The lower back is also known as the lumbar spine. It is the most common area of pain and injury in the whole spine. The lumbar spine bears the burden of carrying the body’s weight making it prone to stress and strain and potential injury.
Interesting Facts Concerning the Lower Back:
1) During a lifetime, 60-80% of people develop lower back pain
2) There are approximately 5.2 million Americans presently disabled with a lower back condition
3) LBP is the #1 cause of disability in persons under 45
4) USA overall annual cost to take care of lower back disorders = $50 to $100 billion
5) 62% of disc disorders occur in the lower back (36% in the neck, 2% in the mid back)
6) Total number of spine operations annually = 1,175,000 (2007 statistic)
7) Back surgery is “Big Business” .....$40,000 for a fusion operation
8) From 1992 to 2003 spending for lumbar spine fusions went from $75 million to $482 million
9) According to a Washington State workers compensation study done between 1996 and 2001, lumbar spinal fusion rates increased from 3.6% to a whopping 58% with no improvement in disability rates or re-operation rates.
10) Only 5-10% of lumbar disc patients actually require surgery.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can come from a variety of different sources. Some of the more common conditions that cause lower back pain are listed below:
- Spinal Imbalance (Subluxation)
- Facet Syndrome
- Disc Degeneration
- Disc Herniation
- Spinal Stenosis
- Arthritic Degeneration
- Muscle Strain
1. Spinal Imbalance: Misalignment or restricted movement of one or several segments within the lower back leads to “Spinal Imbalance” and is a common cause of lower back pain. The Chiropractic term for this is “Subluxation”. It simply means improper function or alignment within the lower back. It would be similar to the front end of your car being out of alignment which leads to a “wobbly” or “shaky” ride. In the lower back it leads to irritation of the nerves which in turn causes pain. Spinal imbalance can be effectively treated through the use of Chiropractic adjustments thus alleviating the lower back pain.
2. Facet Syndrome: On the back side of each vertebra are a pair of joints that serve to stabilize the vertebrae while also allowing certain movements to take place. These joints are called “Facets”. This is a common area of strain from heavy lifting, repetitive twisting and prolonged forward or back bending. It is estimated that 15% to 40% of lower back pain stems from the facets. Problems with the facets respond very nicely to a combination of Chiropractic adjustments, exercise and appropriate life style changes.
3. Disc Degeneration: The little cartilage pad that sits between the vertebrae are scientifically known as “vertebral disc’s". Due to either injury or age related wear and tear, these discs can deteriorate. When this occurs the disc begins to flatten and the vertebrae come closer together closing off the openings where the nerves make their exit. This in turn leads to irritation of the nerves which results in pain. Disc degeneration can be helped through a combination of Chiropractic adjustments, Cox Flexion Distraction, physical therapy, nutritional supplementation, exercise and appropriate life style changes.
4. Disc Herniation: Due to injury or strain the little cartilage pads that sit between the vertebrae can shift causing them to bulge or herniate and contact the very delicate nerves in the area. This in turn can cause local lower back pain or pain that travels all the way down the leg to the foot and toes. Disc herniation can be effectively treated with Cox Flexion Distraction, a form of traction done by the doctor which helps to reduce the pressure inside the disc thus reducing or eliminating the disc bulge. For detailed information on this procedure click on the "Spinal Decompression" link on this web site.
5. Spinal Stenosis: Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces in the spine that the nerves exit from resulting in compression or "pinching" of the spinal cord or nerve roots. It is the long term result of spinal degeneration (wear and tear) or arthritis and is typically associated with disc degeneration and a loss of disc height. It is primarily a condition of the elderly. When treated properly it does respond favorably to Chiropractic care. One study showed that lumbar spinal stenosis patients improved by 76% and disability improved by 73% in 57 patients treated with "Cox Flexion Distraction" which is a method used in this office.
6. Arthritic Degeneration: Due to age related wear and tear or a history of injury, the bony structures around the vertebrae can breakdown and deteriorate which is medically known as Osteoarthritis.
This leads to the formation of bone spurs which can contact the delicate nerves in the area causing lower back pain. Arthritic degeneration can be effectively treated with Cox Flexion Distraction, a form of traction done by the doctor that helps to separate the vertebrae and relieve the pressure on the nerve structures. Along with Chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy, the traction helps to restore movement in the arthritic areas making it less likely that the spurs will come into contact with the nerves. Nutritional supplementation in the form of a good "Joint Support Formula" can also be helpful in treating Arthritic Degeneration of the spine.
7. Muscle Strain: Due to overuse as in weekend sports or gardening or an event like a car accident, the muscles around the lower back can be subject to more strain than they can handle thus injuring some of the muscle fibers. Medically this is known as muscle strain. Muscle strain leads to inflammation which in turn leads to lower back pain. Through the use of Chiropractic adjustments, massage, physical therapy, exercise and appropriate lifestyle changes, muscle strain can be effectively treated and resolved thus eliminating the neck pain.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing pain contact our office to schedule a free NO obligation consultation with the doctor or email Dr. Garber with a question concerning your case for a quick response. Garber Chiropractic Care Center 770-386-7707
Chiropractic Care and Pain Relief for Cartersville, Acworth, Taylorsville, White and Euharlee GA.