Chronic Back Pain and Chiropractic
Up to 50% of people seeing Chiropractors note back pain as one of their primary symptoms.
Back pain is usually caused by dysfunction in the way the muscles, joints, tendons, discs, ligaments and nerves work together. It can feel like stiffness, a dull ache, sharp catching, or sudden pain on movement. There may be nerve pain into the legs (eg. Sciatica). Low back pain is a common problem: 1 in 6 Australians are affected every year, and between 70-90% of people worldwide will suffer at some point in their lives (1).
How Chiropractic Can Help
Chronic back pain is back pain lasting longer than 3 months. Chronic back pain can have a serious negative impact on daily life, affecting social, work and family life. Chronic back pain mostly affects working people (77%) (1). It has a negative impact on the economy, with over a billion dollars spent per year, and is the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia (1).
There are many different causes of low back pain. Most are mechanical and respond to Chiropractic care and management. Your Chiropractor will conduct a detailed history and physical examination to determine a diagnosis and the correct course of care for your individual situation.
If you are suffering from low back pain, spinal adjustments (specific manipulation) as well as other methods working on joints, ligaments, muscles and nerves with individualised advice on lifestyle and exercise factors is the treatment of choice for most. Research shows that chiropractic care for lower back pain is both remarkably safe and effective to reduce pain and improve function in patients with chronic lower back pain (3).
There are several easy things you can start doing today to reduce your lower back pain. Our top tips include:
- Get moving! Your spine is designed to move, and when we are stationary for long periods of time we stiffen up. Sitting in particular increases the load on your lower back. Movement will help counter this, as well as helping to reduce pain. Research shows that exercise plus chiropractic care (spinal manipulation therapy) is likely to not only speed up outcomes, but it reduces your risk of episodic recurrence of low back pain (4). Time to lace up those sneakers!
- Improve your posture. Poor posture, especially over a prolonged period of time, puts stress through the spine and can lead to pain and stiffness. Investing in an ergonomic chair or sit-stand desk can help, as can putting a reminder on your phone every hour to stand, stretch and reassess your posture. Your chiropractic visit will include postural assessment.
- Stretch. A mobile spine is a healthy one; in fact, 90% of the nutrition to your brain comes from movement of the spine. Stretching must be performed correctly and within your own range of movement – ask your chiropractor for individual advise for your situation.
For a comprehensive assessment, call our office today.
- Impacts of Chronic back Pain, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/arthritis-other-musculoskeletal-conditions/impacts-of-chronic-back-problems/contents/summary
- Lower Back Pain: https://www.myvmc.com/diseases/lower-back-pain/
- Coulter, I et al, 2018,Manipulation and mobilisation for treating chronic lower back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis, The Spine Journal, http://www.thespinejournalonline.com/article/S1529-9430(18)30016-0/fulltext
- Lawrence, D et al, 2008, Chiropractic management of low back pain and low back-related leg complaints: a literature synthesis, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, vol 31(9):659-74
- Chiropractor’s Association of Australia Spinal Health Blog: 3 things you can do today to help improve chronic lower back symptoms, https://chiropractors.asn.au/blog/3-things-you-can-do-today-to-help-improve-chronic-back-pain-symptoms/