It’s probably little surprise that lower back pain is the most common condition we see here at the Chiro Health and Rehab Centre. It’s estimated that 85% of the population will suffer an acute episode of lower back pain at some point in their lives, with the cost to the economy being somewhere in the vicinity of $12 billion each year.
What’s less clear, however, is just what causes it and what is the best method of treating it. Because there are a number of pain sensitive structures in the lower back, there are a number of different potential triggers for low back pain. Injuries to the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, muscles, or arthritic and degenerative changes will all be responsible for low back pain. Often more than one of these will be present, along with a myriad of other possibilities.
Depending on the causative factor, there are a number of different ways we treat it. Generally, however, there are 3 key areas we want to assess and manage:
- Which structures are responsible for generating the pain?
- What compensatory mechanisms has the body adopted to try and work its way around the problem?
- What underlying spinal proprioceptive control mechanism has broken down to allow this injury to happen in the first place?
Fortunately, one thing that is becoming clear through much recent research is that chiropractic spinal adjustments are incredibly effective at reducing symptoms of lower back pain (when applied correctly and accurately); even more effective than using pain killers or anti-inflammatories.