Low Back Pain

September 26th, 2011

Back pain is a nearly ubiquitous problem that will affect around 80 percent of us at some point in our lives.

The most typical form of back pain that affects patients is referred to as uncomplicated mechanical back pain, which is to say that the pain is not related to something more sinister in nature (e.g. cancer, inflammatory arthritis, infection or fracture).  The term ‘lumbago’ is sometimes, though not often anymore, used to describe this sort of pain, which through the years has shown amazing response to spinal manipulation.

There is no one singular cause of this type of back pain, and as you can see, nearly anyone can be affected by it.  Your spine is a complex network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, joints, nerves. bones and blood vessels. All of which are susceptible to injury and can be contributors to back pain.

Most people think that you have to be in a car wreck, or get hit by a linebacker to throw your back out, this just isn’t true.  Sure these sorts of situations in which a large single impact is absorbed by the spine, but in my experience these sorts of injuries make up a smaller percentage of causes of low back pain.  More typically people’s spines succumb to things like sudden unguarded movement, in which the spine is not primed up to perform a movement and forces that are usually absorbed by larger structures end up getting by passed and causing injury.  Also, fatigue and repetitive stress injuries to spinal muscles and ligaments from poor posture, bad desk ergonomics and a whole host of other things can wreak havoc on deconditioned spines that lack endurance.

More and more research is piling up in support of low-cost and highly effective treatments for low back pain, and time and time again spinal manipulation comes up at the top of that list.  These types of manipulations can be performed by osteopaths and physical therapists alike, but chiropractors are spinal manipulation specialists who spend countless hours in lectures, labs and seminars perfecting their craft and in my (clearly unbiased) opinion should be  the first place that anyone who is considering this type of treatment should go.

So if you are like 8 out of 10 of the rest of the people in the world and are looking for a quick and cost-effective treatment, with no to few side effects, for your problem then look no further than your local Denver chiropractor, or find one near you with a handy search page from the ACA!

Here are a few tips from the American Chiropractic Association on how to prevent low back pain:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  •  Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.