About 85 percent of the population will experience disabling, low back pain at least once during their lives! That's almost all of us. The problem is so bad that, at any one time, 6.8 percent of the U.S. adult population is suffering from an episode of back pain lasting more than two weeks. That's a lot of bad backs. The estimated cost of this problem in the U.S. is over $50 billion a year.
The medical approach is sometimes necessary – even back surgery has a place. But, according to some studies, most spinal surgery for acute lower back problems should be rarely performed.
Many people who have had back surgery report a recurrence of their symptoms within a year or two of the operation and may return to the operating table. In some cases, the surgery makes no difference whatsoever. In other cases, it does bring long-term relief.
There are many types of low back conditions chiropractic can help with. Please review the brief list below.
Sprains and strains (injury to muscle fibers, tendons and or ligaments): when the load exceeds the strength of soft tissue structures, they tear. When soft tissue is injured, inflammatory products are released, which leads to swelling and pain.
Arthralgia / Facet Syndrome - Facet joint surfaces are imbedded with nerve endings underneath the cartilage. If this cartilage layer wears thin from degenerative joint disease or from trauma like whiplash, the nerve endings will be irritated, causing pain.
Disc Bulges-Herniation - The disc has an outer layer called the annulus, and an inner, jelly-like material called the nucleus pulposus. If the annulus fibers weaken, the nucleus can "escape", puncturing through the annulus. This usually occurs from a lifting incident, or may gradually occur over time without any specific trauma. If the nucleus protrudes and presses on a nerve root, this can cause radicular pain (pain radiating down the leg, usually the back and side of leg). In severe cases, sensation and muscle strength in the leg are affected.
Spinal Stenosis - the space between the vertebral body and facet joints forms a canal, which contains the spinal cord. Arthritic changes to the vertebral body can cause bony projections to narrow this canal. This can cause pinching of the spinal cord, and can lead to neurological deficits in the lower extremities (numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle wasting).
Arthritis - There are two basic types: Osteoarthritis is advanced wear and tear of a joint and is found in weight-bearing joints like the spine, hips, and knees. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that typically affects the finger joints and spine. Both are inflammatory.
As doctor of chiropractic, I take a different approach to the treatment and prevention of low back pain. After a thorough chiropractic examination, x-rays or MRI, I determine which part of the spine is not functioning properly. Only after the examination and required imaging studies can I tell you if I can help you or not.
At Johnson Chriopractic, we offer a variety of gentle, safe, and natural approaches to help relieve your pain and get you back to living a normal life. We accept most insurance plans and have treated hundreds of patients.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation to see if our treatments may be able to help you please give our office a call at (801) 444-1002.