Lower Back Pain Treatment
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. 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. Chronic low back pain is the most common cause of disability for Americans under the age of 45 years. 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.
Acute low back pain is defined as low back pain lasting less than 6 weeks. 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. Our treatment helps to reduce pain quickly so that you can get back to your active lifestyle.
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 on their severity. Many disc related back problems can be treated at our office using flexion distraction. Flexion distraction is a gentle type of manual therapy that tractions the disc in order to alleviate back pain. 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.
Chronic low back pain is defined as low back pain lasting over twelve weeks. Chronic low back pain can be caused by arthritis of the spine. The inflammation associated with arthritis causes pain in the spine and nearby tissues. The bony spurs of arthritis also irritate adjacent nerves leading to persistent low back pain. Disc degeneration can also be a cause of chronic low back pain when the degeneration is sufficient to irritate the very small nerves in the spinal disc itself. Spinal stenosis, a proliferation of arthritic bone into the space around the spinal cord can lead to persistent low back pain. Stenosis irritates the nerves in the spinal canal and often causes low back pain and pain into the buttocks, especially when standing or walking.
Several studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic for the treatment of acute and chronic low back pain. With over 30 years of experience as a chiropractor, Dr. McGee has the experience to develop the optimum treatment plan for your condition. Our treatments focus on pain relief, strengthening exercises and modifying daily activities to prevent the recurrence of back pain. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you reduce your back pain.
Patient centered. Evidence based. Chiropractic.
1330 East Arlington Blvd., Greenville, NC 27858