Back pain can come in many forms and range from mild discomfort, to sharp pains with spasms, and everything in between. These pains can make it difficult to get out of bed in morning, exercise, or simply to get through our normal routine. On top of soreness, pain leads to extra stress and frustration in our lives. It’s unfortunate but true that back pain is now one of the top reasons for someone to visit their doctor.
The good news? Whatever the cause of your pain or discomfort may be, we are here for you and have the treatment and recommendations available to help.
Our treatment typically involves three components:
Treating back pain can be difficult. Your spine is a complex structure of muscles, bones, and nerves, which is why a proper exam is essential to zero in on the real cause of your pain. This is why we approach your treatment from multiple angles so we can get you on the right track as fast as possible.
Read on to see the most common areas and back conditions we treat at San Pedro Chiropractic Clinic.
The low back is called the “lumbar spine”, it has five segments, called vertebrae. This part of our back handles the greatest load in the spine, so it’s important that it functions well so we can do what we need to do without pain, discomfort, or further injury. Pain can come from different sources within the low back, such as:
When working on a treatment plan, it is important to take into account how long you have been dealing with your pain; acute, subacute, and chronic describe the length of one’s pain.
The upper back is another common area to experience pain or discomfort. This area is part of our “thoracic spine”. One of the top causes of upper back pain stems from poor posture. Our head and upper back are designed to be upright and comfortable, however sometimes desk jobs or excessive time looking at cell phones or tablets can start to pull our head and shoulders forward, leading to unnecessary stiffness, tightness, or pain.
Postural and upper back problems can also cause other issues, like:
Our upper back pain treatment is geared towards improving your posture, alignment, and joint mobility through chiropractic, manual therapy, and postural stretches and exercises. It’s also important to consider your work station set-up (is it comfortable?) and cell phone habits (maybe too much time looking down at it?), small changes can sometimes make a huge difference! Next up, disc pain.
The discs are the tissues positioned between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. Their job is to absorb shock in our spine as well as allow for flexibility so we can bend, lift, and MOVE! Disc pain/injuries can be incredibly debilitating, and tend to be more severe than many other spinal injuries. Disc injuries can occur in a number of ways, a few of them are:
Disc pain is also often related to nerve pain. While a herniated, bulging, or ruptured disc can cause local low back pain, it can also press on nerves leaving our spinal column, causing what’s called a “radiculopathy”. This type of pain often presents with gluteal, leg, or foot pain, and sometimes with numbness, tingling, or weakness in your muscles.
If a disc injury is severe enough, some patients undergo surgery to remove the damaged portion of the disc. While this can certainly be effective, it typically comes with the obvious higher costs and risks associated with a surgical procedure.
The disc pain treatment in our office again revolves around chiropractic, manual therapy, and exercise prescription. With disc injuries, we focus more on decompression, to remove pressure off your injured discs and nerves as your body heals. Research in recent decades has shown chiropractic to be safe and effective at treating disc injuries.
Sciatica is a common type of pain involving the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve. This nerve forms as multiple spinal nerves come together from your low back, and head down your leg to your foot. Common symptoms of sciatica are:
Some common causes of sciatica include:
Our goal is to find where the dysfunction is coming from, and loosen/decompress this area so the sciatic nerve and other nerve bundles around it can move freely. By achieving this goal, you will likely notice significant relief of your sciatica pain, getting you back to living life pain free.