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 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.
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.