Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common problem.  About 80% of all Americans will have low back pain at some point in their lives.  Chronic low back pain is the most common cause of disability for Americans under the age of 45 years.  Every year about 4% of the US population is temporarily disabled from back injuries, and 1% of the working age population is totally disabled because of back related disorders.  It has been reported to be the second most frequent reason for a visit to a physician.  One study showed that about 25% of US adults reported having low back pain lasting at least one day within the previous 3 months.  The annual prevalence (number of people who experience low back pain each year) is 15-45%. 

Factors such as smoking, heavy physical work, repeated bending and twisting, constant sitting postures, and exposure to vibration have been linked to an increased risk for back pain.

Back muscle strain or ligament sprain is a common cause of acute low back pain.  Heavy lifting, bending and twisting can cause the muscles and ligaments to stretch and develop small tears, becoming inflamed and painful.  The severity of the pain will depend on the extent of the muscle and ligament injury.  Back strains and sprains often heal on their own with the proper application of rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, gentle stretching and proper low back exercises.

Abnormal conditions in the lumbar intervertebral disc can be responsible for low back pain.  The lumbar disc is a thick ligament between the vertebrae of the spine.  Over time, portions of the intervertebral disc can deteriorate.  This can lead to a disc bulge or protrusion that can press on adjacent nerves, frequently causing very severe low back pain.  If the disc herniation is large enough, it can press on the sciatic nerve causing hip, buttock, thigh and leg pain.  This condition is called sciatica.  In severe cases, muscle weakness and numbness can occur.  Treatment of disc problems will depend their severity.  Some cases of disc bulges can be treated with therapeutic exercise while more severe cases require medication.  More complicated, recalcitrant cases of disc herniation can require injections or surgery for successful treatment.  Fortunately, disc problems account for a small percentage of all back pain disorders.

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic for the treatment of low back pain.  Our office offers effective and safe spinal manipulative therapy, therapeutic modalities and exercise therapy to get patients back on their feet, back to work or back in the game as quick as possible.

With over 30 years of experience as a chiropractor, Dr. McGee has the experience needed to develop the optimum treatment plan for the various causes of low back pain.  Our treatments focus on pain relief, rehabilitative, strengthening exercises and modifying daily activities to prevent the recurrence of back pain.

Dr. McGee is the chiropractor for ECU Pirate Athletics.

The clinic is conveniently located at 1330 East  Arlington Blvd., Greenville, NC .
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