Did you know that lower back pain is the most common reason for chiropractic visits? Yet most people view chiropractic treatment as a last resort to turn to only when traditional options are exhausted. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually solid literature support for the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment in addressing lower back pain. In fact, most published guidelines cite it as one of the safest and most effective methods for treating lower back pain without surgical intervention or medication.
Lower back pain usually manifests as soreness or pain in the lumbar region – the section of spine located below your ribcage and above your hips. Patients struggling with this often report numbness or a tingling sensation in their legs as well as an increase in pain after prolonged sitting or standing. The causes of lower back pain vary from sports injuries to incorrect postures, all of which lead to what is called ‘subluxation’ – a misalignment in the spine caused by a vertebra shifting and rotating out of its original position. This causes the pinching of nerves in the problem area, resulting in pain. Chiropractors correct this by applying a calculated force to the abnormal vertebra, restoring it to its original position.
The severity of lower back pain can be roughly divided into three levels – acute, subacute and chronic, lasting up to 6 weeks, 12 weeks and more than 12 weeks respectively. Acute lower back pain typically resolves by itself within 4 to 6 weeks, so if your condition has persisted for longer than that, it might be a good idea to pay your local chiropractic clinic a visit. Moreover, studies have found that lower back pain often leads to more problems down the road, as the spine, in an effort to remain upright, will tilt and rotate the vertebrae in the upper section to re-establish the balance upset by misalignments in the lower section. It is therefore not uncommon to see patients suffering from lower back pain to also experience neck pain, and vice versa.