Can A Chiropractor Help Your Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is a very common condition that most people experience at some point in their lives.  In the United Kingdom, almost 10 million Britons deal with lower back pain daily and it is now considered to be a leading cause of disability by medical experts.

Fortunately, there are some very effective treatments available for lower back pain.  One of the most best options is chiropractic treatment.  It involves the non-surgical manipulation of the spine to correct alignment issues and ensure the body’s musculoskeletal structure is correct.  This article will explain how a chiropractor can help you alleviate lower back pain.

Common causes of lower back pain

There are multiple potential causes of lower back pain, but the most common include:

Strains or tears in muscles and ligaments (mechanical pain)

Many people suffer from lower back pain because they have injured the muscles or ligaments in their back.  Often, this has occurred from sports injuries, picking up heavy objects, lifting while twisting the spine, or a serious accident.  Damage to your muscles and ligaments can even be caused by sleeping in an awkward position or having improper posture for many years.

Slipped (herniated) disc
The spinal column consists of a series of bones that are stacked upon one another.  It includes bones in the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, and coccyx.

Each bone is cushioned by a disc, which helps your body absorb shocks.  The discs have two sections — a soft inner section and an tough outer ring.  If a disc has been damaged or weakened, the soft section may push through the tough outer lining.  This is called a herniated or slipped disc.  It can be very painful and cause inflammation in your lower back.

Pinched sciatic nerve
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body.  It consists of many nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back.  If a part of the sciatic nerve is compressed by a poorly aligned spine or an injury, it can cause a significant amount of back pain.  The pain from a pinched sciatic nerve can also appear in the buttocks and legs.

Referred pain

Referred back pain is pain caused by the legs, ankles, feet, and hips that affects the back.  This can often be corrected by improving a person’s posture.

How can a chiropractor help your lower back pain?

Chiropractic treatments involve a hands-on manipulation of the body to properly align the spine and the body’s musculoskeletal structure.  This helps the body heal without the need for surgery or medication and can relieve lower back pain. 

Chiropractors often perform a spinal adjustment to realign the spine and surrounding muscles.  This procedure involves the use of controlled force to the joints of the spine to bring the spine back into its natural position.  This kind of procedure can restore mobility, help the body heal and relieve pain in the lower back.  

Some of the techniques that may be used by a chiropractor when performing a spinal adjustment include:

  • Direct thrust technique
    The chiropractor uses high velocity force to realign a specific part of the back. This is what people commonly called having your back cracked.
  • Functional technique
    Force is gradually applied to a joint until a release is felt and the joint is re-aligned.
  • Table adjustments
    The chiropractor may use a table with a drop piece that releases when they apply pressure to the spine.
  • Pelvic blocking
    The chiropractor places wedges under the patient’s body, then gently moves a spinal disc away from a nerve. The wedge helps the chiropractor move the spine with less pressure.  This technique is often used to treat a pinched sciatic nerve or slipped disc.
  • Articulatory
    The chiropractor will move joints through their full range of motion.

Over the years, various studies have looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments for dealing with lower back pain.  One study, published in 2013, found that chiropractic treatments significantly decreased pain and improved function in military veterans suffering from back pain.

Other studies have found that:

  • Chiropractic treatments produce equivalent or superior results compared to other treatment methods like medication and exercise for lower back pain relief.
  • Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy in conjunction with standard medical care offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning.
  • Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians.

If you are suffering from lower back pain, consider visiting a chiropractor.  They may be able to correct any issues that you are experiencing and help you enjoy life without lower back pain.

Take Care Of Your Back This Summer Of Sport

Well summer is here and while there is no guarantee that the sun will shine and temperatures will keep soaring, we can be assured that there will be a feast of sport for us to watch on TV. For some this is something to get super excited about, for others not so much!

If you are someone who can’t wait to plonk yourself on the sofa or in your favourite chair for hours on end to watch some sport, you may want to heed the advice of our chiropractor at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic and make sure that you keep your back safe.

Many people are unaware that sitting for prolonged periods of time can trigger back pain. Whilst sitting may appear to be passive, sitting incorrectly can put almost twice as much pressure on the back as standing.

If you are going to spend hours watching your favourite team or sports person on telly this summer then follow the following tips that our chiropractor has put together for you to keep your back safe.

  • Change you seated position at least every 20 minutes. The best way to do this is to stand up and move around.
  • Whilst there’s a break in play, e.g. at half time, do some simple stretches.
  • Check your posture at regular intervals. Your back should be firmly against the back of the sofa or chair you’re sitting on. This will ensure your back is upright and you’re not slouching or slumping.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Enjoy your summer of sports and keep your back safe.

The Problem With Painkillers

For many people who suffer with chronic headaches or migraines, reaching in the medicine cabinet on a daily basis is almost second nature. But did you know that the more you increase your dosage of painkillers, the more you could potentially make your pain worse?   For some, reaching for the tablets every morning is as much as a habit as turning off the alarm clock or popping on the kettle. It becomes the only way chronic pain sufferers believe they can function. But worryingly, the dose that patients take over the years tends to gradually increase. And quite often, the more painkillers people take, the more they need to take.

Almost like an addiction, people who routinely take painkillers may even find themselves waking up during the night to take them! But what people don’t always realise is that the very drugs promising to ease pain are often prolonging it.

It is estimated that around 500,000 women and 100,000 men suffer from daily headaches as a result of the overuse of painkillers. These people are not overdosing on their medication; they are simply taking the pills for long periods of time. The more a painkiller is taken, the more resistant the body becomes and so the sufferer resorts to a stronger type of medication. When the medication wears off, withdrawal reactions (known as ‘rebound’ headaches) can develop, prompting them to take more medication. So it is actually the absence of the medication that is causing the headache.

Although this issue can affect anyone, the problem is thought to be more common among women. This is mainly because women are five times more likely to be affected by migraines than men. Women are also more likely to report their symptoms.

It’s important to remember that although painkillers can be effective in managing your headaches, they shouldn’t be your first port of call!

How a chiropractor may help?

A chiropractor may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and reduce the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Offer advice on improving posture, ergonomics exercises and relaxation techniques.

This advice may help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Chiropractors undergo years of extensive training to help their patients in many ways beyond treatment for lower back pain. A good chiropractor will understand how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.

Out With the Old, In With the New Recommends Our Newcastle under Lyme Chiropractor

Back pain is an indication that something isn’t working quite the way it should. So when something is wrong on the inside, it’s time to look on the outside to see what you could be doing to reduce you symptoms.

Here are three positive habits from our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor that will help to keep your spine in good health:

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is one of the cornerstones of a healthy spine. Put simply, if you want your body to function well, then you need to maintain a healthy weight and keep your muscles strong and flexible. It’s especially important to work your core muscles to help keep your spine in optimum condition.

Eat Well

A healthy spine depends on healthy nutrients. A diet full of fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables and whole grains will help your body to handle stress better and keep your central nervous system functioning properly.

See the Chiropractor

One of the best ways to keep your spine in optimum health is to see a chiropractor. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help to keep your body functioning as it should and keep your spine healthy too!

We hope these tips help!