgery, neurology, registered physical therapy, orthopedic reconstructive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and rheumatology. This study confirmed (as had its predecessors) that chiropractic care is by far the superior alternative for patients who suffer from back pain.

Treatment Using the DTS Spinal Decompression Therapy System

DTS Spinal Decompression Therapy is a non-surgical, technologically advanced treatment that relieves severe back and neck pain. Through the gentle and gradual separation of the vertebrae within the spinal column, intradiscal pressure reduces, causing a vacuum to form. This vacuum functions to relieve pressure in the spinal nerves, thus drastically reducing pain. Spinal Decompression Therapy also streamlines the flow of vital oxygen and nutrients to the painful discs, which accelerates the healing process.