When people think of chiropractic care, they often immediately associate it with low back pain. And for good reason as low back pain is one of the most common symptoms people seek a chiropractor to help. Low back pain can range between a minor annoyance that makes it hard to get comfortable while going to sleep, to a major concern that leads people to undergo back surgery. But did you know chiropractic care can help prevent back surgery?
How common is low back pain?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in American adults (1). It is also one of the leading causes of missed hours at work, causing those who experience low back pain to lose an average loss of 5.2 hours per week (2). Most people turn to over the counters like Advil or Tylenol to temporarily soothe low back pain, but learning about the true cause of low back pain shows why these are only short-term fixes.
What causes low back pain?
The nervous system is the most important system in the body and consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The nerves carry information, from the brain to the body to keep every organ, muscle, and system working properly. The nerves are protected by the bones in the spine, and a spine in good alignment leads to everything working properly. However, if a spinal bone shifts out of alignment, it results in two things; pressure on nerves and tension on muscles.
A misaligned spinal bone will put pressure on the nerve that normally travels unimpeded through that bone. That bone will pinch the nerve, resulting in local pain in that area. If the misaligned bone is in the lumbar or lower spine, the result can be low back pain. Similarly, there are multiple muscles that attach to each spinal bone. If that bone shifts out of place, the muscle attaching to the bone will be under tension which also causes pain.
Low back pain can lead to:
- Difficulty sitting at work
- Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep
- Inability to play with your kids or pets
- Problems going to the gym or exercising
How chiropractic can help
Chiropractors are specifically trained to realign spinal bones that shift out of place. In this way, a chiropractic adjustment addresses the root cause of why the low back pain occurred in the first place rather than treating just the symptoms. A chiropractor’s goal is to create proper structure in the spine to remove the nerve pressure and muscle tension to create a long-term solution for back pain. Furthermore, research has shown that workers who saw a surgeon first underwent surgery 42.7% of the time, while workers who saw a chiropractor first only underwent surgery 1.5% of the time (3). Chiropractic has been shown to help low back pain without drugs or surgery, and is one of the most common symptoms we help with in our office.