Do you suffer from low back pain? Studies have shown that at any given time over 30 million Americans are experiencing low back pain, so you definitely are not alone. It is estimated that as many as 80% of the overall population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. The back is a unique and complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. You can strain muscles and tendons, sprain ligaments, injure or wear out discs, and irritate joints, which can all lead to back pain. We all know that sports injuries and accidents can cause back pain, but many of us don’t realize how the simplest of movements such as picking up a paper from the floor or an empty laundry basket can have painful results. All of this in conjunction with poor posture, arthritis, obesity, muscle weakness, and stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also be related to internal disorders such as kidney disease, infections, cardiovascular conditions, and cancer. That’s why at Core Chiropractic we have years of education and experience to help you get the correct diagnosis. Without correct treatment minor problems can turn into life-long crisis.
Disc Bulges or Herniation
The easiest way for most people to understand a disc is to compare it to a jelly donut. A disc is made up of a jelly like inside surrounded by strong ovalish to roundish fibers on the outside. The bulge or herniation results as the outer fibers weaken and the inner jelly finds its way into the weak area and pushes against it causing the weak fibers to bulge or eventually herniate. Common causes of this can be from an acute injury or consistent wear and tear over time. The pain associated with a disc problem can be very different between different people. Some people experience sharp shooting pain while others may experience dull achy pain, weakness, or numbness. It is not uncommon for disc related nerve pain to refer away from the back and down the leg or arm, possibly all the way to the toes or fingers (see sciatica). Chiropractic has been shown to stop the advancement of the herniation and give relief to the associated pain.
Muscle/tendon strains and ligament sprains are usually a result of the associated tissues doing more than they are used to. Ligament sprains are usually from stretching the involved ligament more than it is supposed to stretch causing tears and or bruising. Most people are familiar with ankle sprains, but did you know you can also sprain ligaments in your back in a similar manner? Muscle and tendon strains are often related to heavy lifting or doing things that your body is not conditioned for. The treatment and management of strains and sprains is the bread and butter of a Chiropractic practice.
Subluxation is the term used for a vertebrae that is out of place. Subluxations can happen for many different reasons from sleeping in a strange position, to a big sneeze, physical exertion, accidents, or countless other things, the list could go on forever. When you have a subluxation normal spinal mechanics are disrupted and a cascade of events including pain often develops. Our Doctors are experts at locating and correcting subluxations of the spine.
Sciatica relates to the SCIATIC nerve, which is the main nerve that travels down your legs. It originates from the lower back and then travels all the way to your toes. Many patients wonder what sciatica feels like . Those who have experienced it often describe it as being from a slight discomfort in some cases to the most unbearable pain they have ever experienced in other cases. It is often not just pain, but accompanied with numbness, tingling, and or weakness in the leg or foot. It is also normal for the pain to come and go. If left untreated the problem usually worsens over time. Our Doctors have years of experience treating this condition and will work hand in hand with Orthopedic Doctors to manage your case if needed.
Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation to the joint. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but is very common in the spine. It is often a result of trauma to the joint, past infection of the joint, or most commonly wear and tear or “age related” arthritis. Arthritis of the spine leads to more complicated conditions like stenosis, degenerated discs, bone fusions and immobility which puts more strain on the other joints of the body and leads to them wearing out. Many arthritis sufferers benefit from conservative treatment through joint manipulation, soft tissue work, and range of motion based exercises. There is an old saying that goes “If you don’t use it, you lose it” and that pretty much sums up what happens to many arthritis sufferers. As the arthritis progresses it becomes more difficult to use the joint, so they use it less and less which allows the arthritis to progress more and more to the point where they lose the use of the affected joint. Arthritis of the spine can start at one level and spread to multiple levels over time if nothing is done to improve it. If this sounds like you it is best to take action and not let it get to that point. Our Doctors use physical examinations as well as Xrays and MRI’s to evaluate your condition and take appropriate treatment actions.
Scoliosis is a side to side bending of the spine. Research has demonstrated numerous causes of scoliosis and in many cases it may not be obvious why people have it. Scoliosis is often first recognized in adolescence by a family member or friend noticing that your shoulders or pelvis are not level. Xray is the best means to determine whether or not a scoliosis is present and to what degree. Some people have back pain associated with scoliosis while others do not. Chiropractic care has been shown to slow down the progression of scoliosis in those affected by it and provides a great portal to manage such cases.