With the opioid epidemic upon us in full swing, people in chronic pain are having to seek alternative methods for relief to stead off the rampant addiction to pain killers. Recently the most prestigious university in America, Harvard, has recommended Chiropractic care as the first line of defense for lower back pain. We do not need accolades from any institution to know what we as Chiropractors do on an everyday occurrence. Our patients have spoken to us repeatedly and our eyes have seen the results.
It surprises me that I get one new patient a week that has never been to a Chiropractor. I enjoy explaining a very simple method of relieving multiple conditions without drugs or surgery. Some of you who have been to a Chiropractor know that treating lower back pain is our bread and butter. I am sure that some of you have had the good and the bad regarding Chiropractic care. So, this leads me to explain why there may have been some alternative causes of your lower back pain.
Most cases of lower back pain involve patients that have hurt themselves from either bending or lifting heavy objects. Sitting for prolonged periods of time aggravates or flares up this condition. Usually localized lower back pain without any associated symptoms of leg pain has brought them in to see me. Sometimes, they have some form of sciatica but not the true form of what we know sciatica to be. They have a flexion -intolerant lower back also known as Axial Discogenic Pain. It is paramount that they stop doing flexion type exercises but instead incorporate extension type pain-relieving exercises into their regiment. Give it time, the hot disc needs to simmer down.
In addition, a common but poorly misdiagnosed symptom of lower back pain is Maigne’s Syndrome. Typically, with this syndrome pain can be in the back, the side of the upper leg, and at times into the groin area. The syndrome originates in the mid to lower back (thoraco-lumbar) transition of the spine and is exacerbated with leaning backwards. Lean backwards and turn to one side simultaneously and all hell breaks loose. Stressing of the joints (facets) in this transition area is the culprit to Maigne’s Syndrome. Extension type exercises here are contraindicated.
Last, but not overlooked, is hip immobility and a term not so well known: Functional Hip Impingement. Again, pain to the outside thigh as well as in the groin area may be symptoms leading to Functional Hip Impingement. Although the hip may be minimally symptomatic, it throws off any biomechanics of the low back and legs leading to lower back pain.
To yours in better health!