Posted on: June 11, 2015
According to the New England Journal of Medicine more than 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic — meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
As most of you know, I’ve had my share of this particular problem too. So I have a special interest in the pain syndromes of the lower back.
There are a number of situations that will cause pain in the lower back. Arthritis, lumbar disc degeneration, sprains, strains, emotional stress, and strangely shaped bones are just a small list. In addition, our bodies change every day and if we are paying attention to these changes we are more likely to find the cause of the pain.
Most of us know when we have injured ourselves in a traumatic way, but it is very common for me to hear something like this:
“It never used to hurt, but now it hurts almost all the time, no matter what I do.” We all must face the facts. What didn’t hurt yesterday may hurt today, whether you are 20 or 84 years old. Wear and tear accumulates, and the body’s repair processes sometimes need help.
The First Key
Find out what is causing your pain, to the best of your abilities. The cause could be something obvious, such as an injury. It could be a part of your daily routine such as sitting on a poorly constructed sofa. The pain may be caused by something you don’t even know you’re doing. Observe what makes it worse and what relieves it if anything. It is wise to get professional help with this. Even doctors need professional help with their own pain. Perhaps the answer can be found with a simple in-office exam. Sometimes X-rays or other tests are needed to determine the cause.
The Second Key
Use chiropractic care to reduce or eliminate the mechanical component of the cause of your pain. Not every cause of lower back pain can be eliminated by chiropractic treatment, but nearly every dysfunction has a component that be helped.
For example, if you have unusually shaped bones in your lower back, the forces created by holding you upright are then distributed in an equally odd way, creating or increasing your pain. Vector Point Chiropractic Therapy can help you with that. By gently redirecting these forces, the pain can be reduced or eliminated.
The Third Key
This one is probably the hardest to do: Eliminate other low back stressors. This sounds easy, but it may not be! For example, did you know that coffee, sugar, caffeine, and nicotine have a tendency to aggravate lower back pain? Did you know that if you bump your head your cranial alignment may be disturbed, which could cause the rest of your body to adapt to the misaligned cranium, and it could be that the only symptom is low back pain?
And what do you do if your car seat or your favorite chair is the culprit? Or perhaps your favorite sport? Total elimination of these aggravators may not always be possible, but even minor adjustments and adaptations can improve the problem.
The Fourth Key
Take Action. If you participate in a low back stressor, you must do something to offset it. Wear a support belt (ask me about this before you try it). Improve your diet, do exercises that will strengthen your lower back, or tell your boss you’ll buy your own ergonomic desk chair (that will shock them!). In other words, be creative.
Preventive chiropractic care may be your biggest weapon against pain. A regular treatment program, designed to support you when you don’t hurt, can keep you from ever having the pain in the first place.
All of these keys are based on my own experience. I know they work. I get a chiropractic treatment regularly, and I have made many changes in my own life to keep my back feeling good. I walk more; I use an ergonomic desk chair; I changed the way I practice. And today I can do more than I could do five years ago — without pain! If you want help, ask me at your next visit.
At Westlake Village Chiropractic Arts, we are committed to supporting you in your journey of greater health & well-being. Contact us for your next visit.
Disclaimer: Dr. Chopyak is a chiropractor and does not offer medical or chiropractic advice from this website. This information is offered for educational purposes only. Do not act or rely upon our information without seeking an independent health care professional's advice. The information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Chopyak. As with any medical procedure, results will vary among individuals, and there could be risk involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, condition or issue, promptly contact your health care provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The photos used may be models and not patients.