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Low Back Pain and Chiropractic
Low back pain (LBP) is very common disorder and is often described as dull ache or sharp pain, felt below the waist, sometimes running down one or both legs.
Low back pain can come from sudden movement or injury from heavy physical work, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting in awkward positions, or being in a “bad posture position” for too long. Any of these situations can “re-awake” a prior or existing back disorder or create a new one.
Other conditions that can cause low back pain can include tumors, fractures, infections and boney arthritis as well as other medical conditions.
Low back pain without chiropractic care can keep low back pain from lasting from just a few days to becoming a lifetime problem.
Symptoms range from pain in a specific area of the low back, general aching or soreness, with our without pain that radiates (run) down to the leg(s) or toe(s). Sometimes pain is accompanied by neurologic (“nerves”) symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.
Neurologic symptoms requiring immediate attention include loss of muscle strength or size, loss of leg reflexes, bowel or bladder dysfunction, severe symptoms that do not subside after a few days, or pain prohibiting everyday activities.
Sciatica and Disc problems
The largest nerve of the body is the sciatic nerve. If it becomes injured or inflamed, it causes symptoms called sciatica. Sciatica can cause intense pain along any part of the sciatica nerve pathway - from the low back down to the toes.
If the nerve is compressed, often times is caused by conditions such as a bulging or herniated disc (“slip disc”), muscle injury or spasm, infection or tumor (rare). Such symptoms may include a loss of reflexes, muscle weakness, walking difficulty and numbness besides severe pain. Such disc problems can make everyday activities such as walking, sitting and standing or walking difficult.
The great majority of disc injuries involve some degree of bulging of the disc. The "slipped" or bulge disc can be a slight, even temporary, push against the nerve or the spinal cord, or it can be a more definite mild, moderate, or marked bulge. Sometimes discs can herniate which a fragment from the central part of the disc that breaks off.
How does Dr. Marc Lawson DC evaluate low back pain?
First a careful examination is performed involving chiropractic, orthopedic (“bones”) and neurological (“nerves”) testing. Are the leg reflexes intact? Is there a sign of disc or joint misalignment? Is there loss of muscle strength or signs of muscle wasting? Is there loss of sensation or strength along an area supplied by a particular nerve? These are the vital questions that the chiropractic, orthopedic and neurological exam can help answer.
Other diagnostic procedures may be used that are unique to chiropractic and establish the foundation for a program of care.
Such tests can check joint motion, muscle strength, and perform a postural analysis of the patient. Techniques include motion and static palpation to determine exact areas of restrictions in spinal joint motion. Palpation of muscles and muscle testing, as well as perform tests for hip balance and determine whether there is a "short leg" or posture problem.
X-rays of the low back may be taken (if needed), or other imaging study of the back ordered.
Chiropractic Care of Low Back Pain Conditions
After analyzing this information, Dr. Marc Lawson DC determines if the patient can be help by chiropractic care and the type of treatment needed. Treatment involves gentle low-force techniques and therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation to the area, as well as help restore proper joint alignment and posture to help the healing cycle.
As the area improves, patient education involving corrected exercises and stretching often time is given to help strengthen the weaken area and prevent future injury.
Do you have any questions or concerns Chiropractic and how it can help your low back pain? Contact Us or call Dr. Lawson DC directly at 858-576-6329. He will be happy to answer your questions and set up a prompt appointment.
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