Back PainNon-Surgical Treatment For Back Pain
100% of people will develop low back pain at some point in life. In fact, low back pain is so common it is the leading cause of work absence, doctor’s visits, and disability worldwide. Bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, discs, blood vessels, and nerves all connect to the spine, increasing the complexity of accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of problems. Typical sources of low back pain include:
- Herniated or Bulging Discs
- Pinched Nerves
- Whiplash Injury
- Sprained Ligaments or Muscle Spasms
- Osteoarthritis or Spondylosis
- Spinal Misalignments
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Low Back and Pelvic Instability
- Poor Posture
- Stressful Lifestyle
- Poor Diet
Most of these conditions do not occur from a single violent event, but develop slowly over time. It might have been a specific event (picking up a pencil, moving a couch, etc) that pushed you over the edge, but more likely than not, the destructive factors have been building for years.
Low back pain, and sciatic pain that radiates to other parts of the body, often involves a combination of the problems listed above. While lower back pain is extremely common, the symptoms and severity of lower back pain can vary greatly.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain in Adults
The most common causes of low back pain can vary from younger individuals versus older adults:
- Young and middle aged people (15 to 60 years old) are more likely to experience back pain from the disc itself (i.e. lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease), from poor posture, from injury, from scoliosis, or from a straining a low back muscle.
- Older adults (over 60) are more likely to suffer from pain related to joint degeneration (such as osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis), disc degeneration (spondylosis or osteoarthritis), or from a compression fracture.
When to Seek Immediate Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Most cases of low back pain do not require urgent care, but you should see a doctor immediately if low back pain is a result of trauma (like a car crash), or if your pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of strength in the legs
- Shooting pain into the buttock or down the leg
- Fever and chills
- Unexplained recent weight loss
- Sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence—either difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement, or loss of control of urination or bowel movement
- Severe, continuous abdominal pain
In cases where immediate treatment is a required, your physicians will investigate the source of the back pain and rule out any type of spinal infection, tumor or fracture.
Why Does My Back Hurt?
To understand why back pain is so common in our society, we must first understand the mechanics of the core and low back. Here are 3 basic contributing factors to low back pain:
- Hip Rigidity – In our sedentary, technology driven society, the majority of us don’t move our hips in all the different ranges of motion necessary to maintain proper hip flexibility. As a result, when you move your body, the lack of movement from the hips creates inappropriate motion in the lower back and pelvis. This improper movement pattern creates stress on the joints, muscles, discs, and nerves of the low back.
- Stiffness in the Shoulders or Upper Torso – Decreased flexibility in the shoulders and upper torso places abnormal stress upon the lower back and pelvis. The lower torso isn’t designed to rotate very much, but in the absence of proper upper torso flexibility, the low back is forced to rotate. This leads to excessive tension and stress on the lower back.
- Poor Core Stability – The combination of hip rigidity and upper torso stiffness creates an environment of excessive movement in the lower back. This stresses muscles of the lower back and creates a feeling of tension, stiffness, or tightness. In reality, that whole imbalance only occurs with too much movement in the lower back and inadequate spinal stability.
Unfortunately, the movement patterns described above are created by poor posture, seated work-stations, stress, lack of exercise and a bad diet. These abnormal movement patterns open the door to muscle tension, joint stiffness, herniated discs, undue spinal wear-and-tear, and ultimately chronic pain.
Recurrent low back pain, like any type of chronic pain, affects more than just your back. Chronic spine pain may negatively influence your sleep, your ability to work, your recreational activities, your reproductive function, your heart rate/blood pressure, your digestive function, and even your thoughts and feelings. People with the most severe back pain are also more likely to have other problems, like anxiety and depression, which can significantly affect your health.
Integrative Low Back Pain Treatment Options
At Spine and Wellness Cincinnati, we combine the best non-surgical treatment options available to give you optimal results. After a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and range of motion examination of the low back/pelvis, we will craft a treatment plan specific to the need of your condition.
We commonly use a combination of the following low back pain treatment options at Spine and Wellness Cincinnati, located in Madeira, Ohio:
- Acupuncture to improve muscle balance, blood flow, and direct healing.
- Chiropractic manipulation to any joint restriction in the spine or hips.
- Physiotherapy to decrease swelling and recovery times.
- Soft tissue manipulation to any adhesion, scar tissue, or imbalances in the musculature surrounding the hips or low back.
- Targeted stretches and exercises aimed at retraining the movement and control of in the upper torso, low back, and hips.
- Medical massage therapy
- Herbal therapies, supplements & essential oils to assist the recovery process and maintain optimal health.
Our back pain patients come to us from Indian Hill, Madeira, Montgomery, Hyde Park, Loveland, Terrace Park, Westchester/Liberty Township, Mason, and beyond.