Lower back pain affects 7 out of 10 people at some stage in their lives. It can affect anyone of any age, but is more common between the ages of 35-55 years. The pain can come on slowly, suddenly or be the direct result of a fall or injury. In most cases, the cause of pain can be linked to the way the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments in the back work together. This complex structure means that any small amount of damage can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. In most cases this problem settles itself down in a few weeks and continuing with your usual activities or exercise will promote healing. It is when the pain increases, persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as leg pain, fever, weight loss, chest pain, changes in your bowel or bladder habit or numbness around the buttock that there may be potential problems.
Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage, most commonly in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and back. It is also common in the neck and hands. As the joint is broken down it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the muscles in that area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the joint that is responsible for pain but the effects the degeneration has on how the joint is functioning, resulting in stiffness and muscle strains. We focus on restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole is functioning to uncover any other movement abnormalities that may be affecting the degenerated area.
Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a vehicle that is struck from behind or collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may only be slightly damaged. The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even moths later. The chiropractic approach to these types of injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustment to help return spinal function. After a thorough examination and case history, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of the spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.
‘Sciatica’ (pronounced sigh-at-ih-kah) is actually a misnomer and should be referred to as ‘Sciatic Nerve Pain’ as it is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as a herniated lumbar disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or a misaligned lumbar vertebra causing compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back that extends down the back of the thigh into the leg and to the foot. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the area of distribution.