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Understanding Low Back Pain

Understanding Low Back Pain | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

I came to him (Dr. Alex Jimenez) and he's been doing work on me and it's been like, we're going on 7 days, and I seem to be improving a lot more with him than what I've done with other therapists that I've been going to in almost a year. I would recommend him very highly, he's good at what he does. - Leticia

According to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, or NINDS, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for premature disability, often amounting to many doctor office visits and missed days at work. Based on these statistics, at least 80 percent of individuals in the world will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes, a majority of which could have been prevented.

Most lower back pain results from an injury, such as muscle sprains or strains due to abrupt movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy things. Low back pain may also be caused by certain ailments, such as a ruptured or herniated disc, sciatica, arthritis, kidney infections, diseases of the spinal column or cancer of the spinal cord,. Acute back pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks while chronic back pain can last over three weeks to even months.

Low back pain is significantly more likely to happen in people between the ages of 30 and 50. This is partly as a consequence of changes that develop within the whole body with age. As you grow older, the fluid-like substance of the intervertebral discs in the spine reduces. This means that the discs in the spine experience stress more easily. You also lose muscle tone, which makes the spine more vulnerable to harm.

Ask any healthcare professional and you'll get confirmation that low back pain is the most frequent health issue they are asked to look after. Strengthening your muscles and using good body mechanics are beneficial in preventing lower back pain. Often back pain can decrease on its own, especially through the use of the "RICE" treatment. But whilst rest, ice, compression and elevation can reduce back pain, its important to also seek treatment from a healthcare professional to treat the true underlying cause of your lower back pain.

What are the Symptoms of Low Back Pain?

Low back pain can be different for everyone. It might be sharp or stabbing. It may be dull, achy, or feel as a sort of cramp. The kind of pain you have will be based on the root cause of your low back pain. Many individuals discover that reclining or lying down can enhance their lower back pain, regardless of the underlying reason. Individuals with low back pain might experience a number of these, including:

  • Back pain that worsens with lifting and bending.
  • Worsening symptoms when sitting down.
  • Symptoms that become worse when walking.
  • Back pain which comes and goes, frequently following an up and down path.
  • Pain that extends from the back to the buttocks or outer hip, and travels down the leg.
  • Sciatica, including buttock and leg pain which travels into the foot, along with numbness, weakness or tingling sensations. It's likely to get sciatica without low back pain.

Because low back pain can develop due to a variety of underlying health issues, symptoms commonly associated with lower back pain may differ from person to person. Irrespective of your age or symptoms, even if your low back pain doesn't get better over a couple weeks, or is associated with fever, chills, or sudden weight loss, it's fundamental for you to contact a healthcare professional immediately.

How is Low Back Pain Diagnosed?

Most doctors begin by conducting a physical examination to determine where you're feeling the pain. A physical exam may also ascertain whether pain is affecting other structures and functions of your body. Your doctor may check your reflexes and your response to certain senses. This determines if your low back pain is affecting your nerves. If you do not have such debilitating symptoms, your doctor will probably monitor your condition before sending you for testing.

Certain symptoms like lack of bowel control, fever, fatigue, and weight loss might demand additional testing. Likewise, if your low back pain persists following home treatment, your doctor may also most likely want to send you for tests. Seek medical attention immediately at the event you observe any of these symptoms in addition to lower back pain.

Imaging evaluations such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and MRI may be needed in order for your doctor to evaluate bone issues, disk difficulties, or problems with the joints and ligaments in your spine. If your doctor suspects a matter with all the bones in your spine, they could send you to have a bone loss or bone density test. Electromyography, or EMG, as well as nerve conduction tests can help identify a problem with your own nerves.

How Can I Prevent Low Back Pain?

There are plenty of methods to prevent lower back pain. Practicing prevention techniques may also help reduce the seriousness of the symptoms once you have lower back pain. Prevention involves exercising the muscles in your core and back, losing weight if you are overweight or obese, lifting items properly by bending at the knees and lifting with the legs, and maintaining proper posture. Among the most common causes of lower back pain is a misalignment of the spine, or a subluxation, originating from improper posture.

Most office setups don't provide ergonomic or support positioning desk chairs, while poor work habits prevents us from providing our spines with the much-needed relief we deserve throughout the day. Non-desk jobs also have their own perils. Standing daily, especially when combined with heavy lifting or routine bending, may also cause low back pain. The muscles surrounding the lumbar spine may not acquire the support they need when bending and lifting, resulting in low back pain. In either circumstance, strengthening these back muscles is fundamental to reducing the probability of chronic lower back pain.

Insist on an ergonomic desk chair, or have the opportunity to stand and move around more frequently. If you're a cashier, invest in shoes with good arch support, which may help keep your entire body aligned. If needed, put on a technical brace to help support heavy lifting. Good habits at home to prevent low back pain can involve sleeping on a firm surface and having seats that are in the proper height. Steer clear from high-heeled shoes. If you smoke, then you may need to quit. Smoking causes the degeneration of spinal discs and reduces blood flow. But when you already have low back pain, a variety of treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help treat lower back pain.


Dr. Alex Jimenez's Insight

Many health issues can ultimately affect the spine, causing low back pain. Because of this, an individual's symptoms are always different, often characterized by the underlying problem affecting them. A chiropractor can diagnose the source of a patient's symptoms over a series of tests and evaluations, to determine the best treatment approach for the individual's cause of low back pain. Chiropractic care focuses on naturally correcting any spinal misalignments, or subluxations, to reduce low back pain.

How Can Chiropractic Care Treat Low Back Pain?

Chiropractic care is one of the most well-known treatment options for relieving lower back pain. Medical practitioners normally recommend their patients to consider alternative treatment options before turning to prescription drugs and/or medications or surgery. The reasons are obvious: Many medications and/or drugs can have long-term health consequences. Whatever the advantages of providing temporary pain relief may be, these carry risks of complication throughout the recovery period.

Chiropractic care is a treatment approach which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of injuries and/or conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor can carefully restore the natural alignment of the spine, reducing stress in the complex structures of the spine and improving function. Chiropractic care may also include other treatment techniques and methods to help reduce low back pain. Lower back pain may also need the two-pronged way of using both active and passive physical therapeutics, unless the healthcare professional has a reason to recommend one over another.

  • Passive treatments includes using ice packs and heating pads. The healthcare professional may also use many different forms of pulsing equipment, which triggers nerves and releases pain.
  • Active treatments comprises the individual to perform stretches and exercises that build the type of flexibility and strength necessary to stop future flare-ups and reduce current pain. Lots of them are done with a chiropracto's supervision, on specialized equipment, though some might be performed at the patient's home after they learns the principles.

Chiropractic care can help treat low back pain through the treatment approaches mentioned above. Furthermore, a chiropractor may suggest lifestyle modifications to help promote a faster recovery, including physical activities and nutritional guidelines. It you're experiencing low back pain, make sure to seek immediate medical attention, in order to receive a proper diagnosis and be able to continue with treatment. Moreover, preventing lower back pain can help avoid future episodes. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topics: Acute Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

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General Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*