Low Back Pain and Its Many Causes!!!

 Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints presenting to our office and remains one of the most challenging conditions to manage because there are so many causes of LBP.  Some of the causes include the obvious such as over lifting, over use activities such as sports injuries (bowling, golfing, skiing, tennis, football, etc.), raking leaves, shoveling snow, and more.  Frequently, work related strains are the primary cause of LBP due to the constant, persistent and awkward positions frequently required in many jobs, especially in repetitive motion assembly line work. 



However, MOST of the causes of LBP are due to the person not staying well-adjusted on a monthly basis and not investing in their health with maintenance, or what I like to call “Health Enhancement” tune-ups. People usuaully wait unto they feel pain and then come in and by this time, there is so much damage to the surrounding soft tissues and nerves and decay in the joints. I can help — however, it may take me a while to get you back to normal. You see, when decay of the spine happens through neglect, I cannot be “The Dentist of the Spine” and go in there and scrape away and clean it all up and drill and open up the holes that the nerves run through that are being squeezed and pinched. I have to adjust and supplement and electrostimulate the area to get it to comply with my wishes. And of course, the decay to the bones is permanent and we just have to keep on top of it all to maintain it properly, more often than normal. Sometimes, unfortunately, the decay and bony build-up is so much that surgery is the only option, and that most of the time is a 50% success rate, lower in Low Back surgeries. It just depends. One thing is — you DO NOT WANT permanent Nerve Damage. Prevention is the Key.   

The cause can also be as simple as standing on 2 feet vs. 4 feet.  Studies show when 2 legged and 4 legged animals are compared, arthritis starts in the 3rd vs. the 6th decade of life, respectively due to the vertical load placed on the biped or 2-legged animal. In spite of this, after sharing this information with patients, I have not been successful in convincing them to start walking on all fours!  Because we are a 2-legged species, addressing a short leg can have significant benefits to any spinal condition.  This is because a short leg of only 5mm (1/4 inch) can result in a drop in the pelvis resulting in crooked foundation that the spine sits on, creating a curvature in the spine.  This places stress on the spinal components including the spinal cord and nerves and can contribute or be the actual cause of not only LBP, but also problems higher in the spine including neck pain and headaches!   

Many times, a satisfying outcome is not achieved until I address the leg length issue by the use of heel or a combination of heel & sole lifts.  If a leg is short, the effects at the top – that is, the neck and head, are dramatically affected.  In one case, treatment to the neck and head had little effect on his headaches and only after placing a heel lift in one shoe and arch support in both shoes did he feel significantly improved.   

In most cases, treatment addressing the entire body from the feet up yields the most satisfying results.  Also, secondary issues such as diet, stress management, home treatments including exercises, can be very important in the successful management of back pain.  In many patients, a combination of chiropractic, leg length correction, and nutritional management including the use of vitamin and herbs resulted in the best approach results.   

Usually, offering the patient advice on the methods of applying ice, modifying/reducing bending/ lifting activities, as well as performing the chiropractic treatment will satisfy the majority of patients. However, in some cases, co-management with other allied health care providers is necessary, especially where there is a slow response in the initial acute stage of LBP. If these less common cases should occur, the combination of chiropractic and primary care yields the best results.   

In our clinic, we offer a multidimensional, holistic approach to the treatment of low back pain so that a positive, satisfying outcome is achieved.   


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