Back & Low Back
Low back pain
Are you suffering from… slipped disc low back pain with or without buttock or leg pain, sciatica sprain/strain injury
Conditions which can be treated at Back to Health.
- Sciatica- low back pain or buttock and leg pain
- Disc herniation or “slipped disc”
- Facet Dyfunction – low back pain or buttock and leg pain
- Sacoro-illiac Joint Dysfunction (SI joint dysfuntion) -low back pain or buttock and leg pain
- Piriformis Syndrome buttock pain, may cause leg pain
- Sprain/Strain injury – low back pain
- Lumbar Disc Strain -low back pain
Low back pain is by far the most common reason to consult a chiropractor. In the UK, 30% of people are suffering with back pain at any one time and up to 80% of the adult population will suffer an episode significant enough to seek medical advice at some time in their life.
The low back, also know as the lumbar spine, consists of 5 lumbar vertebrae separated by discs and 2 large sacro-iliac joints – which join the tailbone to pelvis. At the bottom is the sacrum, a triangular bone which is joined to the pelvis by the sacro-iliac’ joints.Between each vertebra, a nerve leaves the spine which travels down into the leg.
Your chiropractor will try to identify the source of your problem, treat the cause of pain and advise how to best keep it from recurring. Often this will involve advice on exercise, lifestyle changes and adaptation of day to day activities. The treatment may take several weeks depending on how long the pain has been present.
- Back pain is associated with a number of associated conditions
- Gluteal pain – sharp pain felt into the backside muscles
- Leg pain – can be referred from the facet and sacro-iliac joints if felt above the knee, or from sciatic nerve irritation if felt below the knee.
- Numbness / tingling / pins and needles – these usually indicate nerve involvement
- Weakness / heaviness – muscles not working to their full potential can be either due to nerve involvement or compensation.
Conditions most commonly and successfully treated by chiropractic care.
Sprain / strain – the most common injury to the low back. One common myth with acute low back pain is that you need to be doing something stressful in order for your back to ‘go’. In reality this is seldom the case. More often, the back gives way doing ordinary, benign activities such as picking up the paper or post in the morning. This is usually the proverbial ‘straw which breaks the camel’s back’. In these situations, the back has been undergoing small, unnoticeable injury over a long period of time and finally goes into spasm as the level of joint irritation or damage exceeds the ability of the body to cope.
Sciatica – Irritation of the sciatic nerve which affects the deep tissue in the buttocks, down the inside of the thigh of the back of the calf. Often associated with low back pain. It can produce pain, numbness and tingling and in some cases, weakness within the areas it supplies.
Facet joint irritation and strain – where the joints between the vertebra become inflamed or irritated, causing local pain. Symptoms are usually aggravated by straightening up and relieved by bending forwards. Where the tissue around them becomes inflamed or irritated, it can cause pain and restriction of the low back area, sometimes into the buttocks and tops of the legs.
Disc herniation or ‘slipped disc – the disc bulges (herniates) and irritates the nearby nerves, giving you leg and or buttock pain – this is known as sciatica. If severe, this can cause acute leg pain accompanied with nerve symptoms including reflex loss & weakness in the muscles of the leg and foot , as well as numbness and tingling. – It is much less common than many people think.
Lumbar disc strain – injury to the disc may not be sufficient to cause herniation, but can be worse in terms of pain. Disc pain is felt as acute, localised pain which can be aggravated by bending forwards.
Scoliosis – a twisting of the spine causing postural and muscular imbalances and related compensation. Again, not a common problem, as it involves the spine twisting in reaction to some of the vertebrae being angled or misshapen. This can exist from birth if genetic or secondary to trauma if a fracture results in the irregular healing of the vertebrae. Although this is a structural problem, there are many benefits to receiving chiropractic treatment for pain relief and improving joint, muscle and nerve function.
Sacro-iliac joint strain or torsion – the joints between the tailbone (sacrum) and pelvis (ilium) can become twisted and inflamed leading to pain over the tailbone and into the backside and even into the leg.
Piriformis syndrome – the sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle in the backside and can be compressed as it does so. This is one of the causes of sciatica and so causes sciatic symptoms.
The main causes for low back pain are muscular weakness and postural strain due to a variety of causes including,
- being overweight
- incorrect lifting
- sedentary lifestyle
- stress (both physical and mental)
- sports injuries
- “wear and tear”
the list goes on.
Back pain may vary from a slight niggle to sharp debilitating pain. It can be quite localised or can affect every part of the back. Recent research by NICE has highlighted both the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic treatment for low back pain. GP guidelines on the management of acute low back pain also recommend spinal manipulation as a treatment option.