Mid-Back pain, spinal pain and low back pain can be debilitating condition. It can affect your sleeping, your day to day activities and ability to work and perform at your best. If you’re putting up with these types of problems you might be wondering what actually causes lower back pain, stiffness, muscle tightness or mid-back pain and what are the most effective back pain relief treatment options.
There are many pain producing structures in your back including muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, discs and nerves. Irritation or dysfunction of any of these structures may ultimately cause problems like low back pain, spine pain, central low back pain or mid back pain leading you to seek appropriate back treatment options.
Similar to pulling a hamstring or twinging your quad, you can strain or have tight muscles in your lower back. This is often due a chronic build up over time, causative factors can include your sitting posture, repetitious behaviours, gait, work, sports, watching TV and more. Muscles strains and tightness are generally symptoms of underlying postural abnormalities, behaviours or muscle asymmetry. Chiropractors have a interest in analyzing these posture and can often give treatment and an exercise or rehab program to help decrease these symptoms.
Disc bulges or disc protrusions are often seen in middle aged men and women. Ballooning or rupture of the inter-vertebral disc extends into the spinal canal and compresses the spinal cord. This will often represent as symptoms including, sciatica, leg, foot or toe pain, muscle weakness, shooting pains and more. Disc bulges and protrusions can often be managed conservatively with chiropractic management. Chiropractors may use a range of techniques with disc bulges including, flexion distraction, specific adjustments, activator or blocking, and this will depend on your individual case.
The term “pinched nerve” can come from a number of causes at numerous locations. Nerves can be impinged and various sites such as the spinal canal, intervertebral foramen, between muscles, joint openings and distal extremity locations. The location of your “pinched nerve” will depend on the appropriate management approach for your condition.
(Dr Peter performing a prone diversified adjustment)
(Activator: a handheld instrument chiropractors use for spinal adjustments)
Similar to rolling or spraining your ankle, you can sprain joints in your lower back. The most often site of this is at your sacro-iliac joint or ‘SIJ’ as most health care practitioners refer to it. Your sacro-iliac joints are the two bony points on your lower back, above your buttock and approximately 5cm either side of your spine. The pain experienced with your SIJ can either be very localised or have pain referral to you buttock and also up your back. It is often very uncomfortable to sit when you have sprained this joint in your lower back.
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that can be either to the left or the right described as levoscoliosis or dextroscoliosis respectively. Scoliosis can be congenital/structural or a developmental/functional scoliosis. Uneven distribution of loading on the spine as seen through scoliosis, will present with muscle soreness and tightness. Chiropractors and spine-focused practitioners have an interest in assessing and managing patients with scoliosis. Many patients gain symptomatic relief from chiropractic adjustments and other chiropractic modalities. In some severe cases, chiropractors may not be able to help with scoliosis. However, as Chiropractors, we will refer you to appropriate health care services, if necessary.
(Dr. Peter performing a side-lying adjustment on the lower back)
Our team are trained in range of Chiropractic techniques and multi-disciplinary modalities. Depending on your specific condition, your Chiropractor may use Gonstead, Diverisified, Flexion Distraction, Pelvic Blocking, Activator, Drop-piece, Arthrostim and more.
Diversified technique is taught globally in the chiropractic profession. It focuses on assessing the fixation of joints and adjusting them to reset the biomechanical kinematic chain to restore normal function. All our Chiropractors are trained in Diversified which is one of the major techniques learnt at the prestigious RMIT University. Diversified focuses on the spinal joints however is also applied to pelvic, shoulder and extremity joints of the body.
Gonstead Chiropractic analyses the alignment of vertebral bodies and their relative position of fixation through the spinous process. Our Chiropractors have an interest in Gonstead technique as they have spent a portion of the 5-year University degree learning and implementing this world renowned technique. Gonstead Chiropractic may help to improve pain associated sciatica and referred pain, as it may help to reduce pressure on inter-vetebral discs.
Flexion Distraction is used to manage disc protrusions or discal pain. This is performed on a Cox-Flexion Distraction table which allows traction of the vertebral column to allow a slight stretch to reduce pressure on discs and in turn, ease pressure on spinal nerves. Flexion distraction therapy does not involve spinal manipulation but rather a traction and small global movements stimulate disc healing and recovery. Flexion distraction may be used in conjunction with other chiropractic treatment to allow maximum benefit.
Our Chiropractors use Activators or handheld adjusting instruments to target joints when treating your condition. This allows more specificity with pressure, angulation and contact point ensure the correct area is being adjusted. Activator can be used on the pelvis as well as the spine and extremities. This tool is used widely across the world uses it’s own method to assess the whole body. Activator can be used in acute cases or with those who have more chronic conditions such as osteo-arthritis.
Each of these treatments are used once our thorough assessment and history is conducted to gather a better understanding of your personal situation and condition. Low back pain is often different for each individual so it is important to gather information to determine the underlying cause.
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