Can A Chiropractor Help With Lower Back Pain?
The lower back or the lumbar region is the area that starts below the ribcage. It is estimated that around four out of five people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the problem, lower back pain can range from mild to sharp and debilitating.
Lower back pain is one of the most reported causes of missed work. A painful lower back can cause mobility impairments. Many people with lower back pain struggle with everyday tasks and need assistance from a caregiver to navigate their daily life. Such pain can cause avoidance of outings, events, and overall social functions leading to a lowered quality of life.
If ignored for a long period of time, minor lower back pain can snowball into a major issue that can affect the physical and mental health of a sufferer. Many people with lower back pain slip into a sedentary lifestyle, which increases their risk of other chronic conditions.
Lower back pain can be dull or sharp. It usually radiates to the bottom or down to the back of the legs. If you have lower back pain and you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a “pop.” Pain is often worse in certain positions such as bending over to pick something up and getting better when lying down. Other symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Stiffness: People with lower back pain have trouble moving or straightening their back. They often need more time to get up from a seated position and may feel that they need to walk or stretch to loosen up. People with lower back pain can experience a limited range of motion
- Muscle Spasms: After a strain, the lower back muscles can spasm or contract uncontrollably. A muscle spasm can cause excruciating pain, making it difficult for the person to stand, walk or move
- Posture Problems: In many cases, people with lower back pain are unable to stand up straight. They stand with their torso off to the side rather than aligned with their spine. As a result, their lower back looks flat instead of curved
There are many possible causes for someone to begin experiencing lower back pain. As a licensed chiropractic clinic, many of our clients at Ascent Chiropractic have experienced similar causes of their lower back pain, including:
- Strains and Sprains: Back strains and sprains are the number one cause of lower back pain. The muscles and ligaments in the back can overstretch when you lift something heavy. You can also strain your back by bending over incorrectly
- Disc Problems: Over time, discs can lose water and become flattered. This affects their ability to protect vertebral bones. Disc injuries can also cause back pain. A disc injury can occur when you lift a heavy object or twist your back suddenly. In most cases, the pain from a disc injury lasts for more than 72 hours
- Fractures: People with osteoporosis or spondylosis are at high risk of fractures. Bones in the spine can also break during a car accident or a fall
- Abnormal Spine Curvature: Some conditions that cause abnormal spine curvature include lordosis, scoliosis, and kyphosis. These are congenital conditions. Abnormal curvature of the spine places pressure on tendons, muscles, vertebrae, and ligaments, resulting in pain and posture problems
- Sciatica: Sciatica occurs when a herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve that connects the spine to the legs. It can cause burning pain in the legs and feet. In some cases, sciatica pain can feel like someone is pricking needles or pins in the legs or feet
- Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows, putting pressure on the spinal nerves and spinal cord. This results in numbness, weakness, and cramping. People with spinal stenosis can experience these symptoms anywhere in their bodies. Spinal stenosis symptoms usually worsen when standing or walking
- Other Health Conditions: Other conditions that can cause lower back pain include fibromyalgia, arthritis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylitis, and spine tumors. Certain types of cancers, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, bladder and kidney problems, uterine fibroids, and physical changes during pregnancy can also increase the risk of lower back pain.
Chiropractic Care For Lower Back Pain
If you are struggling with back pain, consider seeing a chiropractor for back pain near you in Des Moines.
A chiropractor uses their hands or a handheld device to apply gentle pressure to the affected spinal joint. This is known as spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment. The goal of spinal manipulation is to reduce pain and discomfort, reduce nerve irritability, improve functionality, and restore the range of motion in the back.
Chiropractic care is non-invasive and does not have any side effects. It is drug-free and can hence reduce dependence on pain medication. When performed by a trained professional, the chiropractic adjustment is 100% safe. Unlike pain medications that mask the symptoms of back pain, chiropractic care addresses the root cause of back pain.
Studies have found that chiropractic adjustments can relieve lower back pain. In a 2018 study, 750 participants with lower back pain were divided into two groups. One group received normal care, while the other group received 12 chiropractic care treatments. After six weeks, the participants in the group that received chiropractic care:
- The reported decline in pain intensity
- We’re less dependent on pain medication
- Were able to increase their range of motion
What to Expect
During the initial consultation, the chiropractor may ask the patient questions about their family and health history. They may perform a physical examination to measure the person’s range of motion. Once the chiropractor has a better understanding of the patient’s condition, they craft a treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.
During a typical chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor places you in a specific position on a specially designed chiropractic table. Once you are comfortable, your chiropractor applies a sudden force to the affected joint.
In short, yes, a licensed professional chiropractor can help alleviate lower back pain with specialized chiropractic treatment. At Ascent Chiropractic, we take a whole-body approach to care. Our techniques are designed to balance the structure of the body and create a stable neuromusculoskeletal interaction. To learn more, call (206) 241-3836.