Low Back Pain

andrew gottlieb

If you have low back pain, you are not alone.  Low back pain is the second most common physical ailment only to headaches.  It is also the most common worker’s compensation injury.  Low back pain costs Americans more than $50 billion each year.  Much of this cost is associated with long-term management of lower back pain.  Typical family doctor analysis is little more than ‘when did this start?’ and ‘let’s get an X-Ray’.  Maybe you’ve been sent to a physical therapist to ‘strengthen your back’, or ‘strengthen your core’.  We know, nothing has helped so far.  Maybe you are getting worse, or are afraid that you will get worse.  You see, just taking some kind of pain pill, or ‘strengthening’ your back doesn’t help people address the actual cause of their pain.  We bet you already knew that.

But, did you know that Consumer Reports reported that Chiropractic was the most effective treatment for low back pain.  

Consumers also rated their satisfaction with practitioners, telling Consumer Reports they were more likely to be “highly satisfied” with the back pain treatment received from their Chiropractors (59%) than from their primary-care physicians (34%). 

To compare which treatments helped most, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 14,000 subscribers who had lower-back pain in the past year but had never had back surgery. Consumer Reports asked its subscribers to rate a comprehensive list of potential remedies along with their satisfaction with the health-care professionals they visited.  Most respondents had tried five or six different treatments on average.  

Fifty-eight percent rated Chiropractic as helping a lot.  That was the NUMBER ONE response!  Consumers also rated their satisfaction with their doctor’s, telling Consumer Reports they were more likely to be “highly satisfied” with the back pain treatment received from their Chiropractic Doctor’s (59%) than from their primary-care physicians (34%). 

Why the stark difference in effectiveness?  Understanding Low Back Pain will explain why Chiropractic is the NUMBER ONE choice of patients.  Read on…

Your spine is made up of 24 movable bones called vertebrae.  These vertebrae are stacked on top of one another to create a ‘column’.  This is appropriately called your Spinal Column.  Inside your spinal column lies your spinal cord.  Your spinal cord is an extension of your brain that travels inside of your spine, conveying messages from your brain down to your body parts and back up to your brain again.  Smaller nerves extend out from your spinal cord through the holes between the vertebrae. There are a number of different ways that your back can become injured but they all revolve around injuring these small nerves.  

If any one, or more, of these bones or vertebrae get shifted out of their normal and healthy position they could place an endangering stress on these nerves that come out from between the bones or the spinal cord itself. 

Another way that your back could be injured is if the discs between the bones get injured, they could also put a physical compression onto either the smaller nerves that come off of the spine or the spinal cord itself.

These are the main two ways or causes for back pain. This is how it is explained to most patients. However, this is not the complete story. For the complete story you need to understand why either a bone (or vertebra) or the disc would be in the position to injure or damage your nerves.  You see, your body does not ‘hurt’ just to annoy you. Your body does this, sends you pain signals, when it needs attention. Just like you get hunger pains when you need food. Just like the ‘oil’ light in your car.  What your body is telling you is that something, somewhere is not functioning properly. If your spine, and the discs between the vertebrae were all functioning perfectly, exactly as they were designed, do you think you would have any back pain?  Of course not!  You would not have the vertebrae putting pressure on the nerves. If the discs functioned properly and were healthy, they also would not put pressure on to your nerves.  What is needed is not a pain pill, whether over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor, to numb this sensation.  What is needed is not to go to some kind of a therapist and strengthen a poorly functioning spine. What is really needed is to restore the normal function to your vertebrae and the discs between them so that your entire spinal system can function properly. That way you will have a much lesser chance of anything interfering with your vitally important nervous system.

You see, most people go to their doctor to get rid of their low back pain. They just want it gone. What we understand though, is that to be healthy, to live a pain free life with a strong and healthy back that moves properly and allows us to participate in whatever we would choose to, requires proper function of your entire spine. 

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