If you have low back pain you’re not alone. If you haven’t experienced low back pain odds are you will at some point. Research shows that the vast majority of adults will experience low back pain.
And, there are about as many recommendations to deal with low back pain as there are people suffering from it:
- Pain medication
- Abdominal or core exercise
- New mattress
Let’s be clear that all of those might help relieve your lower back pain. But, none of them are going to correct the problem. Unfortunately, our culture puts a premium on relief over correction. Sometimes that’s not a big deal. With lower back pain if your focus is only on relief you will likely experience the development of degenerative arthritis down the road.
Doesn’t it make more sense to achieve both relief and correction of the problem?
What Causes Low Back Pain?
The cause of low back pain very simply is an imbalance that is causing irritation and inflammation of nerves, muscles, and joints. What caused the imbalance? The cause of the imbalance could be varied and the longer it has been the more causes there are.
For many of us the original cause is trauma from a fall, athletic injury, car accident or something similar. The trauma could have happened many years or even decades before the low back pain became an issue.
How does that happen?
The body is incredible in its ability to adjust and compensate in an effort to maintain balance. Often, when it can no longer compensate adequately is when the pain starts to become a chronic or recurrent issue.
It’s About the Nerves!
You might be experiencing pain in your low back but that pain is experienced through your nervous system. The body is amazing in its ability to maintain health and balance. It has 3 very amazing attributes:
- The body is self-monitoring: the body is continually monitoring thousands of processes and reactions from heart rate to oxygen to hormones to enzymes and more.
- The body is self-regulating: the body forever striving to maintain balance or homeostasis in those processes and reactions.
- The body is self-healing: all damage, injuries, and illnesses are healed by the body.
Now, the Million Dollar Question! What system of the body is responsible for monitoring, regulating, and healing?
The Nervous System!
If you are experiencing a chronic or recurrent issue like low back pain it’s an indication that something is interfering with the body’s ability to regulate and heal. If there’s an interference to the body regaining balance it is an interference to the nervous system.
The goal with low back pain is certainly to relieve the low back pain but the way to do that is to remove the source of pressure, tension, and irritation to the nervous system causing the low back pain.
How can chiropractic help with low back pain?
The Top 4 Ways Chiropractic Helps Low Back Pain
We’ve established that you have low back pain due to an imbalance causing irritation to the nervous system. Here are the top 4 ways chiropractic helps low back pain:
Way #1: Balance the Pelvis – your pelvis must be level when you stand or sit. It is your foundation and if it is out of balance it will put added stress on the hips, pelvis, and lumbar spine.
You can easily check this out for yourself with a friend. Stand in front of a full length mirror and have your friend put their hands on top of both sides of your pelvis. Is one hand higher than the other? If yes this indicates a pelvic imbalance.
When you have a level foundation there is less stress in the pelvis, hips, and lumbar spine.
Way #2: Restore Sacroiliac Joint Motion – the pelvis is composed of 3 bones, 2 ilium and 1 sacrum. The joint between the ilia and each side of the sacrum is called the sacroiliac joint. These joints must be able to move in order to absorb the forces from the hips and minimize stress to the lumbar spine.
When the sacroiliac joints lose proper motion it sets off a chain reaction. The hips start to bear more stress and over time will develop degenerative arthritis. The junction between the mid and lower back (thoracolumbar junction) will lock up in an effort to minimize stress to the lower lumbar spine.
All of this causes tightening of all the muscles of the lower back and pelvis.
Way #3: Restore Lumbar Spine Motion – the lumbar spine must be able to move when you walk, squat, bend, lift, etc. When the lumbar spine loses mobility it puts pressure on the discs and eventually leads to disc degeneration.
Loss of lumbar joint motion leads eventually to degenerative joint disease and a progressive loss of flexibility in the low back.
Way #4: Activate the Muscles of Posture – our modern lifestyle involves far too much sitting which causes a suppression of the muscles of posture that hold us up against gravity. When these muscles get turned down it puts more stress on all the joints of the lower back and pelvis.
After restoring balance and joint motion activation of the posterior chain muscles is a game changer.
We are talking about joints and nerves when it comes to low back pain. Many people come to see me and assume that the problem is muscles. Most of them visited a massage therapist before scheduling with me.
What they fail to realize is that muscles are almost always the effect of imbalance and not the cause. Muscles don’t do anything without instructions from the nervous system.
Imbalance in alignment and motion of joints causes nerve irritation and inflammation. That leads to muscle spasm and pain. If all you do is relax the muscles you take away the body’s natural defense.
Joints are intended to provide movement. When a joint or joints become misaligned it causes other joints to compensate for that lost movement by moving more. This excess motion is what typically results in pain and joint degeneration.
Chiropractic is remarkable in its ability to restore movement and function and in the process alleviate even long standing pain. Do something to correct the imbalance causing your low back pain rather than find out years from now that you have degenerative arthritis.
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