Lower Back Pain
Do you have a nagging dull low back pain? Do you get back pain when sitting or standing? Does your low back feel tight? Do you have buttocks and leg pain?
Low back pain is an extremely common and significant health problem. Statistics show that 85% of Americans will suffer incapacitating low back pain in their lifetime.
The actual pain can come from a variety of sources , structures , and conditions in the back, and other places. Fixing it requires finding out which ones are the culprit, and picking a treatment that is specific to that underlying cause.
Muscle Spasms – Spasms can be a result of old or new injuries, physical nerve or spinal cord irritation, mechanical imbalances, nutritional imbalances or metabolic diseases and vary in degree of severity.
Strains and Sprains – Strains and sprains are injuries from sudden trauma, overuse, or repetitive motion. They may also involve injuries to a joint with possible tearing of ligaments or tendons. This usually results in abnormal function of the spinal (or other) joint and associated muscles. In this case physical damage, inflammation, and abnormal mechanical function are the causes of pain.
Disc Injuries – “Slipped”, ruptured, or degenerated discs are caused from years of forceful movements of the spine, often following falls or auto accidents. Disc injuries do not always require surgery and can be treated with proper care and maintenance.
Sciatica – One of the most common causes of low back pain and sciatica (leg pain) is the loss of normal function of vertebrae in the low back and /or sacroiliac joint. These vertebrae become jammed or twisted causing abnormal disc wear, muscle function, inflammation, and pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in local hip/ buttock area pain, and phantom pain down the leg..
Our approach to low back pain and sciatica is to locate which of the potential underlying causes is at its core. And focus our treatment efforts on those issures, rather than randomly chasing a wild goose. This of course begins with a complete consultation, x-rays if necessary, and a thorough Chiropractic, orthopedic, physical and neurological examination from a qualified expert.
Home Care During initial acute phase of Treatment
During initial treatment for a low back injury, we suggest several precautions that will help promote faster healing and help prevent a recurrence of the injury.
- Do absolutely no lifting until your Chiropractor says it’s OK.
- Lie down as much as possible, Legs up, getting up only in the manner instructed by the Doctor.
- When lying down, assume any position that will afford relief of pain. As you improve, your Chiropractor will instruct you as to the proper position for your particular back problem.
- Take a mild natural laxative, if needed, so that you will not need to strain when having a bowel movement. (especially important with disc injuries)
- As you begin to improve, you may stand and walk for short periods of time, as directed.
- Avoid sitting. Sitting is the worst, and puts the most strain on the low back, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
- Stay out of soft squishy chairs and couches. Use a straight-backed chair and sit as erect as possible. Do not sit for prolonged periods until your physician has given you permission to do so.
- Avoid walking up or down stairs, and do not walk on rough ground.
- To get out of bed, turn to the good side, draw the knees up, push yourself into a sitting position using the arms, place the feet on the floor, place your hands on the thighs, and stand up, allowing the back to assume its most comfortable position.
- Do not use heat on your back unless your doctor has prescribed it. He or she will tell you how to use it if heat is needed at all.( I will often prescribe alternating ice and heat, but not always.)
- Do not bend forward to put on trousers, socks, shoes, etc. When stooping down, do so with the knees bent. Do not bend from the waist. Especially do not bend AND TWIST.