Over time, we are often exposed to major traumatizing events such as car accidents, sports injuries and minor slips and falls. Micro traumas are also part of our daily life due to living a sedentary lifestyle, having poor posture or just sitting idle for hours. The combination of these major and micro traumas change the mechanics of our body. Unless we are constantly working on maintaining and improving the health or our spine, years of neglect will eventually lead to a weakened spine that slowly breaks down over time and causes lower back pain.
If you have back pain, especially pain that lasts longer than a few days, it’s important to see a chiropractor in order to prevent further damage to your spine and overall health.
We not only provide back pain treatment, but we can also help you identify potential areas in your life that are contributing to your lower back pain. Contact Heart & Hand Chiropractic today at (970) 377-3557 or e-mail us online to learn more about how we can help you find relief.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Humans are vertebrates, which means that all of the messages from the brain must pass through the spinal cord in order to reach the organs and muscles in the body. Any misalignments of the spine, called subluxations, decrease the ability of the brain to control and regulate the body, and can lead to decreased function and eventual health problems. The lower back is made up of bones called vertebrae and intervertebral discs(cartilage) that provide shock absorption and protection to the spinal cord. Proper alignment of the vertebrae and the health of the discs are crucial to maintaining a healthy low back. The thickness of the discs creates the space for the nerves to exit the spine unhindered so they can control and regulate the body. Any changes to the structure of the low back or damage to the discs can lead to lower back pain along with a decrease in the function of the organs and tissues supplied by the lower back nerves.
Now that we are familiar with the structure of the lower back, it is easy to understand the causes of lower back pain. Common reasons are:
Sciatica occurs due to the suppression of the sciatic nerve. This nerve travels through our hips and to the legs. The reason for the suppression is that this nerve can get caught between the disc and the neighboring bone. When this happens, it causes both lower back pain and pain in the region around the sciatic nerve.
- Intervertebral disc deterioration:
The discs that make up the lower spine can lose their optimal functioning due to injuries, accidents and even simply negligence towards spinal care. It is also possible that deterioration can be caused due to habits such as awkward postures while sitting and sleeping. Among the various functions of these discs, bending, leaning forward and providing a cushion to bones are most important. Since the discs deteriorate in this condition, they lose the ability to absorb shocks, and thus cause lower back pain.
- Muscle strains:
Muscle strains are the most common reason for pain in the lower back, and they can occur quite frequently and quickly. Not warming up before vigorous exercise, lifting weights at awkward angles or twisting of the hand and feet all can lead to strains in our tendons and ligaments holding up the lumbar system. As a result, when the spine is injured the misaligned bones irritate the nearby nerves. As a corrective mechanism, the muscles spasm to splint the area.
- Herniated Disc:
Irregular movement of the intervertebral discs causes them to change from their natural position and bulge outwards. In the case of a herniated disc, it is likely that it places pressure on the nervous system.
A rare condition in which nerves are squeezed and compressed as a result of the vertebra in the lower spine moving out of its natural position.
- Traumatic Injury:
Impact to your body from things like falls and car accidents can also cause damage to the spine. It’s common for people to need whiplash treatment after even minor car accidents.
Consistent chiropractic care is needed in order to restore the spine and our overall health. There are also some changes that you can make in order to take pressure off of your back, such as:
- Using lightweight shoulder bags when carrying things at the office or at school.
- Weight loss, and keeping within a healthy BMI.
- Improving your fitness levels.
- Seeking assistance if you have anxiety or depression.
- Eating a nutritious diet that helps minimize inflammation.
These practices help alleviate pressure on the nerves surrounding the spinal region, and can help reduce your lower back pain. If you continue to experience pain symptoms, we can help. We provide free screenings to all of our new patients, and our highly qualified and experienced team will look after your back problems with care. Call Heart and Hand Chiropractic today at (970) 377-3557 or contact us to schedule an appointment.