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Low Back Pain

This is one of the most common reasons for a chiropractic visit. It is also one of the most common reasons for a visit to a general practitioner, except they know nothing about the low back unless it's which anti-inflammatory drug or NSAIDs to give you. (The medical school curriculum doesn't focus on the anatomy of the low back.) These drugs might help, but they WON'T CORRECT THE PROBLEM. That's what we as Chiropractors do. What is the problem? It can be a slipped disk, a hip misalignment or a malposition of the lumbar vertebrae (to name but a few, however the most common). These take various times and number of visits to adjust, but the weakness, misalignment, or subluxation can be corrected. There is hope - although 80% of adults will experience back pain, only 1-2% will need lumbar spine surgery!

SCIATICA

This is the name for the intense leg pain that is often described as either numbing, tingling or burning. This pain exends down the back of one leg (from the hip) along the sciatic nerve. This is both the largest and the longest nerve in the body, and it extends from the buttocks to the inside of the ankle. It is generally agreed that the lower the pain extends, the more serious the problem is. However, there is hope!

While recovery from sciatica is most often slower than that of simple back pain, it is very probable for total recovery given time and judicious chiropractic management. After one month, 30% of people will recover completely and 70% will recover fully in 6 months.

DISC INJURY

   The discs are round, spongy pads of cartilage called between the intervetebral segments. They allow for flexibility in the lower back. As we age, they often lose their normal structure and function, becoming thinner and more prone to injury.

Over time the collagen (protein) structure around the disc weakens and may become structurally unsound. One of the primary reasons for this is that the water content decreases.  These changes are linked and may lead to the disc’s inability to handle mechanical stress.    

Any subsequent motion may result in a disc problem (e.g. herniation). This is when a section of the disc protrudes from between the vertebrae and pushes against a nerve within the spinal canal.

Within a few months, healing is often achieved. With surgery, the recovery rate after 5 years is exactly the same. So, don't rush to have it operated on; the same results can be achieved through chiropractic care.

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