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Low back pain

Woman with lower back pain on couchLow back pain is the number one cause of disability in the United States. Around 80% of all people will suffer from low back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain is common because most people tend to sit for many hours due to their job and lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time creates a weak core and tight hip flexor muscles. The core helps to stabilize the low back, so if the core is weak the low back is more prone to injury. It is important to address low back pain as soon as possible because typically by the time you feel pain the condition has been going on for a while prior to that.

The structures of the low back aid in keeping yourself upright and assist in hip movements that are needed for actions such as sitting and walking. Low back pain can be very debilitating to work life, home life and keeping you from the activities you enjoy doing. A chiropractic examination can help to determine the root cause of your low back pain so that the proper course of treatment can take place. Chiropractic adjustments help your low back to have the proper motion and alignment so that nerve function can be at optimal performance.

How we treat lower back pain in Macomb, MI

When you come into our office for the first time, expect it to take up to an hour for a comprehensive exam and consultation. The first part of the exam is the detailed case history with a doctor that will attentively listen. Then posture checks along with neurological scans will be performed. Orthopedic tests are different positions the doctor will take you through in the low back area to help determine the cause of pain. Then x-rays will be taken of your low back to assess the lumbar curve, alignment, bone and disc health. The curve in your low back, lumbar curve, is of high importance because when there is not a proper curve, this causes stress and tension on your spinal nerves and spinal cord. When a nerve has stress on it, it loses its function.

When there is a misalignment in the spine this causes interference or stress on the nervous system, this is called a subluxation. Our nervous system is composes of the brain, spinal cord and the spinal nerves. The nervous system controls and coordinates every cell, organ and tissue in our body. When a subluxation is present, the nerve is not signaling to the brain at its full capacity. As a chiropractor, we find these subluxations in your spine and take the pressure of the nerve so that there is a full line of communication between the body and the brain. Subluxations are corrected through chiropractic adjustments that allow your spine to have the proper motion and alignment. If your headaches are being caused by a subluxation, then they won’t get better until that is addressed.

Exercises for low back pain

Exercises help to strengthen muscles and to stabilize low back structures along with chiropractic adjustments. Theses exercises are great to do even if you are not experiencing low pain, we call it “flossing” you spine. You do these exercises twice a day, once first thing in the morning and then right before you go to bed. We show you how to do these exercises in our office and then give you a plan for you to do at home. We also have a wobble ball, which is an inflated balance disc that you sit on to do different movements to increase motion in your low back and keep your discs healthy.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Bulging/Herniated discs

Discs are made of a fluid material shaped like a thick pancake, made of fibers and an inner nucleus, that is between each bone, in the spine. The discs make motion possible in the spine and act as shock absorbers. If there is trauma to the low back or microtrauma over time to the area, the discs begin to wear down. When degeneration is present there is a lack of motion and when the discs are moving they aren’t getting the proper nutrients. The lack of nutrients makes them dehydrated and more susceptible to injury. The fibers of the outer layer of the disc get wear and tear and the squishy inner nucleus takes the pressure, forcing it outward. The pressure on the disc causes low back pain that then can radiate pain down into the leg due to the nerves being compressed.

Degenerative disc disease

Typically this is seen in older aged adults as the process of aging starts to break down the discs. This is mainly due to a lack of motion and poor biomechanics. Some other causes are obesity, smoking and physical labor or trauma to the spine. The disc is how the nerves get their nutrients through motion. If there is a smaller disc due to degeneration, this shrinks the space that the nerve has to come out between the bones in the low back. Chiropractic adjustments can reverse this process over time by making sure there is proper alignment in the lumbar spine(low back) and that motion is present in all the joints.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

The sacroiliac joint is composed of two bones the ilium(hip bone) and sacrum. This condition makes up 15-30% of low back pain cases. The purpose of this joint is to absorb shock between the upper body and the pelvis. SI join pain can be caused by leg length discrepancy due to a hip imbalance, pregnancy, or performing activities that cause repetitive stress on the joint. Chiropractic adjustments to properly align the pelvis along with muscle stretches in the pelvic region, help to relieve SI joint pain.

Muscle Strain

A muscle strain in the low back presents as dull and achy that is worsened with movement. This can be caused by doing a sudden movement that overstretches a muscle, having poor posture and poor biomechanics. Over time the muscle will heal on it own but you want to make sure you address the muscle to ensure it heals correctly.


What can I do to relieve my lower back pain in Macomb, MI?

Seek chiropractic care to help determine the cause of your lower back pain.

How do I tell if my lower back pain is a muscle or a disc?

A disc will typically present problems with pain down the leg or legs and the pain is felt when coughing or sneezing. A muscle will be a dull achy pain that is aggravated upon movement.

When should I see a chiropractor for low back pain?

You should address your low back pain sooner rather than later to make sure there isn’t a progression in the condition.

How can you tell if your spine is out of alignment?

A chiropractic examination can determine through xrays and palpation if your spine is out of alignment.


Low Back Pain | (586) 978-9900