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West Des Moines Chiropractor

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West Des Moines, IA 50265

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Low back pain – Don’t let a good spine go bad

Low back pain is one of the most common condition in this country and the world.   Back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives (1).   27.5% of adults have had low back pain in the last 3 months (2).  Back pain can last anywhere from a few days to weeks.  The total direct costs of chronic low-back pain-related health care utilization are estimated to be $96 million a year (3) (this number does not take into account the indirect cost of low back pain).  These statistics should impress upon you not only the prevalence and cost associated with low back pain, but also the importance of proper treatment.

Low back pain

 

 

 

 

Low back pain can start due to injuries (sports, work, auto accidents, etc.), repetitive stress/movement, or wear and tear (arthritis and degeneration).  The pain may be due to various structures being injured: muscles and ligaments (strains/sprains), disc injury/damage, joint injury/arthritis, and more rarely organ system dysfunction (eg. kidney stones).  Often times low back pain can also be associated with sharp, shooting pains (or numbness and tingling) into the legs that may go all the way to the feet.  This pain is referred to as sciatica.  Sciatica symptoms are often the result of significant injury and inflammation (or impingement) to the nerves that exit the spine at the low back.

Low back pain can be treated numerous ways by various professionals.  Treatments can range from doing nothing (bed rest), conservative management, over the counter medications, prescription medications, to surgery.  Ignoring pain or masking the symptoms may provide some relief but will never help heal the problem area.  Care should be sought to locate the cause of low back pain, correct the cause, and then prevent it from recurring.  Logically care should start conservatively and progress to more invasive procedures (if needed).  Conservative care consists of Chiropractic, Massage, Acupuncture, and/or Physical Therapy.  If these treatments do not resolve the issues then more invasive procedures can be considered including medications, injections, or surgeries (all of which have inherently greater risks than conservative management).

Chiropractic care focuses on the joints of the body (primarily the spine and pelvis) moving through their proper range of motion so they are less likely to be injured or cause low back pain.  When an injury to the spine occurs and joint motion is inhibited it often leads to increased inflammation.  This inflammation can cause the nerves that exit the spine to be hypersensitive creating pain, spasms, numbness and tingling, burning, sharp or shooting pains, etc.  Restoring the proper motion to these spinal joints decreases the inflammation and allows the injured area to heal more appropriately.

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”

– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Here at Thiele Chiropractic & Wellness we are not only good at detecting and correcting the injured areas but we also go the extra mile to teach our patients how to stabilize and strengthen their core muscles to help prevent a recurrence of low back pain.  Our spinal rehabilitation exercises create a strong and stable spine that is more resilient to stressors and less likely to be re-injured.

Spinal Rehabilitation

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”     -Benjamin Franklin

If you have low back pain or have had episodes of pain please give us a call so we can help you get out of pain and get back to enjoying life.

 

  1.  Medline Plus. Back Pain. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/backpain.html. Accessed March 11, 2013.
  2.  table 48 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus13.pdf
  3.  Mehra M, Hill K, Nicholl D, Schadrack J. “The burden of chronic low back pain with and without a neuropathic component: a healthcare resource use and cost analysis.” J Med Econ. 2012;15(2):245-52

13 comments on “Low back pain – Don’t let a good spine go bad

    1. I don’t mind people using inversion tables for lower back pain but I wouldn’t say I prefer it or that it is actually a treatment. It can help alleviate some of the pressure by taking the effects of gravity and our body weight off of injured discs. The problem is you eventually have to go back to gravity and the underlying issues are still there. You also need to consider the individuals health before doing inversion. Anyone with cardiovascular issues should be cautious when doing inversion or not do it at all.
      The best treatments for low back pain is chiropractic care (it is the number 1 reason people come see us!) combined with massage therapy and some rehab protocols. That will help address the root cause of most low back issues.

  1. Hi, nice blog regarding back pain. Most of people suffering from the back pain due to different reasons. Your blog make people aware how back pan effect on the spine. Keep share informative information like this.

  2. An awesome post about lower back pain. Heretofore, i think an inversion tabe is the best for lower back pain but after reading your post, i found some new ideas. Thank you.

  3. It is good that you talked about how back pain treatment should start as conservative treatments and move to more invasive ones if they don’t work. My back has been hurting for a while now and has no idea what is causing it. I can see that it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor and make sure you know what the problem is so you don’t have to live in pain all the time.

    1. Hi John,
      Conservative is always the way to go, unless there is an obvious medical emergency. Invasive procedures will always be available if conservative ones don’t work. A great combination for back pain can be chiropractic, massage therapy and physical therapy. Those three disciplines should help manage most back related issues that haven’t progressed to the point of a surgical intervention. I sincerely hope you find some relief.

  4. It’s good to see back pain being taken more seriously instead of just “oh that’s just the normal aches and pains of life.” Well, yes it is, but it’s also normal wear and tear on a car. Doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to keep it in good shape.

  5. My husband has been experiencing some back pain for about a week now and won’t admit it. So thank you for mentioning that if you just ignore it, you won’t be able to heal the back pain. Maybe if I let him know that ignoring it won’t make the problem go away, he’ll finally agree to see a specialist.

  6. I’ve had an accident where I slipped and fell on my back. Since then, I’ve been suffering from chronic back pain. I’d rather not take prescription medicines all my life and would like to look for alternatives. I’m glad that I’ve stumbled upon your articles and found great ideas like visiting a chiropractor. Cheers!

    1. Meds are fine in the short term. They can reduce inflammation and muscle spasms and even help when the pain is too great, however they are not a long term fix. Any injury should likely be looked at by a chiropractor to make sure your body has the ability to heal to it’s very best.

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