It is normal to experience lower back pain occasionally due to poor posture or fatigue, and in most cases, it improves with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, you may need medical attention if the pain doesn’t improve. Dr. Whitehouse and his team offer several chiropractic Westfield methods to restore optimal functioning in your lower back and alleviate your symptoms.
An overview of lower back pain
The muscles in your lower back allow you to rotate and flex your hips when walking or running, while the nerves provide power and sensation to the muscles in your feet, legs, and pelvis. Injury to your lower back muscles, spinal discs, ligaments, or joints can result in excruciating pain, preventing you from performing your daily tasks. In most cases, lower back pain is due to a ligament sprain or muscle strain which can occur suddenly or over time due to repetitive movements in your back.
Strains occur when a muscle overstretches and tears, while sprains happen when the stretching and tearing affect the bones’ ligaments. The factors contributing to chronic lower back pain include lumbar herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, deformity, trauma, and compression fracture. You may also experience lower back pain due to a dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint at the base of your spine or facet joints. This dysfunction may be due to too little or too much motion in the joint or inflammation.
Risk factors associated with lower back pain
Many people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives due to several risk factors. People over 30 years old are more likely to experience lower back pain due to the age-related wearing away of disks. Being obese or overweight may also result in back pain as the extra weight exerts pressure on the discs and joints. Weakened abdominal muscles lose their ability to support your spine resulting in back sprains and strains. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, drink excess alcohol or smoke, you may be more likely to develop lower back pain. Suppose you have a family history of cancer or osteoarthritis. In that case, you may need to inform your doctor to minimize your risk of getting the disease and prevent associated symptoms like lower back pain.
Available treatments for lower back pain
During your initial appointment, Dr. Whitehouse discusses your symptoms, reviews your health and family history, and performs a thorough physical exam. He may also order imaging studies to check for fractures and other damage to your ligaments, discs, and vertebrae. After diagnosis, your provider may educate you about available treatments and recommend the most effective option. In most cases, lower back pain improves with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. Dr. Whitehouse often recommends natural chiropractic methods, including chiropractic manipulation, spinal manipulation, and manual manipulation. Spinal and manual manipulation involve high-velocity adjustments to abnormal vertebrae in your back to improve functionality and range of motion. Chiropractic mobilization involves low-velocity adjustments to the muscles in your joints to release tension and restore optimal functionality.
For more information about lower back pain treatments, call Dr. Whitehouse or book your appointment online.