Lower back pain is extremely common. There are mechanical and nutritional reasons for low back pain, both of which can be treated easily.
The video below will explain in detail degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spinal arthritis. If you’re at all considering surgery or you feel your doctor hasn’t explained your condition well enough this video should help a lot. It’s long I know but it will answer a lot of questions and probably create some more. You’ll be armed with more knowledge when talking with your doctor. Mention Wolf’s Law and they’ll think you’re a doctor as well. I tried several times to get the length of the video down but couldn’t leave out anything and have a clear conscious. If you’re having non-specific low back pain that you haven’t been to a doctor for yet this page will help explain a lot. If you have specific questions for me, watch the video on YouTube and ask your question in the comments section.
Here are the most common areas of complaint for “low back pain”:
The first image to the left shows the most superficial muscles of the lower back. You might have this general ache covering the whole region. The middle image shows the next level of muscles which are the Erector Spinae muscles. You might have pain a little more specific to these muscles. The image on the right shows the Sacroiliac Joints which are a common source of pain and the Quadratus Lumborum(QL) muscles (The right QL is Shown in Purple and Green which I explain below).
When these muscles have to work hard to hold you upright, they can hurt. And the pain can be anything from mild to severe spasms.
The other issue with Low Back Pain is dealing with tight hip flexors…Psoas and Iliacus muscles.
But there’s a fundamental problem that causes all these pains. And that’s what we correct in our office. Getting to the fundamental problem is the key to long term correction.
Whether your low back injury came from lifting something wrong, sleeping wrong or driving too far. Whatever the cause, we’ll find the problem and correct it.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Sacroiliac Joint Pain is a common problem. Now in the images above you see a perfect spine with perfect alignment and function. If you have Sacroiliac Joint Pain, you have a twist in your pelvis which is stressing one of your sacroiliac joints. You may go on for years without having pain and then one day it hits and you’re almost paralyzed with pain. Typically chiropractors will adjust this joint on many people because it’s commonly stuck and locked up. It’s the maneuver where you lay on your side and put one leg over the other in front of you and they jump on you to move the joint. It definitely moves the joint and you feel relief afterwards.
If you’ve had this done before, you realize the relief is often short lived. It lasts for a few hours to a few weeks to a few months then the pain returns. What they’re not understanding is that the joint is protecting itself by locking itself nice and tight. It’s a strong compensation that exists because something else is wrong that’s not being corrected. If your doctor understood what was really happening, they would find out what’s actually wrong and the sacroiliac joint would start moving again once its tightness wasn’t needed anymore.
You can often notice people with Sacroiliac Joint problems when they walk. You can tell their pelvis moves as one unit instead of three separate bones. They’ll walk stiff and rigid while their hip joints do all motion to get them to walk. Once I start adjusting these people their motion starts returning and their sacroiliac pains go away.
Quadratus Lumborum Problems Causing Low Back Pain
You can see the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscles in the image above. You have one on the right and left side. It’s easier to get to the muscle from the side of the lower back than directly from the lower back. Above I have the right QL colored a little oddly with the top half in purple and the bottom half in green. This is because this muscle can be tight for structural reasons which is by far the most common and also from organ dysfunction that causes a reflexive contraction of parts of the muscle. The top part can tighten when there are kidney problems and the bottom part when there is liver problems.
There is little point in massaging these muscles or trying to relax them if they’re needed to hold up your structure. Yes, you’ll loosen them a little and get relief, but it won’t last. The Quadratus Lumborum muscle is helping you significantly even if it hurts. The true problem needs to be dealt with, which we’re well versed at correcting.
Non-Specific Low Back Pain
For many, they cannot identify a specific source of pain and that can be frustrating for the doctor and the patient. X-rays and MRI’s may or may not show anything significant. Typically exercises are given to strengthen the lower back and enhance core strength. While exercise may help, you will have to keep them up or your pain will return. Understand that the lower back muscles are contracting hard, trying out of desperation to hold you upright. But it’s your underlying structure that’s messed up. Treating the lower back by itself is almost always a waste of time, even though it does need direct treatment. The problem with today’s methods of treating this condition and many others is that we compartmentalize our body’s. We have a neck, an upper back, a lower back, hips, knees, feet, etc. Then if one of those areas hurts, all the treatment is given to the area that hurts.
I realized many years ago that this was a waste of time. I realized this because even though I would improve a person in terms of pain, it was often temporary. It wasn’t until I realized that where a person hurts is just a strong compensation that I started searching for other ways to truly fix people. Well I eventually found the answers. Correcting Non-Specific Low Back Pain is very straight forward.
Disc Degeneration / Disc Herniation / Slipped Discs / Bulging Discs
These names are all kind of used interchangeably. First of all discs never slip. They can’t because they’re attached to the bone and the bone below. They’re not like hockey pucks between the bones that can slip out. Discs can however bulge and eventually herniate. This is where the inner part of the disc gets mushed and pushed through the outer (more tough) part of the disc. Many of you, who have no low back pain at all, have this problem and you are completely symptom free. But if you have low back pain and get an MRI and then find out you have a disc herniation or bulging disc…watch out…because that’s what gets blamed. Now you’re looking at possible surgery that is completely unnecessary in most cases. Now if you’ve lost bladder or bowel control, you have no choice but to have immediate surgery or you’ll be sorry. There’s no time to think in this case. You cannot get under the knife soon enough. But how many times have you ever heard of that scenario. I’ve been in practice since 1997 and I’ve never seen this. And I’m in the back industry.
Disc Degeneration can also cause pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion and pain.
Stenosis in the low back is a part of the thickening of the bone in response to stress on the bone. Stenosis is the result of Wolf’s Law. From Wikepedia…
Wolff’s law is a theory developed by the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836–1902) in the 19th century that states that bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed. If loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger to resist that sort of loading.
The problem with spinal bones is that there are large, fat nerves running through large openings in the bone specifically for the nerves. If the bone is under abnormal loads on a regular basis, the bone has no choice but to thicken in every direction. This makes less room for the nerves and you can run into what is called Stenosis in the low back. But no one seems to know why the bone is under more stress than someone who does not have stenosis in the low back. I do. It’s simply poor structure throughout the entire skeletal system putting enormous pressure on the bones that have thickened. They’re following Wolf’s law exactly, but doctors are surprised to see this type of thing happen.
If a person has stenosis they need to get their entire body treated so that the pressure can come off the vertebra that have stenosis. Whether it’s low back stenosis or neck stenosis doesn’t matter. It’s all fixable provided there isn’t too much damage and you’re willing to get enough of the treatments to take the stress off the problematic bones.
Sciatica is the shooting pain that goes down the back of the leg. The pain follows the sciatic nerve and is due to stretching of the nerve. Nerves DO NOT like to be stretched and when they are they can cause tingling, numbness or intense pain. Sciatica is often very easy to get rid of. Even if you’ve been dealing with excruciating pain for years, there’s still hope. But you have to do what needs to be done to get rid of it. Sciatica and low back pain are often found together but the treatment is similar if you have one or the other or both together.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis where bone grows and thickens in response to mechanical stress. This is also the easiest to prevent since the mechanical stresses can be removed by restoring your entire musculoskeletal system.
Understanding the arthritic process is simple. Joints that are twisted degenerate and grow more bone to compensate. The joint space between the neck vertebra decreases and the joint is eventually destroyed. Catching this process before it has gone too far is the key. At Aberle Chiropractic, we have the technology to take the twist out of the body so you can get relief and the joint can heal.