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Low Back Pain

Low back back pain is the second most common ailment in the United States, second only to headaches.  It is the number one reason for missed work in the United States.  Oftentimes low back pain resolves on its own within a few days but other occurrences can take much longer and require care to resolve.  Symptoms range from muscle ache and soreness to shooting or stabbing pain with limited range of motion.  Pain may also radiate to other areas in the body.

Back PainThere are numerous causes of low back pain.  Pain can occur from trauma, for example if someone lifts something to heavy or a motor vehicle accident.  Pain can result from the discs losing fluid and flexibility due to aging.  It may result from nerve or muscle irritation, viral infections or congenital abnormalities.  Occasionally, low back pain may indicate a more serious medical condition such as a tumor.  Obesity, smoking, pregnancy, stress, poor physical condition, poor posture and poor sleep position also may contribute to low back pain.

To properly diagnose low back pain a thorough medical history and physical exam is necessary.  This will identify any dangerous conditions or family history that may be the root of the pain.  The onset, site, severity, duration and previous episodes help to give an accurate diagnosis.  Imaging tests may be necessary to rule out certain diagnoses and find the source of the pain.  A variety of diagnositic methods are available and include X-ray, CT, MRI, Discography, Bone Scans, Thermograms,  Ultrasound and EMG.

There are a wide variety of treatments available for low back pain including: spinal manipulation, ice/heat therapy, electrical therapies, traction therapy, physical therapies, medication, acupuncture, ultrasound or surgery.

Manipulation, primarly used by Doctors of Chiropractic for the last century as increasingly become the treatment of choice with growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness.  Spinal manipulation is a safe and effective treatment of low back pain.

Spinal manipulation or manual manipulation refers to a high-velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to the vertebra with the goal of improving functionality, reducing nerve irritability and restoring range of motion in the back. Manual manipulation is also known as chiropractic adjustment.