Low back pain is the second most common complaint to healthcare professionals, second only to upper-respiratory infections. 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time with more than 80% of people that will have low back pain at some point in their lifetime. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain. Most cases of back pain are mechanical meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
There are two types of low back pain mechanical and non-mechanical.
Mechanical low back pain is caused by injury or trauma.
Non-mechanical low back pain is due to underlying pathology or disease.
Causes of mechanical low back pain include:
- Trauma from a fall or car accident
- Facet Syndrome
- Disc herniation
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Causes of non-mechanical low back pain include:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Infection
- Vertebral Fracture
- Malignant Neoplasia
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Non-mechanical low back pain could also be referred pain from:
- Vascular problem-AAA
What to expect at your appointment for a complaint of low back pain:
You should expect to fill out paperwork and provide a full medical history. An event or physical complaint that you think is entirely unrelated to your low back pain may provide essential information needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Dr. Danielle will perform a full physical exam, including sensation and strength testing. She may order X-rays, CT or an MRI to confirm her diagnosis. If non-mechanical low back pain is suspected, blood work will be ordered to confirm her diagnosis.
Seek immediate professional help if your low back pain is associated with any of the following symptoms:
- Recent Significant Trauma or
- Recent mild trauma over 50 years
- History of cancer
- Prolonged steroid use
- Progressive or severe neurological deficit
- IV drug use and/or fever
- Bladder and/or bowel problems
- Pain lasting longer than 6 weeks
- Unexplained weight loss
- Older than 70 years old
According to the ACA,
“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.”
Chiropractic care is very effective at providing relief from low back pain. Chiropractic treatment options include:
- Low back exercises and stretches
- Ergonomic training
- Electrical stimulation/TENS treatment
- Supervised medical massage
As you can see, there are a lot of things that can cause low back pain. If you’re suffering from low back pain, you should be checked by a chiropractor or medical doctor.