Not far behind the #1 reason people miss work, the common cold, is low back pain at #2. Not only is it the #2 reason people miss work it is also the main reason for lost productivity at work.
If there is one thing that chiropractors have known for, it is helping people with low back pain. Even the AMA has finally agreed that chiropractic care is “effective” for the treatment of low back pain. Patients enjoy less time lost from work and shorter periods of disability when receiving care from a chiropractor.
So what causes low back pain?
During our evaluation we always ask about traumas. Childhood injuries, sports, car accidents, falls, but a lot of what causes low back pain is repetitive bad habits over time, things we don’t even think are an issue. A lot of patients will report “all I did was bend down to tie my shoes, sneeze, etc…”. It is the old adage, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Regardless of your condition, many diagnoses are made after learning a full history. Follow that with a complete physical examination and we can pinpoint exactly what the cause of most back conditions are.
Sometimes patients will ask, “What does it mean when I have a pinched nerve”?
When our spines are healthy our nerves have plenty of space to exit the spinal canal without any stress/pressure. Our discs are fibrocartilage spacers that keep a healthy distance between our vertebra. If we have misalignments or fixations in our spine it can reduce motion. Motion that is vital for the health of our discs. What happens over time is our discs can degrade and some of our disc material can bulge and put pressure on our nerves. Couple that with inflammation, scar tissue and over time stenosis/arthritis and we are in big trouble.
Conditions which have resulted in degeneration or arthritis are much more difficult to correct, which is why everyone should have their spine checked early and often to prevent this from happening. Most people who come in with numbness/tingling/radiating pain are focused on those symptoms. Remember, our nervous system controls everything that happens in our body! For your heart to beat or for a cut to heal you need an impulse that starts in your brain. It travels down your spinal cord and out through the nerves to every part of our body.
When you hear the word, “Subluxation”.
Subluxation is any condition of the spine that causes misalignment, fixation and eventually degeneration of the spine. Detection and correction of subluxation is the primary goal in our office. We couple that with corrective exercises and lifestyle modification to get the best results.
The only way to know if you have subluxation in your spine is to have a complete chiropractic evaluation which will include; flexibility and strength tests, soft tissue evaluation, postural analysis, spinal movement testing and if necessary digital x-rays. We also complete a “Wellness Score” which will bring together the findings from your exam, so that together we can come up with a plan to help make you the best you can be.