A Deeper Look at Low Back Pain
It was tough to decide where to start when asked to talk about chiropractic. So, let’s start with the most obvious stereotype. When most people think of chiropractic, they largely associate our profession with low back pain. This stereotype was present when I was a kid and has continued to remain a staple because of the fact that we, as chiropractors, get great results when working with low back pain. But, why do we get great results? To answer that question, we have to break down the different causes of low back pain, and pain in general.
To simplify, I have divided the most common causes of low back pain that I see in our office into two categories: Nervous and Biomechanical. I can separate out causes such as certain types of arthritis, tumor, blood diseases, etc. because, even though I am trained as a doctor to diagnose these, they are out of my scope of practice to address, so I would immediately be sending you to another specialist. Now, let’s get started.
First, we have Nervous. This is an easy one, as this is the core of chiropractic! Widely unknown, a chiropractor’s main focus is to assess and care for the Nervous System. We do this by adjusting the spine. To break it down: nerves travel from the brain, through your spinal cord, and exit your spine to power every muscle and organ in your body. However, sometimes nerves can become irritated through fixation, or restriction, of joints causing dysfunction in those muscles and organs the nerves are powering. Chiropractic calls this misalignment a “subluxation,” and a subluxation can occur in any joint in the body. Thus, we adjust the spine, and any joint that is subluxated, as needed, to treat this nervous dysfunction and restore your body to its optimal state. If your low back pain is caused by a nerve dysfunction, then chiropractic can give you great results! The cherry on top? There’s an entire division of the nervous system called the Peripheral Nervous System. This is every nerve that has a path outside of the spine, such as the nerves that run through your elbows, hands, knees, ankles, and every other joint in your body. Chiropractors care for these joints and nerves, too!
The second cause of low back pain we address is biomechanical. Biomechanics is simply defined as, “The study of the mechanics of a living body, especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure.” Chiropractic also delivers fantastic results with biomechanical problems, but many biomechanical issues can also be prevented at home. The best example I can give is also my first tip to you: Take your wallet and/or phone out of your back pocket! Picture yourself sitting with your wallet in your back, right pocket. You are sitting ON that wallet, so your right buttock is on top of the wallet while your left buttock is contacting the seat. This causes imbalances in the way you sit, meaning an imbalance in your pelvis and spine. Every muscle, bone and joint around this area now needs to adapt to this posture. Some muscles need to stretch, while other muscles need to contract. And what are those muscles attached to? Bone! Over time, this causes your body to become “stuck” in this orientation, so it can cause pain when those stretched muscles now need to contract, and vice versa, during any activity that you may be doing. Other factors, such as improper posture at the computer, during texting, or various activities throughout your day can also cause imbalances, just like the wallet.
Now that we know a little bit more about chiropractic than we did before, we will be delving into more of the common problems I see in the office and how they function, as well! So stick with CFC, where our family is always happy to see yours!