At Orewa Chiropractic, we specialise in the spine care for back and neck pain.
The lumbar spine is the lower part of the back. It includes 5 vertebrae and 5 discs. The nerve roots go through a hole between two vertebrae and a disc. Ligaments hold the structure and muscles lead the movements on the discs.
Mechanical Back Pain and Chiropractic
A moderate mechanical back pain involves a joint or segmental dysfunction of the spine. This is known as displaced or “out-of-place” bone. Vertebrae are piled one on of the other and can move at the level of 2 joints. Poor fitness and musculature create some weakness and the control of these joints is subdued. Awkward movements like picking an object up or getting up quickly can lead to spasms and so locking a joint. The movements are restricted and painful. Joint dysfunctions are always present when the spine is injured.
A severe mechanical back pain is due mostly to a sprain or a strain of the lumbar spine’s components including muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. Tears are obviously extremely painful.
The most common causes are lifting worsened by twisting the spine, unexpected stress on the spine like slipping or falling, repetitive movements, prolonged poor posture, sustained impact in sport practice. The lumbar spine is particularly vulnerable when bending forward and twisting. Practice of digging or shovelling is hazardous and should receive most attention.
A “slipped disc” is an improper term that refers to an injured intervertebral disc. Discs are made of water, ligaments and its middle some jelly material called nucleus. When a disc is involved in an accident, the inner ligaments are torn and the gel may go through and reach the back of the disc which is deformed. This is described as bulged disc or protrusion. If the material goes through the outer layer of the disc, we name it excluded herniation. The nerve root going nearby is then likely pressed and a sciatica is resented with numbness or tingling in the leg. This is a compressive back pain. Bulged discs can be adjusted.
Please check out this video at https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/back-pain/low-back-pain/low-back-pain-animation
Degenerative Spine or Osteoarthratis
Like any tissue in the body after 25, the intervertebral disc will degenerate. We then use the term of degenerative disc disease or spondylosis. The disc is dehydrated and thinner and the spine is so less stable. The forces applied are more harmful and may cause some inflammation in the cartilage, labelled osteoarthritis. The bones receive more pressure and grow anarchically like spurs. The structure is altered and lead to chronic pain (pain over 3 months). A common type of degeneration when a vertebra slips over the disc is called spondylolisthesis.
Back pain should not be ignored. Like any injury, the body heals and the pain wanes. However, it is likely that the segmental dysfunction remains. The spine is then functioning properly with an increase of stiffness, weakness and recurrent pain in normal daily life like driving or vacuuming. This dysfunction is an important factor of future chronic low back pain.
Chiropractors use adjustments to restore proper function freeing the spine, release pressure on nerve roots, reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. They also prescribe exercises to improve strength, flexibility and endurance.