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Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office. In fact, it is estimated that low back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year and more than 10% of all people experience frequent bouts of low back pain.

The susceptibility of the low back to injury and pain is due to the fact that the low back, like the neck, is a very unstable part of the spine. Unlike the thoracic spine, which is supported and stabilized by the rib cage, above and below the ribs are not. This instability allows us to have a great deal of mobility to touch our toes, tie our shoes or pick something up from the ground, but at the cost of increased risk of injury.

As long as it is healthy and functioning correctly, the low back can withstand tremendous forces without injury. Professional powerlifters can pick up several hundred pounds off the floor without injuring their low back. However, if the low back is out of adjustment or has weakened supporting muscles, something as simple as taking a bag of groceries out of the trunk of the car or simply bending down to pet the cat can cause a low back injury.

Until recently, researchers believed that back pain would heal on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. Recent studies showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return. It is important to take low back pain seriously and seek professional chiropractic care. This is especially true if the pain recurs over and over again. If this is the case, contact Dufferin Family Chiropractic...we can help!

The Causes of Low Back Pain

Many conditions can result in low back pain, such as sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points, spinal degeneration and inflamed joints. 

Due to the fact that several things can cause low back pain, many of which can be quite serious if left untreated, it is important to seek the professional help of a chiropractor. Chiropractors are the experts at diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes we see:

Subluxations

Whenever there is a disruption in the normal movement or position of the vertebrae, the result is pain and inflammation. In the lumbar spine, these usually occur at the transition between the lower spine and the bottom of the spine or sacrum. Subluxations not only lead to debilitating low back pain but left untreated results in degeneration of the bones and discs of the spine.. Fortunately, correcting subluxations is what chiropractors do. 

Disc Herniations

Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not automatically mean that you are going to suffer low back pain. In fact, research has found that nearly half of all adults have at least one bulging or herniated disc and do not suffer any pain from it. On the other hand, herniated discs can be a source of intense and debilitating pain that frequently radiates to other areas of the body.

Unfortunately, once a disc actually herniates, they rarely, completely heal. However, research has shown that chiropractic care not only significantly helps the symptoms associated with a herniation but avoids further deterioration .

Sprains, Strains and Spasms

This is commonly the source of low back pain among the weekend warriors. You know, the type who have very little physical activity during the week, but once the weekend arrives, they push themselves way too much. By the end of the weekend, they are flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get in to see their chiropractor. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight. Chiropractic helps speed the healing of these damaged tissues.

Stress

Whenever you become stressed, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding your body with stress hormones and tightening up your muscles. When you are stressed all the time, the chronic tension causes your muscles to become sore, weak and loaded with trigger points. If you are stressed out all of the time and you have low back pain, it is important to see your chiropractor.

Treating Low Back Pain With Chiropractic

Chiropractic treatment for low back pain is usually pretty straightforward. Most commonly, it's simply a matter of adjusting the bones of the spine (vertebrae) and pelvis to re-establish normal motion and reduce spinal nerve pressure.

Research shows that Chiropractic is the most effective treatment in relieving low back pain. In fact, major studies have shown that chiropractic care is more effective, cheaper and has better long-term outcomes than any other treatment! This makes sense because chiropractic care is the only method of treatment that serves to re-establish not only proper motion but the function and position in the spine. All other treatments, such as; massage, muscle relaxants, pain killers, anti-inflammatories and bed rest, only serve to decrease the symptoms of the problem and do not correct the problem stemming from the spine itself. Simply put,, chiropractic has been proven to work best.