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Low Back Pain

Low Back Problems and Their Cause

Posted: January 23, 2019
By: Altadonna Communications

Low back pain for many of us is somewhat of a middle age problem. Lots of sufferers begin to seek chiropractic care in their 30's and 40's and wonder how it all happened. Perhaps it was a sneeze, a long drive, or gardening in the yard that set the pain off. But you were always able to do these things before without so much as a chirp from your low back. And now things are different. Even job stress can add to back pain. 

So why does your back seem so weak, when it was so strong before? What changed? Not much in fact. The reality is that back problems begin during our youth. With advances in MRI technology we can study changes in the discs of the back to see when these injuries first occur. Spinal degeneration begins to occur at age 10, provided some trauma has occurred, such as from competitive sports or simply goofing off as a child. Rarely is significant pain involved and the child seems to shake off the injury with little future consequence. Having back pain is not the same as having a back problem, such as a sprain of the disc. When the pain subsides, it does not always mean that symmetrical motion of the joint is restored and the vertebrae are now back in their normal position.... but the pain may be much less. 

Our bodies have a tremendous capacity to heal on their own without any type of doctor helping out. Mother Nature and innate intelligence is the best doctor. Sometimes recovery and return to full and optimum health is incomplete.

Over time the effects of gravity and daily stresses, cause the joint to become more injured until something as simple as making the bed causes excruciating pain. But was it really the bed making? Probably not because this is something you've done every day of your life. A thorough examination by a doctor of chiropractic prior to the onset of pain could have perhaps discovered one of these "silent" injuries. Unfortunately, most people wait until the pain happens before seeking help.

It's important to be checked after a trauma, even in young children. Properly diagnosing the extent of injury is the first step to getting you the care you may need. The pain often goes away quickly and we often think the problem has also completely healed. 

Getting regular check ups to make sure the motions of your spine are fluid and symmetrical is one potential way to avoid bigger problems down the road. Your doctor of chiropractic can also advise you on preventative strategies to minimize the risk of injury, such as proper lifting techniques. 


Low Back Pain: Fix the Problem First and You Don't Need to Worry About the Pain.

Posted: January 22, 2019
By: Altadonna Communications

It's gotten a bit confusing how we sometimes look at our health. When pain strikes the low back we usually think we just got a new problem or injury. But why then was coughing, shaving, or doing the laundry, so different this time?  These are things we do everyday. Rarely is a new episode of low back pain brought on by a well-defined injury or trauma. Trauma in most cases is usually quite trivial. We confuse pain as a signal for something that is physically changing each time. 

So what is the problem? The problem is joint sprain or subluxation. This is a ligament problem and occurs with small micro traumas over many years, or sometimes with acute events such as car accidents or falls. Over time the ligaments stretch, causing the joints and vertebrae to displace, irritating the delicate nerve fibers. But over a few days or weeks, the pain that accompanies this injury gradually lessens, and in many cases goes away all on its own. But has the problem also gone away? Likely not, because when ligaments are traumatized, the repair mechanism involves scar tissue, which is less elastic than the original, and make the joint vulnerable to re-injury and sometimes impairs the free and symmetrical motion of the spine. The doctor of chiropractic examines for this type of joint sprain using palpation for tenderness and edema, and x-rays to see the directions the vertebrae have moved toward. These specific analyses can tell us the vulnerable directions and how the vertebrae need to be repositioned to promote good alignment and good posture. 

The adjustment is designed to reduce this misalignment, and induce more symmetric motion. When movements are asymmetrical in the spine, they can lead to premature degeneration of the spine and arthritis.  This may be why a simple task such as lifting a laundry basket can flare up the back so easily. You may be lifting with good form and posture but with an symmetrical spine, the loading is very off balance. Sometimes the disks are so damaged that a simple sneeze is enough to cause excruciating pain. So when these trivial events seem to trip you up, it means there is an underlying problem that is not getting corrected.