If you are struggling with lower back pain, rest assured that you are not alone. Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain and 16 million are limited in their daily activities as a result.
If this is you your first questions should be about what your options are. Do not settle for the answer that you have arthritis and there is nothing that can be done! There is always something that can be done if you identify the cause.
Let’s look at the 5 most common approaches to low back pain from a traditional medical perspective and then we’ll move over to chiropractic.
- Physical Therapy: much of what is done in physical therapy like electrical stimulation and ultrasound has no long term benefit. A really exceptional physical therapist can prescribe a personalized exercise program that has benefits if the underlying imbalances are corrected.
- Back Exercises: the great value of exercise is to get the area moving. All too often when we experience pain we instinctively reduce our activity in an attempt to reduce the pain, but it actually causes more pain in the long run.
- Weight Reduction: unless you are more than 50 pounds overweight, your weight is not the problem. And, even if you are significantly overweight it is only part of the problem.
- Epidural Steroid Injections: there is risk with these as the injection is into the spine. While there are short term side effects such as increased pain and insomnia the real issue is that these do nothing to address the cause of the pain.
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAID): these have been shown to actually worsen knee arthritis. This is another example of trading very short term relief for potential long term complications.
Matching the Solution with the Cause
When it comes to back pain the biggest reason why so many therapies are ineffective is that the solution is a mismatch with the cause of the problem. The vast majority of back pain is pain that is arising from joints that are inflamed or dysfunctional. This is what is called mechanical pain.
The back pain is caused by a loss of proper joint mechanics. If it has gone on for years there might be some arthritis, but that only further alters the mechanics. If the cause is mechanical in nature then for the solution to have good success it must address the altered mechanics.
Chiropractic directly addresses joint mechanics in ways that no other profession does. Here’s an analogy to help drive this point home. If you put new tires on a vehicle but fail to align the front end and balance the tires what happens? The tires wear unevenly and faster than they should. If all you do is replace the tires you are doing nothing to correct the cause and will experience the same problem again and again.
4 Ways Chiropractic Helps Low Back Pain
Here are four ways that Corrective Balancing Chiropractic helps lower back pain:
- Restore Balance to the Pelvis: your pelvis or “hips” should be level when you stand. If one side of your pelvis is higher than the other side there is imbalance and it will cause uneven stress to the hip joints, pelvic joints, and low back joints. Over time this shows up as pain and eventually arthritis.
- Restore motion to the Hip Joints: with every step your hips move and help absorb the shock from your feet hitting the ground. If your hips are not moving properly then the pelvis and low back absorbs more stress.
- Restore motion to the Lumbar Spine: in the lumbar spine are discs or shock absorber pads between each vertebra. Without proper motion and balance these discs can wear out or bulge and put pressure on nerves.
- Activate the Postural Muscles of the Hips, Pelvis, and Spine: our modern lifestyle involves a lot of sitting and this position is terrible for the spine. Over time the muscles that hold us up against gravity are turned down. Once balance and mobility is returned it is critical to activate the muscles that are called the posterior chain.
These 4 chiropractic approaches directly address the underlying cause of the vast majority of lower back pain, dysfunctional joint mechanics. Again, if the cause of the problem is mechanical then it only makes sense that the solution be a correction of those mechanics.
Bill Berkowitz, DC
Bringing more than 3 decades of practice experience, Dr. Bill Berkowitz focuses on balancing and corrective care, applying his expertise to provide patients with predictable, repeatable and measurable results.
Dr. Bill consistently strives to enhance the well-being of his patients by addressing the root imbalances of their problems and promoting optimal balance, alignment, and function of the spine and nervous system.
Bill’s wealth of knowledge and experience has allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the human body and its intricate connections. With each adjustment, he supports the body in returning to a state of balance that goes beyond mere symptom relief, focusing instead on long-term correction for his patients’ well-being.
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