Understanding Low Back Pain

80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days in America. On average over 25 million Americans lose over 7 days of work every year, with over 180 million days lost nationwide per year. On average it costs the nation over 100 billion dollars a year alone.  Only heart disease ranks higher in terms of more burdensome conditions in the US.

The question we need to ask ourselves, is if we are one of the 80% of people that has to suffer from low back pain and miss time from work, who does this really affect? Obviously, it affects the people that have to miss time from work and deal with the pain, however what about the knock-on effects? If we are not healthy enough to get to work and perform it’s going to affect our family and our loved ones as essentially miss-timed from work means a financial burden that we have to deal with, which feeds into the leading cause of bankruptcy in America, health care debt. People simply do not have the time or resources to be able to miss time from work due to low back pain.

There are essentially two main causes of low back pain, trauma and repetitive stresses. Trauma, such as car accidents, lifting injuries at work or slips and falls damage the structures in the low back and cause a whole myriad of health issues. The more common injury we see after trauma is a sprain/strain of the soft tissue, which causes an acute onset of low back pain Essentially the trauma, which usually involves over-stretching of the soft tissue, or the compressive force of the impact, damages the fibers of the soft tissue, which causes the body to go into spasm in order to immobilize the damaged area.

More severe injuries that are related to trauma involve the spine and the discs in our low back. The same mechanism of injury to sprains and strains can be so excessive it can cause the intervertebral discs to herniate and rupture, this can be a major issue as the disc fluid compresses the nerve roots in the spine, which can cause the pain to refer into the lower extremities. The compression if not addressed immediately can lead to numbness and tingling into the legs and over time a loss of motor function leading to a condition called drop foot. Disc injuries lead to a longer more intense form of treatment and may lead to surgery. Unfortunately, the outcomes of the orthopedic intervention are poor, as 72-80% of the time the condition will feel the same or worse and you will be twice as likely to have another surgery in the next five years.

Another major cause of low back pain is due to the sedentary lifestyle we now live. Due to society been so technology-dependent, which requires us to sit for a living, the average American has to sit for 14 or more hours a day. This repetitive stress puts a massive amount of stress into the soft tissue, discs, and structure of the spine in our low back, this over time breaks us down. It first starts in the soft tissue, as the lack of movement and increased pressure into the tissue due to sitting slowly breaks it down, which causes scar tissue to form in the tissue, which essentially makes it weak and more prone to problems over time. This is the reason why our low back ‘slips out’ when reaching for the toothbrush or tying our shoes.

Sitting in a flexed position can increase the pressure on our discs by 300%, this forward-leaning posture pulls the spine out of alignment and increases the pressure on our discs even further. This, over time, causes the spine and discs in our spine to degenerate at an accelerated rate. The more degeneration that we see in the low back the more compression we put onto our spinal nerves, which can cause all sorts of different forms of low back pain, ranging from acute localized pain to sciatica.

The body is built to move, both on a biomechanical and physiological level, so once we stop moving, through a 50-hour workweek where we are strapped to our desk or through the pain of a health issue caused by a trauma limiting our ability to function the body starts to compensate and deteriorate, this is when our quality of life starts to be affected. Unfortunately, many of us then accept this and allow the pain and issue to dictate what we can and can’t do. At Advanced Health Chiropractic we pride ourselves on being the resource for your health and wellness. To offer you a clear diagnosis, a personalized plan of action with a clear end goal of getting you out of pain, moving without restriction and living your life to its full potential.

Advanced Health Chiropractic we have helped thousands of people in the Chicago land area get out of pain, improve their function and live life as they should, pain-free. This has led to the clinic becoming the highest-reviewed clinic in the city and voted one of the best chiropractic and physical therapy clinics in the city.

At Advanced Health Chiropractic we pride ourselves on focusing on treating the root cause of the issue. Through our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and treatment methods we can pinpoint the joint, soft tissue or nerve that is causing the problem and go about, effectively without drug or surgical intervention objectively correcting the issue, offering fast, effective and long-lasting results.

If you are someone who has been suffering from pain and has allowed it to dictate what you can and cannot do in your daily life and are ready to get your life back, we are here for you. Our team will walk you through a goal-orientated consultation, provide you with a clear definitive diagnosis and create a plan of action that will have a clear beginning middle and end for you to achieve all your health and wellness goals. We look forward to meeting you and getting you back to living pain-free and without restriction.

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