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Involuntary spasms in your lower back? A dull throbbing ache? Shooting pain down your leg? You are most likely suffering from low back pain (LBP).
If you’ve never had low back pain, chances are you will at some point in your life. Just check these statistics:
- In a six-month period, five in 10 Canadians suffered low back pain
- Up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime
- In Canada, the low back pain-related estimate of the medical costs ranges between 6 and 12 billion dollars annually
Low Back Pain Causes
Low back pain is a complex condition with multiple contributors to pain, including physical, social and psychological factors. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity and being sedentary are associated with the occurrence of low back pain as well.
Our backs play a supportive role for our bodies – at rest and in motion. Extra body weight puts greater demand on our spines and other joints. Research shows that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) increases the risk of suffering low back pain. With growing rates of obesity, Canadians are increasing their chances of developing low back pain.
In addition, we are more sedentary than ever before. In industrialized countries, 75% of workers sit for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting may negatively affect your muscles and joints and lead to deconditioning (decline in physical functioning), fatigue and stress on the spinal discs causing pain in the lower back. In an effort to combat sitting, newer products such as standing desks, have been increasing in popularity. However, recent research produced at the University of Waterloo also found that standing desks may lead to lower back pain as well. The key takeaway message as discussed by Daniel Viggiani, lead author, is that regardless of whether you are sitting or standing at work, make sure to move around and shift your posture often.
Responses to the Low Back Pain Epidemic
Low back pain has also been one of the key drivers for opioid prescription. With increasing awareness of its risks, limited efficacy and potential for misuse, emerging evidence has suggested that medication should not be the mainstay in the treatment of low back pain. Instead, recent guidelines recommend self-management, manual therapy, physical activity and psychological therapies. There is a shift in placing less emphasis on pharmacological and surgical interventions in the care of low back pain.
Canadian chiropractors are trained to assess and diagnose back pain, as well as offer comprehensive treatment plans. Typically, plans are holistic. A chiropractor addresses all contributing factors of low back pain, such as joint dysfunction, injury, ergonomics, exercise and overall health and then develops a customized program to relieve pain, increase mobility and get you back on your feet. Chiropractic treatment is a drugless and non-invasive treatment option.
How Chiropractic Expertise Can Help Low Back Pain
Chiropractic treatment relieves low back pain using effective clinical tools like manipulation, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, exercise, patient education, modalities (i.e. ultrasound, laser) and rehabilitation. Extensively trained in spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), chiropractors are proficient in providing specialized care which has been proven effective in reducing pain, improving function, and decreasing the chances of low back pain becoming a chronic condition.
Click here to read more about how chiropractic expertise in treating low back pain can ease pain and lower your risk of recurrence.
Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera can provide education on your spine and posture, as well as create a personalized treatment plan including back exercises and ergonomic solutions for your workstation. Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by Ajax massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch. Call 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.
Article credit: Canadian Chiropractic Association