The Origins of Low Back Pain | Chiropractor for Low Back Pain in Boulder, CO
Hey guys, Dr. Duff here. And today we’re going to talk about the most common causes of low back pain that I see in our office.
Locating the Origin of Your Low Back Pain
So when it comes to low back pain, the way we look at that as chiropractors is we look at it from three different directions. The first one is going to be looking at the spine, okay, but the second one is going to be looking at the soft tissues around the spine and things like the muscles, the tendons and the ligaments. And thirdly, we’re going to look at the nervous system and the nerves that branch out of the low back, because a lot of times irritation of those nerves can cause pain, discomfort. So here in the office, we do an assessment to see what’s happening with each part of that spine. So we’ll assess your posture, and we’ll look for misalignments in the spine, which are known as subluxations. And the subluxations, or shifts in the spine are going to represent either a weakened or damaged or injured area of the spine. And we can assess that by doing things like checking your motion, looking at your posture to see or identifying a postural distortions. And then we’re going to do different various orthopedic neurological tests. And sometimes we can even take X rays to get a closer look of the spine as well. Once we establish whether there are subluxations in the spine, or not, then we can move on and see how that’s affecting the muscles and the soft tissues and the ligaments around the spine.
Treating Soft Tissue Damage Caused by Misalignments and Subluxations
So a lot of times, what we’ll notice is our patients will say, tuck my left side of my back hurts the right side, it’s only my left glute or my right glute on my hip flexors. So when we look at the structure of the spine, and we see how it affects those soft tissues, once we identify where those misalignments are, we can work on fixing those soft tissues, which can become their own problem as well. One of the effective therapies that we use to work on the soft tissue is using our our adjusting instrument to soft tissue massage type of device will also utilize chiropractic adjustments. And then finally, we’ll also utilize either laser therapy, or traction therapy depending on what your needs are as a patient. So the adjustments are going to help restore and realign the spine in a better position. And what that’s going to do is that’s going to allow for the nervous system to get that communication and energy and reduce the irritation on those nerves of the body functions better and he feels better and feels better. Once we’ve taken that pressure off of the nerves, the symptoms are calmed down, then the body is really ready to fix the issues that are kind of the underlying problem. Whether it’s a loss of curvature, whether it’s a loss of motion at a joint, or it’s just dysfunction of entire region, that’s what we’re going to focus on and start correcting.
Relieving Pressure on Discs to Reduce Low Back Pain
Okay. Now, the last component are the discs and the soft tissues and even the structure of the spine. So in between each one of the vertebra are these fibrocartilaginous discs, okay. And these discs, what they do is they help movement, they help absorb forces and disperse forces in the spine. And a lot of times what we see is our patients, sometimes they’ll bend over to pick something up and the disc will tear or a bulge or herniate. Or it can be a really damaging injury like really heavy deadlift or a car crash that can cause the spine to shift out of his normal position or compress the joints. When those injuries occur, the spine can degenerate where the discs start to swell, they can bolt out of the side and push into the nerves. And that causes irritation of these nerves and causes a decrease in function to wherever those nerves go. Sometimes it’s muscles. Sometimes it’s things like these nerves can go to your lower digestive tract, they can go to your reproductive organs and your bladder and your kidney all the way down to your toes. These nerves have branches everywhere. There’s not a single cell tissue organ or system of your body that these nerves do not connect to and when they’re irritated health problems can arise because of that. So over time, these misalignments will create things like calcium deposits in the bone. If you’ve ever heard of bone spurs, kind of like on the back of a cowboy boot, those start to get created over the discs and prevent the movement from occurring and it gets really stuck and it jams up. And it will affect all the muscles to try and protect and compensate for these shifts and misalignments. So in fixing the spine we prevent this from occurring prevent that degeneration process from occurring. But also we can start to reverse that degeneration process and add years to the life of these joints and open up disk spaces so that they can become more hydrated so that we can move better and have better function. The first step into identifying what’s happening with the low back is consulting a doctor.
Our Comprehensive Approach to Low Back Pain
What we do different here in the office rather than medical doctors or or surgeons or neurologists is we’ll take a full comprehensive look at the spine The nervous system and the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments to best help you identify what the root cause of these issues are so that we can go about fixing them and getting you back to a healthier life.