Are you Experiencing Low Back Pain in Jacksonville, FL? Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment of Lower Back Pain
If you are suffering from low back pain, you are not alone. It is natural to feel frustrated with traditional treatment options. Most traditional medical care treats low back pain with medication or surgery. For millions of Americans neither of these treatment options are effective. Chiropractic care is the safest non-invasive care to relieve your back pain. About 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of job-related injuries and a leading contributor to missed work days.
Men and women are both equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull ache to a sudden and sharp pain. Low back pain is typically caused by an injury to a muscle or a ligament.
As long as your low back is healthy and functioning correctly it can withstand tremendous forces without injury, but when your low back has weakened, supporting muscles can be at risk and something as simple as picking up something off the floor can tweak a muscle and cause low back pain. Most low back pain is short term and can last a few days to a few weeks and It is important to seek proper treatment right away.
What causes low back pain?
The majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature. The back is a very structured set of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. It is easy to sprain ligaments and strain your muscles. Ruptured (herniated) disks, irritated nerves and grinding joints can cause back pain. When injuries occur, or accidents, it can lead to pain in the lower back. Overuse injuries are a common source of lower back pain and stiffness. Chronic pain includes:
- Spondylosis is the normal wear and tear on your spine as you age. This includes bone spurs, disc thinning and joint degeneration. It makes it hard for your joints and ligaments to keep your spine in the correct position.
- Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra moves or slips forward more than it should due to injury or moderate to severe degeneration. When this happens, the joints will come under excessive pressure and the bones will press on the spinal nerves creating lower back pain.
- Healed Vertebral fractures
- Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spine space around the spinal cord that can put pressure on the nerves. The narrowing is caused by bone spurs that have developed as a result of osteoarthritis.
- Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can cause back pain.
- Disc Tear (annular fibers tear)
- Disc Herniation: A rupture of the inner material of the intervertebral disk called the nucleus pulposus. Pressure from the vertebrae above and below the disk squeeze the cushioning substance out of the disk. The nucleus pulposus can press against spinal nerve roots which can cause pain and nerve damage if not treated properly.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Back Pain
Most back injuries will usually heal pretty quickly with the correct treatment approach. The doctor will look at the characteristics of the pain, keeping an eye out for any red flags they may see that would suggest any further diagnostic testing. This helps to exclude any potentially serious medical problems that can be associated with neck or low back pain-like fractures, infections and tumors. Extensive testing, including X-rays, MRI/CT scans, and lab tests are very necessary but only in some cases. The chiropractor will perform a physical examination, including orthopedic and neurological tests which test the reflexes, joints, muscles, nerves and other areas. Usually with a conservative treatment plan, the pain will subside within four to seven days. The symptoms are divided into degrees of severity. Some doctors refer to them as:
- Acute/Mild: persists for less than 6 weeks.
- Subacute/Moderate: persists between 6 and 12 weeks.
- Chronic/Severe: persist up to and past 12 weeks
- Flare-Up: Same symptoms that will reoccur sporadically.
Most Americans will seek chiropractic care for relief of back pain. With chiropractic diagnosis of potentially serious injuries, the chiropractor will usually refer the patient to a relevant medical specialist and possibly a surgeon. Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders within the musculoskeletal system, nervous system and especially the spine, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustments/manipulation of the spine.
Low back pain & Chiropractic care In Jacksonville, FL
The American Chiropractic Association says 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain and that one-half of all Americans have pain symptoms each year. Chiropractic spinal manipulation can work wonders! Spinal manipulation helps to aid pain management and stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities. Realignment of the spine helps to reduce pressure on the central nervous system. Headaches and lower back pain are the most common conditions treated by a chiropractor. Chiropractic care assists in restoring normal function, relieving pain and improving mobility and range of motion in a non-invasive way.
Your first visit with a chiropractor will start with an evaluation where you will describe your symptoms and your chiropractor may order tests and X-Rays that will help to better understand your condition. With those results, the doctor will then develop a treatment plan. This plan for pain management will include multiple visits over a period of time to provide the best results possible. At each visit, your chiropractor will perform a spinal manipulation on key parts of your back, or other parts of your body to realign your spine and manage your pain. Spinal manipulation is a hands-on, safe and effective way to relieve low back pain. Chiropractors focus on you as their top priority and will guide you through the whole journey on getting you back to a healthy, pain-free life!
Interesting Facts about Back Pain
- It is the single leading cause of disability worldwide (According to The American Chiropractic Association)
- One of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second common reason for visits to the doctor’s office.
- One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain each year.
- Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some specific point in their lifetime.
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning that they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis or a fracture.
The vast majority of low back related pain is always manageable with self-care and chiropractic care. Clearly, there are situations that will eventually require medication or surgery but you may not have to jump to that route so quickly. Just be alert and assertive to any new pain you are having and even any neurological changes. Be honest with yourself about the degree of pain or discomfort you feel on a daily basis so you can assist your body better with healing itself. Remember to do your part. You are an active participant in your road to recovery