Without a doubt, low back pain is the most common complaint that we hear about in our practice! In saying that, just because it is common, it doesn’t mean that it is normal. Pain, aside from being inconvenient and often frustrating, is an intelligent response and our body’s way of telling us that something is going on. Your body’s nervous system will alert you that there may be a problem and if the nerves are irritated you may experience pain either where the nerve exits the spine or you may feel it where that nerve travels eg. down the leg like in the case of sciatica. In some cases, you can feel weakness in the legs, pins and needles, sharp shooting pain or numbness. In this article, we will talk about how you can manage this irritation and resolve it. First, let’s put low back pain into perspective. In Australia, in 2015, 3.7 million people reported having back problems and it is estimated 70 – 90% of people will suffer from some form of low back pain at some point in their life – that is a lot of people! The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that back problems are a
“significant cause of disability lost productivity and the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia”.
Needless to say, low back pain affects many lives and can significantly impact our ability to take care of ourselves and live life. Now, let’s have a look at some reasons why we may be experiencing low back pain. There are three main structures in our spine that can be responsible: the muscles, the vertebrae or the discs. As you can see, it is possible for all three of these structures to affect the nerve and if they do, this will cause back pain. The muscles could be tight on one side of the spine, causing rotation in the vertebrae which can irritate the nerve or the vertebrae could be misaligned and not moving properly putting pressure through the disc which can bulge or herniate and affect the nerve. In our practice, we assess all these three structures to get to the root cause of the problem.
Before we talk about what we do in our practice to help with low back pain, this video will give you an idea of what you can do at home to help alleviate the pain you may be experiencing!
Ok, you have tried a few things on your own and it doesn’t seem to help, what can we do? In our practice, our first goal is to find out exactly why you may be experiencing low back pain. Instead of guessing, we use a combination of postural examination, orthopaedic testing, state of the art technology and x-rays to find out exactly what is causing the low back pain. Once we have all the information, we can formulate a plan and work with you in getting to the root cause and resolving the problem long term. One of the safest, most effective and evidence-based approaches to resolving low back pain is a spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments, when applied correctly, are gentle and take the pressure off the nerves, decreasing muscle tension and inflammation and allow the body to heal and repair the damaged and affected soft tissues.
This video is an example of how Dr. Bobby performs a lumbar assessment!
Aside from spinal adjustments, we incorporate specific spinal exercises and rehabilitation to help restore the normal movement in the spine and resolve any underlying issues long term. Hopefully, this blog post has shed some light in the health implications of low back pain, it’s causes and possible solutions. If you are interested in how we can help you, contact our practice on 02 9904 0101 to schedule your initial assessment.