Chronic low back pain is a common problem experienced by many people. While there are various treatment options available, chiropractic care is often an effective approach to managing this type of pain. If you're considering seeking chiropractic care for chronic low back pain, here's what you need to know.
Defining chronic low back pain - what it is and how long it lasts
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Chronic low back pain is a condition characterized by low back pain that typically lasts more than three months. The exact cause of chronic low back pain can be difficult to determine, but often it is due to wear and tear in the vertebrae of the spine, lumbar herniated discs, arthritis in the spine joints, or muscle/ligament strain. For many individuals and despite various types of treatment, low back pain can last for years and may even become worse over time. Besides a dull ache, low back pain may also be accompanied by sharp jabs of pain and radiating symptoms throughout the abdomen and down the legs. It is important to properly diagnose low back pain that has lasted for long periods of time in order to treat any underlying issues.
Causes of chronic low back pain - common causes and risk factors
Chronic low back pain is an uncomfortable and often debilitating condition that affects millions of Americans yearly. Common causes of chronic low back pain include strain and overload injuries, structural issues such as herniated discs, scoliosis or other spinal problems, uterine and ovarian conditions for women, spondylolisthesis, which is a weakening or slippage along the spine's joints, and degenerative disorders like narrowing of the vertebral spaces due to arthritis. Risk factors for developing chronic low back pain are numerous and may include gender (males are at slightly higher risk than females), cigarette smoking, being overweight or obese, strenuous physical labor, or activities such as athletics or lifestyles with minimal physical exercise. If you believe that you're suffering from chronic low back pain it's important to consult with your doctor in order to understand what might be causing your discomfort.
Symptoms of chronic low back pain - what to look for
Chronic low back pain is a debilitating condition for many people. It can cause immense exhaustion and discomfort in the lower lumbar region of the body. Common symptoms to look for are muscle tension, decreased range of motion and flexibility, localized stiffness or soreness, and persistent pressure in the back. In some cases, shooting pain in the legs or hips may be associated with chronic low back pain. If any of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it is important to seek medical attention to help determine a course of treatment that best suits your needs. Treatment options vary depending on the severity and variable nature of this condition but can include stretching exercises, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, surgery, or the use of pharmaceuticals such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Diagnosing chronic low back pain - tests and procedures your doctor may use
Diagnosing chronic low back pains may take more than one test or procedure. The type of tests and procedures used to diagnose your chronic low back pain can be dependent on what could potentially be causing it. Generally, your doctor will start with a physical exam which may include an analysis of posture, range of motion, and reflexes; this is then often followed by imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to help determine other possible causes within the body. Finally, depending on the results, they may recommend blood tests to rule out any medical issues that could be causing back pain. Through these various diagnostic evaluations either alone or together, your doctor should be able to figure out a plan for treatment and relief from chronic low back pain.
Treatment options for chronic low back pain
Treatment options for chronic low back pain can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Although physicians often prescribe medications such as analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or even tricyclic antidepressants, many patients look to chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic doctors focus on adjusting a person's spine to relieve pain and tension caused by spinal joints, discs, nerves, and tendons in the lower back. In more extreme cases where medications and chiropractic care are insufficient, some may require surgery to help alleviate the pain. As with any medical procedure, potential risks need to be weighed against beneficial outcomes prior to deciding if surgery is an appropriate form of treatment.
Tips for managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life
Living with chronic low back pain can be incredibly difficult, and it's important to stay active both physically and mentally to make it more manageable. Different types of exercise, such as yoga or swimming, can be especially beneficial in relieving discomfort. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as sleeping on a supportive mattress or having an ergonomic desk setup at your home office can help reduce inflammation and other low back pain symptoms. Additionally, certain relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation can be very helpful in reducing pain levels and improving the overall quality of life. If the pain is too severe to manage on your own, don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional for advice. With the right strategies in place, managing chronic low back pain doesn't have to feel like an impossible task; by taking proactive steps towards improving your condition today, you can start feeling better tomorrow.
Upper cervical chiropractic help with low back pain
Upper cervical care is a specialized area of chiropractic treatment that focuses on the proper alignment of the head and neck, which are essential for spinal health. Many studies have shown that misalignments in the upper cervical spine can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including chronic lower back pain. Upper cervical care involves gentle manipulation to restore misaligned joints, reduce nerve irritation and restore spinal health. The adjustments used in upper cervical care are extremely precise and specific; this allows for a more accurate and effective treatment for chronic lower back pain.
Additionally, upper cervical care also improves the overall functioning of the nervous system, which can further help reduce symptoms related to chronic lower back pain. With regular upper cervical care, many patients find that their lower back pain is reduced and in some cases completely eliminated. If you think upper cervical care may be a good fit for you, don't hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us today. With the right treatment plan in place, you can start feeling better soon.