Your lumbar spine consists of 5 individual vertebrae stacked on top of each other with a shock absorbent discs between each vertebrae. These intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers. When the disc is compressed it bulges or protrudes, like a weak spot on an inner tube. Lumbar disc lesion means your disc is damaged, also commonly referred to as “bulging disc”, “herniated disc”, or a “slipped disc”. Lumbar disc compression can lead to irritation of surrounding spinal nerves and cause pain that radiates down your leg, called sciatica. Risk factors for disc herniation include being tall, male, overweight, smokers, inactivity, or occupations that include sitting or driving. The most effective treatment for lumbar disc lesions and sciatica is chiropractic care. Patients with disc herniation should consider spinal manipulation first, followed by surgery, if warranted. In the majority of lumbar disc herniation cases, spinal manipulation produces results equal to surgery. Treatment of lumbar disc herniation include chiropractic joint manipulation, therapy modalities, myofascial release, massage, exercises, and spinal decompression.

Low back pain affects 80% of the population at some point in their life and a third suffer from it every year. Most common cause of low back pain is lumbar joint restriction, caused by repetitive strain or poor posture. Swelling and inflammation leads to muscle guarding, which leads to more joint restrictions. These joint restrictions most commonly cause local tenderness and discomfort, decrease in range of motion, and movement may intensify your discomfort. Treatment for low back pain include therapy modalities, myofascial release, massage, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, and chiropractic joint manipulation.

Back Pain Facts & Statistics

business man with low back pain from sitting at desk and workAlthough chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems:  Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century,  manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.