Low back pain is one of the most common reasons why people come into our office, and it is one of the first symptoms people associate with chiropractic care. Even outside of our practice low back pain is the 2nd most common neurological ailment reported in the US (the 1st most common is headaches). Americans spend at least $50 billion annually on treating low back pain. With a symptom that affects 80% of people during their lives it is important to find low-cost solutions to stopping the pain, and ones that don’t carry significant risks.
There are 2 types of low back pain
- Chronic – pain lasting longer than 3 months – usually the result of an underlying injury or weakness in the back.
- Acute – pain that lasts a few days to a few weeks – it can seem to go away on its own, but if the underlying symptoms aren’t treated acute pain can become chronic pain.
What is the cause of low back pain?
Low back pain can have many causes, including:
- Poor physical activity
- Poor posture
- Poor sleep
- Ruptured or herniated discs
- Scar tissue from a previous back injury
- Dietary deficiencies
- Nonspecific low back pain
The difficulty most doctors face when diagnosing low back pain is that the most common cause is nonspecific low back pain. Usually these injuries are related to some kind of sudden physical loading of the back – stressing the muscles and spine. This will cause a muscle sprain or strain, which can impact the alignment of the spine and impact nerve function around the spine. If you’ve ever picked up a heavy object and found yourself in pain afterwards, you’ve given yourself nonspecific low back pain. Because these cases don’t have a clear cause, which means most doctors will then just treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause of those symptoms.
How can we help?
Chiropractic care is one of the only non-surgical methods of treating the cause of your low back pain rather than just masking the symptoms.
If you have been taking over the counter painkillers to treat your back pain, take a moment to read our fact sheet on the dangers of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatoryDrugs
The short version?
NSAIDs (like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Advil) are dangerous for your stomach, intestines, and liver.
And they don’t even treat the actual cause of your pain, meaning that you will have to continue using them indefinitely.
The same basic premise holds for cortisone injections – they’ll treat the pain but not the cause of the pain, meaning you will continue to have the pain as the injections wear off.
Chiropractic care has been shown to be a low cost solution to treating low back pain. Using spinal manipulation we will help gently correct your spinal alignment. We can use EMS or Massage Therapy to treat the muscular strains and sprains. Finally, we can use Ultrasound therapy to help reduce inflammation and help your back heal naturally. When the underlying causes have been addressed, we’ll teach you some exercise and stretches you can do to help prevent future injury.
The bottom line?
A success story from one of our patients:
“I came in with a sprained back after moving a large deli slicer.... couldn't walk without extreme pain. With Dr. Cutitta's treatment my back has come back to full strength. I would recommend the treatment to everyone"