Common conditions and symptoms
Below you can find more information on some of the most common conditions we treat at our office. Keep in mind that a Doctor of Chiropractic is able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions and diseases, please call our office to make an appointment or stop by and pick up an information pamphlets at our office.
Have you ever gone to the doctor for back pain? If so, you are among the eighty percent of the population who suffer from this at some point in their lives. It is the second most common reason for visits to a doctor's office. It is estimated half of the adult population experiences back pain every year and ten percent have frequent bouts with low back pain.
So why do we experience this much pain? Simply put, the lower back is at more risk of injury because it is an unstable part of the spine with no other bones supporting and stabilizing it. This is good because it allows for great mobility, the cost of which is increased risk of injury.
A healthy low back can support amazing amounts of weight and work. Think of professional power lifters who can pick up several hundred pounds and lift it over their heads. However, simple things like picking up a bag of groceries or bending down to pet the dog can cause intense pain if the low back is out of adjustment or the supporting muscles are weakened.
Can back pain heal on its own? Many people including researchers think so. But the question is even if the pain goes away, has the injury truly healed or has it so weakened the back that another injury is likely. Most of the time, this is the case. The best way to strengthen the back is to take the lower back pain seriously and seek professional chiropractic care. At Russell Family Chiropractic we are here and ready to help you regain true health.
The Causes of Low Back Pain
Many varied conditions can cause the pain. Some of them are sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points, and inflamed joints. We expect to have injuries with sports injuries and accidents, but even the simplest movements, like picking up a child's toy from the floor can be painful if the lower back is weak. Other life issues like arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress along with medical issues like kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can also lead to pain.
Most of us have no problem figuring out whether or not we have been rear-ended by a car or twisted our backs sliding into home plate to win the game. While we might not know how to fix the specific injury, we have no doubt what caused the problem. But life and medical issues are a totally different situation. We can walk, or hobble, around in pain for years without knowing the true cause. We can spend many thousands of dollars covering up the symptoms without finding the true cause. We can sit on the sidelines nursing our pain without enjoying our lives.
Due to the fact that there are a whole lot of things that can cause low back pain, and some of those things can be quite serious if left untreated, it is important to seek professional help. Chiropractors, like Dr. Larry Russell, are the experts at diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes we see:
Whenever there is a disruption in the normal movement or position of the vertebrae, the result is pain and inflammation. In the lumbar spine, these usually occur at the transition between the lower spine and the sacrum. A subluxation can be described as pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord due to the improper position of the vertebrae, similar to putting a rock on a garden hose disrupting the flow of water. Subluxations can lead to debilitating low back pain. Fortunately, subluxations are easily treatable. Usually, but not always, there is a significant reduction in pain almost immediately after treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not automatically mean that you are going to suffer from low back pain. One study found that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc, even though they did not suffer any back pain from it. On the other hand, herniated discs can be a source of intense and debilitating pain that frequently radiates to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, they rarely, if ever, completely heal. Further deterioration can often be avoided through regular chiropractic care, but a complete recovery is much less common.
Sprains, Strains and Spasms
This is commonly the source of low back pain among the weekend warriors. You know, the type who has very little physical activity during the week, but once the weekend arrives, they push themselves way too much. By the end of the weekend, they are lying flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get in to see their chiropractor. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight.
Whenever you become stressed, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding your body with stress hormones and tightening up your muscles. When you are stressed all the time, the chronic tension causes your muscles to become sore, weak and loaded with trigger points. If you are stressed out all of the time and you have low back pain, it is important to do some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, as well as to get regular exercise.
Treating Low Back Pain With Chiropractic
Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is usually pretty straightforward. Most commonly, it's simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to re-establish normal motion and position of your bones and joints.
Chiropractic for the low back has been repeatedly shown to be the most effective treatment for low back pain. In fact, major studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective, cheaper and has better long-term outcomes than any other treatment. This makes sense because chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that serves to re-establish normal vertebral motion and position in the spine. All other treatments, such as muscle relaxants, pain killers and bed rest, only serve to decrease the symptoms of the problem and do not correct the problem itself.
Degenerative Disc Disease
“My lower back hurts the pain seems to come and go. Is this serious?” At Russell Family Chiropractic we see and treat great number of people with Degenerative Disc Disease.
Spinal joint motion is essential for the health and nutrition of the discs as joint motion causes the exchange of nutrients, fluids, and waste. Normal motion helps reduce pain, spasms, and function. When the spinal vertebra does not move normally, discs and joints tend to start a degenerative process. Motion also reduces the formation of scar tissue, which can lead to stiffness and degeneration. Degenerative disc disease can cause pain and functional problems in the neck, mid back and low back.
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms it could be indicative of Degenerative Disc Disease:
- Pain that is worse when sitting. While seated, the discs of the lower back have three times more load on them than when standing.
- Pain that gets worse when bending, lifting or twisting
- Feeling better while walking or even running than while sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Feeling better changing positions often or lying down
- Periods of severe pain that comes and goes
- Pain can affect the low back, buttocks and thighs or the neck, depending on where the affected disc is, radiating to the arms and hands
Why do I need treatment?
Untreated Degenerative Disc Disease (gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae) can lead to herniated discs and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and osteoarthritis (Source). As a result, Degenerative Disc Disease needs to be treated!
Chiropractic offers a highly successful, preventative and non-invasive solution to the many issues connected with Degenerative Disc Disease. Regular chiropractic care takes pressure off sensitive neurological tissue, increases range of motion, restores blood flow, reduces muscle tension, and creates a series of chemical reactions in the body (such as endorphin release) that act as natural painkillers.
Russell Family Chiropractic has a special protocol with patients who suffer from Degerative Disc Disease.
Call us to schedule an appointment for your spinal evaluation. Dr. Russell will give you a thorough examination and take X-Rays in the office. He will then review your results and outline a treatment plan specifically designed for your needs.
No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by a licensed health care professional.