Lower back pain
Lower back pain encompasses several conditions and it can often come with a range of different symptoms, not just pain in the lower back. Chiropractic treatment at our centre in Andover can be very effective for several causes of lower back pain. In this article, we discuss:
- Why does my lower back hurt?
- How to stop lower back pain
- Should I use heat, ice or painkillers?
- Chiropractic treatment and lower back pain
If you are in pain and would like to speak to a professional, call us on 01264 527001 or
Why does my lower back hurt?
Lower back pain can be caused by all sorts of different problems. Most frequently, we see lower back pain caused by repetitive poor movement patterns. This means your lower back pain has probably been building for some time whether you have been aware of it or not. Sometimes the strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments caused by these poor movement patterns, causes very mild pain for a significant amount of time, in many cases, years. In other cases, the strain on these structures doesn't manifest itself as pain until one day your body suddenly tells you there is a problem.
In some cases, lower back pain may be accompanied by pain radiating into the buttock or legs, either side, or both. In every case of lower back pain, but especially these, we have to rule out more significant causes of lower back pain such as pain caused by an injury to an intervertebral disc, a shock absorbing disc inbetween your vertebrae. Disc based pain can be difficult to manage, but it is possible with the right diagnosis, the right treatment and some patience and perseverance.
How to stop lower back pain
You might find that instinctively you want to avoid any movement and rest your lower back. In some cases, like a severe trauma, this can be a good idea for a short time. But most of the time your first aid advice is to keep moving. This is because your lower back pain is likely to be due to some damage and now your body is rushing to fix it with an inflammatory response. This is a good thing! Inflammation is a healing process, vital to get you back to normal. There is a down side though, inflammation fills up our tissues and increases pressure, activating more pain receptors. By staying mobile, we do several things. We keep fluids moving through our system, reducing the pressure that activates pain receptors. We stimulate damaged tissues, increasing pain perhaps but reminding your body what needs fixing. We also teach ourselves that moving isn't a bad thing and our nervous system will adjust to this resulting in less pain fibre activation.
Should I use heat or ice or painkillers?
Current thinking is if you can cope with the pain and keep mobile it's best to leave heat or ice. Heat might increase the inflammatory response leading to more pain, or it might relax your muscles leading to less back pain. Ice might reduce the inflammation, lowering pressure and reducing pain, but it may also slow down your recovery or cause more muscle tightness and therefore more pain.
If you do decide to use one or the other, try to limit it's use to just 10 minutes and then repeat later on, this way you get some benefit whilst reducing the down side. Most importantly, do what feels comfortable and helps you keep moving.
With pain medication, always follow the advice of your pharmacist or GP. You can try a short course of over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or paracetamol but make sure you follow the max dose recommendations on the packet. Pain medication is certainly not a long term solution, but if it helps you get moving then it will help you recover.
Chiropractic treatment and lower back pain
If your lower back pain persists for more than a few days and doesn't show any signs of reducing, or you would like to see if the process can be sped up, it is best to get in touch with a qualified health professional such as a chiropractor. We start by identifying exactly what is causing your lower back pain and will then discuss what we can do. Primarily we will use techniques designed to reduce muscle tension and improve movement within your spinal joints.
We always test before treatment and re-test afterwards and look for an improvement in comfort and movement. In most cases we expect you to feel the improvement after your first treatment but more severe cases may take 2 or 3 sessions to help you feel better.
If you would like to see how we can help, call us on 01264 527001 or press this button: