Low Back Pain
"LOW BACK PAIN (LBP) IS THE NUMBER ONE LEADING CAUSE OF DISABILITY WORLDWIDE."
The lifetime incidence of low back pain is 58-84%, 11% of men and 16% of women have chronic low back pain.3
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
At Errol Street Chiropractic, our job is to find out what caused your back pain in the first place. Once detected, we can understand the mechanisms of the injury and if possible, help you avoid future aggravations.
Here are a few aggravating factors commonly seen in patients suffering from pain on the lower back region:
Incorrect Sitting Posture
Sitting is becoming such a part of our daily lives, especially if you are a student or working in an office. Incorrect prolonged sitting increases the biomechanical load on the muscles, ligaments and joints of the lower back. Over time this stress will cause stiffness and pain.
Sports Injuries Or Falls
Lower back pain can occur following sporting accidents or falls. Skiing falls, falls during football or soccer games, or falls off bikes are common causes of acute lower back pain. Repetitive movements during some sports can create a muscular imbalance in the lower back that - if not corrected, can lead to pain syndromes.
At our North Melbourne practice, we see many sports injuries and find that correcting the stiff and locked up spines helps people get back to doing what they love doing as quickly as possible.
Poor Sleep Posture
When sleep posture is poor, it can lead to or aggravate lower back problems. What we generally see with people who wake up with a stiff lower back is that they sleep with a twisted pelvis. Pelvis and shoulders should be facing the same direction if you are sleeping on your side.
Try placing a pillow in between your knees to prevent the top leg twisting over the bottom leg.
Our spines love movement. Yet, excessive lifting, when combined with incorrect lifting techniques, can lead to lower back pain and damage. We all know when an object is too heavy to lift, or even too awkward. Listen to your body and don’t lift it if you are not sure.
When lifting, remember to keep your back straight and lift using your legs. A big problem we see is people twisting as they pick up or place down an object. Avoid twisting while lifting and if lifting devices are available, such as hoists, take the time to use them and avoid the heavy and awkward lifting.
Lower back problems can be due to small but frequent stressors over time. Repetitive movements in one direction with certain jobs or activities can be the cause of low back pain and discomfort.
It is not unusual to see more than one of these factors causing and aggravating the lower back pain.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a very common condition that affects the way we get through our day. It restricts common movements such as bending and stretching, ranging in severity from a mild ache to severe disabling pain.
The cause of the pain determines its nature, which may include:
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle ache
- Local soreness
- Dull ache or sharp pain
- Referred pain down buttock, thigh, leg and foot
- Referred pain into the groin
- Tingling and burning in the back, buttock or leg
- Pain that is worse with certain positions
- Pain that worsens with standing or walking
- Pain that worsens with no movement
The sooner a problem is addressed the better. Finding the cause of the problem and not merely treating the symptoms is a concern of the chiropractors at Errol Street Chiropractic. Our thorough assessment will give us the information we need to be able to determine how we can get the best results in the fastest possible time.
When To See A Chiropractor?
Often people will seek the help of pain relief medicine so they can cope with the pain, hoping it will go away. All medication does is mask the problem.
Adrian Traeger, the lead author of a low back pain review at the Sydney University5 said, “these new guidelines suggest avoiding pain medication initially and discouraging other invasive treatments such as injections and surgery.
The recent changes to these guidelines are important and represent a substantial change in thinking on how best to manage LBP”. Chiropractic provides a drug-free approach to low back pain.
If you feel your pain and discomfort are affecting your work or home life in any way, then it might be a good idea to see a chiropractor. Chiropractic care can help acute or chronic pain. Your chiropractor will work to determine where the pain is coming from.
Some of the common causes of back pain can be:
- Disc issues, whether it’s a protrusion or a prolapse
- Subluxated or locked joints
- Muscle spasm
- Spinal stenosis
- Loss of normal alignment
- One leg shorter than the other
Here are some tips to when seeing a chiropractor is a good idea:
- Severe pain that does not ease after a day or two
- Pain that follows an accident
- Numbness and tingling in the thigh, leg or foot
- Complete loss of movement
How To Diagnose Low Back Pain? Finding Out If We Can Help
At Errol Street Chiropractic we begin by finding out as much as possible about your current and past medical history. We take special note of how you move through your day and night - what stressors and strains your body goes through daily, that you may not even be aware of.
We then go through a thorough neurological, orthopaedic, and spinal functional examination. Reflexes, ranges of spinal movement and a Posture Screen® postural photo are ways of gathering information to help us understand what is going on with your case.
If we find that after your examination, you have problems with your spinal movement and alignment that chiropractic can help with, then x-rays may be organised or treatment may begin. X-rays will help to diagnose a problem such as spinal arthritis (degeneration or decay) and if a disc problem is suspected, you may be referred out for a MRI or CT scan.
After gathering the information, we provide you with a diagnosis and recommendations for care. Recommendations will include what kind of treatment, its length and home advice. These may include exercises, which you need to address to achieve the best results.
What Does Treatment Involve?
Once we have identified the problems in your spine, our job then is to start work on reducing low back pain and associated symptoms.
We work on the following:
- Chiropractic adjustments to the restricted spinal joints.
- Low force, gentle adjustments to help improve movement in the joints.
- We use the Activator for those people who are not suited to manual therapy.
When indicated we also utilise an advanced chiropractic technique called Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP). This is designed to help restore the spine closer to normal alignment. CBP is the most researched-based spinal corrective care known and is results-driven.
Mirror image adjustments ®, in house Denneroll Traction and home traction are included in this treatment. Specially chosen exercises called mirror image® exercises, help with spinal alignment. These are custom neuromuscular exercises that are different for each person, helping to retrain muscles around faulty curves.
Home and work posture advice, including sleep posture advice, will help to reduce the physical stress load on the low back. This helps with the treatment process, but also with getting you into better postural habits for long term health benefits.
Why Does My Low Back “Go Out” For No Apparent Reason?
Research has shown that low back pain (LBP) changes how your brain ‘sees’ your low back. This affects your brain's ability to control and coordinate your low back, creating a continuous cycle, or bad habit - which may be hard to break on its own6.
LBP also changes the function of the small muscles which stabilise your spine. These changes have been shown to persist even when pain is no longer present.
Chiropractic care helps to restore the proper function of the lumbar spine so that you can gain normal control and coordination of your low back by breaking the cycle that poor spinal movement.
About Errol St Chiropractic
Errol Street Chiropractic Centre has been established for 13 years. Dr. Lisa Smycz, the founder, has been practicing for 30 years and has now grown the practice to include other practitioners.
The centre is the first Chiropractic BioPhysics certified practice in town and offers the world's most advanced spinal corrective spinal care that gets measurable results.
Our multi-modal approach helps people get to the cause of their problem and to then return to living their most awesome life.
Useful Articles To Help Low Back Pain Sufferers
- Does your Low Back Pain Need Help? The Answer Could Lie In Your Glutes
- Low Back Help By Activating Transversus Abdominis
- Stretches To Energise Your Day
- 5 Tips To Ease Stiff Back At The Desk
- 3 Easy Tips To Help Sciatica & Avoid Drugs
- 5 Years Of Leg Pain With Disc Herniation: How Chiro Biophysics Helped
- Confused About Low Back Disc Issues? Local Chiropractor Explains
- Chronic Low Back Pain: Is There A Link With The Lumbar Curve
1. GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet 2016;356:1545-602. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)
2. Parson S, Ingram M, Clarke-Cornwell AM, Symmons DPM. A Heavy Burden The occurrence and impact of musculoskeletal conditions in the United Kingdom today. Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit, 2011, www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/
3. Bridges S. Chronic pain. In: Craig R, Mindell J, eds. Health Survey for England 2011 Health, social care and lifestyles. 356. Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2012: 1-33, http://content.digital.nhs.uk/
4. Ebrall P. Mechanical Low Back Pain a Comparison of Medical and Chiropractic Management in Victoria Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1992; 22(2):47-53
5. Traeger A. Duchbindr R. HarrisI. Hair C. Diagnosis and management of low back pain in primary car CMAJ November 13 2017 189;E1386-E1395
6. Tsao H. Danneels L. Hodges P ISSLS Prize Winner: Smudging the Motor Brain in Young Adults With Recurrent Low Back Pain SPINE Volume 36, Number 21, pp 1721–1727