Understanding Low Back Pain

If you are experiencing pain in your low back, also know as the lumbar region of the spine, you are not alone! An estimated 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time and 80% will experience low back pain during their lifetime. Low back pain is the leading cause for disability worldwide. Low back pain is a serious health issue which can become progressive leading to decreased quality of life, decreased mobility and neurological issue if left untreated. It is important to make educated decisions regarding your treatment options for this widespread health problem. Fortunately there are safe, research-proven, cost-effective treatments available. But, first, let’s take a look into why you are having low back pain.

 

 

What Causes Low Back Pain?

The low back, or lumbar spine, is a complicated structure made up of bones, ligaments, joints, muscles and disks. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can cause back pain.  While some back pain problems may be associated with sciatica, or caused by conditions such as spinal stenosis, or disc problems, by far the most common type of back pain is classified as “mechanical back pain”. Unlike traumatic back pain, which is associated with a specific event such as an accident or injury, mechanical back pain develops slowly over time, and results from abnormal motion of the joints in the back. This is often confusing to patients as it is difficult to link their symptoms back to a specific cause or event. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. In addition to the back itself, it is also common for symptoms such as pain and muscle tension to be referred to the hips and legs (see figure below).

back-pain-referral-patterns

 

Resolving Low Back Pain

So you have low back pain or you wish to prevent low back pain, what are your options? After an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.(1)

A patient information article published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.(2)

Cox Flexion-Distraction is a form of spinal manipulation that our doctors utilize at Diamond Sport & Spine Clinic. This treatment technique works by decompressing the low back and restoring joint function. To learn more about this well-researched, cost effective treatment, Click Here.

To fully resolve low back pain our doctors may prescribe one or more of the following to your treatment plan: Physical therapy at our on-site gym, thermotherapy, electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound or massage therapy.

 

Call our office at (302) 300-4242 or click HERE to schedule your appointment today!

 

1. Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December, 1994.

2. Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2013; 309(16):1738.