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The True Solution to Low Back Pain

Low back pain is so common nowadays that everyone knows of at least one person in their life who suffers from it, or they suffer from it themselves. In fact, it is now listed as the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease in 2010. With disability comes cost. Americans spend at least $50 Billion dollars EVERY YEAR on back pain and it is the second most common reason for visiting the doctor’s office. Experts estimate that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain steals joy from our lives. People push through it, take painkillers, maybe have to get surgery, and hope that the pain will somehow go away or at least not stop them from sleeping at night. Does this sound like you or someone you care about? This doesn’t seem like it’s a very enjoyable way of life, does it? What if I were to tell you there’s a better way; a way where you can be pain-free, have more energy, and do things you haven’t done in years or ever before without the empty promises of another pill or cortisone shot. I’m sure you all want the answer, but before I tell you the solution you’ve been looking for, I think you should understand exactly what is causing your low back pain and why it’s happening.

Most people don’t know why they have low back pain, so they visit their medical doctor and often they are prescribed opioids to cover up the pain. This has led to an opioid crisis in this country which is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. Lives have been ruined with the addiction that opioids cause and all for the sake of covering up the pain. Let’s face it, you’re not in pain because you have an opioid deficiency. It is your body’s warning sign that something more serious is going on. Would it surprise you to learn that it is a structural problem? Meaning it’s the structure of your spine that is causing all that pain, so medical treatment is not the answer we should be looking for right away.

Another common medical treatment we see is the recent explosion of spinal surgeries.  In 1993 there were 150,000 spinal fusions, which is a surgery that fuses two or more vertebrae together, taking away all of the natural motion of that area of the spine.  In 2007 there were 350,754 spinal fusions!  At an average cost of about $75,000, not to mention the months of rehab needed and weeks of lost work, it is a steep price to pay.  Surgery is always available as a last resort, but as I always tell my patients, if it was my back, I would want to try EVERYTHING conservative first.

Complex Structures Made Simple

When you come into Sozo Chiropractic, we get to the root cause of your pain so that we can give you specific care. What are the things in your low back that can be causing pain you might ask? They are the spinal vertebrae, the supporting spinal musculature, and the spinal discs. When you look at the picture below you can see that the spinal nerve exits the spine between the vertebrae and is surrounded by the other structures.

Image of vertebrae

If any of these things impinge on the nerve, it will create low back pain. If the vertebrae aren’t moving correctly that can put pressure on the disc leading it to bulge and hit a nerve. Imagine a jelly donut that gets squished down and jelly emerges from the side, that is what happens in a disc bulge. Another thing that can happen is the muscles supporting the spine can become tight and due to the vertebrae being out of place and this leads to inflammation in the spine.

In our office, we focus on restoring the motion to the spine and proper muscle activation so that these structures function the way they are supposed to and not hinder the nerve flow from the brain to the rest of the body.

Now you can see why taking general painkillers or muscle relaxants will not give you a solution, only a temporary relief that covers up a specific problem that will only get worse with time if left uncorrected. If a vertebra is out of alignment and putting pressure on a nerve until the vertebra misalignment is specifically addressed the pain will continue. If a disc is bulging against a nerve until the vertebrae around the disc are moving properly, the disc will not heal and the pain will last. If you have poor muscle control and activation that is causing inflammation in your spine and pressure on the nerves, you will continue to have pain. Now in our office, we know that unless we take ownership of our health, we will not be healthy. We have the answer you’ve been looking for, but we also give you tools to utilize outside of our office to further your health and avoid future problems.

Tools to Ensure a Bright Future

The strategies we teach you to utilize will not only help you avoid low back pain but will help you recover quicker if you are already suffering. We do preventative things every day like brush our teeth to avoid needing dentures in the future, so it only makes sense that we do protective things for our spine because unlike false teeth, we can’t get a spine replacement. Below are three stretches and a few tips for driving that we show our patients for avoiding low back pain.

Child’s Pose (Description from Web Exercises)

woman in child's pose

  • Starting Position: Begin on hands and knees on the floor. Reach out directly in front extending arms. Palms should be flat on the floor.
  • Movement: Slowly sit hips back toward floor dropping head and chest downward as arms extend further. Hold for 20-30 seconds or prescribed duration. Repeat for prescribed repetitions.

Cat-Cow Pose

Woman in cat position
woman in cow position
  • Starting Position: Begin on the floor on hands and knees. Hips should be above knees and shoulders above hands. Attain a straight spine position.
  • Movement: Round your back upward, stretching mid-back between the shoulder blades. Relax and let your stomach fall downward as you arch your back. Hold each position 3-5 seconds and repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

Lumbar Twist

3 people lying on yoga mats

  • Starting Position: Begin lying on your side with legs together, knees flexed to 90 degrees and hips flexed to 90 degrees. Arms straight out and hands touching.
  • Movement: Guiding with top hand, roll your back until the top hand is palm up on the floor behind you. Pause momentarily before returning to starting position.

3 Tips for Driving:

  • Remove your wallet from your pocket when driving and sitting
  • Move closer to the pedals
  • Add lumbar support with a rolled-up towel or a specific lumbar cushion

So now that you know what you can do on your own are you ready to hear the better answer for low back pain that I mentioned before? That answer, is to go see a chiropractor, and specifically to come visit our office if you are in the Castle Rock, CO area. You may think that every chiropractic office is the same, but that is not the case. There are over 100 chiropractic techniques ranging from more manual adjusting techniques to gentler approaches. Here are a few reasons you should visit our office.

  • We utilize a very gentle, and specific adjusting technique that was born out of research and has amazing results
  • We focus on you and your goals. We are results-driven and have helped many people just like you get back to living the life that they want to.
  • We have an amazing team that is dedicated to serving you including two highly trained doctors.

How Can We Help You?

After we go through our thorough examination process to find the root cause of your pain, we deliver gentle, specific adjustments to your spine.

The purpose of the adjustment is to remove stress and restore motion to your spine so that your nervous system can function to its full capacity.

Science says that the structure of our spine and the function of our nervous system is directly related meaning that you cannot affect one without affecting the other. This is important because our nervous system controls everything in our body, including its ability to heal. If we have stress and tension in our spine then the messages that our brain sends down our spinal cord through the spinal nerves to every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies will not be correct. We have 24 moveable vertebrae in our spines with spinal nerves exiting the spine at every level so there is a lot of places for misalignment and ultimately pressure and irritation on nerves to occur. What we do as chiropractors is assess the areas of nervous system interference and then to deliver an adjustment to help remove that interference. Once the spine is moving properly, the nervous system can function the way it’s meant to and the body can go through a healing process. What does that mean for you? That you’re going to feel better because your body is functioning better. Below is a video of what an adjustment looks like in our office.

As mentioned, we also give our patients specific exercises to strengthen their core so they get better results faster. We also work on helping our patients cultivate healthier habits in their everyday lives so that they can live healthier and happier lives.

Our goal is to help you get better and stay better so that you can get back to living your life the way you want to. I hope this blog was able to shed some light on what a complex problem low back pain can be, but I also hope that it simplified it to the point that you understand now that a structural problem always has a mechanical fix.  It rarely has a medical one.  If you are interested in working with us and would like to join the thousands of other Castle Rock residents that have been helped in our office give us a call at (720) 390-5757.


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