The most common lower back conditions a chiropractor will see is:
- Disc Herniations
- Disc Bulges
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Lower Back Instability
- Pelvic Instability
- Pinched Nerves
Most of these conditions develop over time as opposed to from a single violent mechanism. It might have been a specific event (picking up a pencil, moving a couch, etc) that pushed you over the edge, but more likely than not, the descructive factors have been building for years. 100% of people will experience back pain over the course of their lives, so what can we do to limit its impact on us?
1. Poor Hip Flexibility - Sometimes people are born with poor flexiblity in their hips as a result of their anatomy. The shapes of their hip and pelvic bones just don't lead to great movement. The majority of us, on the other hand, just don't move our hips enough in all the different ranges of motion to maintain proper flexibility. As a result, when you move your body, since the movement isn't coming from the hips, innapropriate and excessive motion will occur in the lower back and pelvis, which will lead to lower back pain.
2. Inflexibility of the Shoulders or Upper Torso - When there is a lack of flexibility in the shoulders or upper torso, and a movement of the arm is made, abnormal stresses are placed upon the lower back and pelvis. The lower torso isn't designed to rotate very much, but in the absence of proper upper torso flexibility it's forced to. That leads to excessive tension and stress on the lower back.
3. Poor Core Stability - Based on the explanation provided for the first two factors, an environment of excessive movement takes place in the lower back. That overburdens the lower back muscles leaving you with a feeling of tension, stiffness, or tightness. In reality that whole environment only occurs because of too much movement in the lower back and inadequate control.
Beyond an orthopedic and range of motion testing to the immediate structures involved in the injury, the second aspect to look at is what predisposing factors are at play. Once found there would be a combination of:
1. Joint Manipulation to any joint restriction in the spine or hips (performed by a chiropractor).
2. Soft Tissue Manipulation to any adhesion, scar tissue, or imbalances in the musculature surrounded the hips or low back. The treatment options involve Active Release Technique (ART), Graston Technique, Trigger Point treatment, muscle energy techniques, etc.
3. Exercises aimed at retraining the movement and control of the body at the upper torso, low back, and hips. Typically involving increasing the upper torso flexibility, hip flexibility and pelvic/lower back control.