Most of us have suffered from some or the other form of lower back pain at least once or more in our lives. In US, about 80% of the population suffers from lower back pain that can hinder work. Dr. Jeff Echols, a chiropractor and nutritionist in Austin, Texas talks about the structure of the spine, different mechanisms that can cause lower back pain and shares the ways to find out the type of back pain one has. He demonstrates manipulative techniques called adjustments in the adjoining video, practiced by chiropractors to relieve pain.
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine based on the diagnosis and treatment of problems of the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems. It is non invasive and uses manipulative techniques to treat misaligned structures especially the spine.
The causes for lower back pain can be: a) structural (in the spinal column itself)/ mechanical b) non mechanical c) visceral (referred pain from organs).
Issues like herniated or degenerative disc, nerve impingement, poor posture, facet syndrome, scoliosis (abnormal curvature of spine), injury to spinal column, wear and tear of spinal joints (spondylolisthesis), vertebral fractures from osteoporosis, osteoarthritis resulting in narrowing of space around the spinal cord (spinal stenosis) are some of the structural causes of lower back pain. Besides, non mechanical causes such as pain syndromes (fibromyalgia, myofascial pain etc.), tumors can also cause lower back pain. Pelvic infections, issues in uterus or ovaries, menstruation and PMS, appendicitis, prostate problems, kidney problems, gall bladder disease etc. can cause referred pain in the back.
Too much pressure on the facets/ vertebral joints due to over arching of spine (facet syndrome) causes a dull constant pain. Bending forward pulls the facets away and thus relieves the pressure on the facets, reducing the pain. The flexion distraction technique of chiropractic is based on this concept. It involves using a specialized table on which the patient lies prone, and the spine is stretched and flexed (forward or sideways) simultaneously in gentle cyclic motions thus reducing pressure on the joints.
Pain due to nerve compression can occur as a result of a slip disc. This may at times also cause the pain to radiate down one or both the legs in case of a compression of the sciatic nerve (Sciatica). Such pain due to a bulging disc is aggravated upon bearing down, sneezing or coughing. Flexion distraction technique is helpful in such cases too and in 80-90% cases gives a favorable response.
Problems in the sacro-iliac joint can also cause lower back pain. The chiropractic adjustment technique called lumbar roll which restores the sacro-iliac joint can alleviate pain in such cases. In the lumbar roll technique, the patient lies on their side facing the therapist. The therapist applies a quick thrust to the misaligned sacro-iliac joint to return it to its proper position.
Chiropractic adjustments are being used in the treatment of lower back pain with great success.
You are suggested to watch the demonstration video of the detailed chiropractic techniques. See the video below: