St. Louis Back Pain Chiropractor - Effective Lower Back Treatments

St. Louis Back Pain Relief Chiropractors

Chiropractic care has become more popular than ever for the treatment of such conditions as back pain, migraine headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome and other conditions that can trace their origins to the body’s complex musculoskeletal system. It is estimated that over 22 million people a year get some form of chiropractic care and of these an estimated 8 million are looking for lower back pain relief. That is a lot of people that are now being helped by each year by this all-natural form of pain relief.

Doctors of Chiropractic are highly educated and well-trained professionals that must complete an undergraduate degree then attend an accredited chiropractic university for another four years. They also must complete hundreds of hours of on the job training under the careful supervision of a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic before they can practice on their own.

It is not only a highly effective type of pain treatment but also one that has become well respected by other types of medical professionals for the health benefits it provides for patients. It can be a very integral part of any overall wellness plan.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas where all-natural chiropractic care is excellent at relieving pain and promoting healing.

Lower Back Pain

lower back painAs was mentioned, the overwhelming number one reason why people seek help from chiropractic professionals is to get relief from lower back pain. The reason for this is the lumbar spine (the lower back) is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. Around the lower spine itself the body consists of many tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other types of soft tissue. These soft tissues are constantly called on to flex, turn, twist and support weight and if this is overdone in any way it can result in an injury to the lower back. It is also an area of the body that is known to be greatly affected by normal wear and tear issues too. These are the types of reasons that most everyone will experience lower back pain at one time in their life or another.

The term lower back pain can refer to a large number of ailments and often times no one ailment affects everyone the exact same way. A lower back condition that causes severe pain in one patient may only slightly discomfort another patient with the exact same ailment. Some lower back pain may be intermittent or short lasting in one patient while in another patient the same condition may be chronic and debilitating. This type of unpredictability makes the sources of lower back pain very hard to identify at times.

Contributing Factors to Lower Back Pain

Here are a few of the main contributing factors to the onset of lower back pain:

  • There are several large nerve roots that run through the lumbar spine that can become irritated or inflamed
  • A smaller nerve in that region of the body may have become compressed or irritated
  • Straining one of the larger muscles that are found in the lower back
  • A damaged ligament, joint or part of the bone structure in the lower spine
  • Over time disc degeneration may have occurred

Upper Back pain

Just because the majority of people seek treatment for lower back pain problems from chiropractors does not mean that they can’t help those that suffer from upper back pain too. The reason people do not experience as many problems with their upper back is that the spine in this area is attached to the rib cage so it naturally limits mobility here; this in turn makes it a very stable part of the body.

When injuries do happen to the thoracic spine (upper back) it tends to radiate the pain into other parts of the body such as the neck, shoulders and arms. It often times will even cause headaches. Upper back problems are known to be associated with stiff necks, numbness and weakness too. They can even cause a loss of mobility in the areas the upper back impacts. Upper back pain can range from being only slightly annoying to very extreme in nature.

Causes of Upper Back Pain

In a very similar fashion to lower back pain the causes of upper back pain are sometimes hard to determine too. Most upper back pain has to do with a mechanical disruption as to how the muscles and joints in the upper back normally work. This can be the result of such things as trauma to the area, strains, sprains and even poor posture.

Other factors that can cause upper back problems are staying in one position for a very long time (such as when using a computer at work), poor lifestyle (being overweight or sedentary) and certain medical conditions (such as entrapped nerves and arthritis).

Upper Back Problem Symptoms

Here are some of the more common symptoms that are experienced with upper back problems:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasm
  • Tightness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain that gets worse when lying in bed at night

Causes of Back Pain

As was mentioned your back is a very complex part of your body where nerves, muscles, joints, tendons and other soft tissue are all intertwined with one another around the spine. When stress, twisting and other forces are over applied in this area a back injury may result. This will happen to most everyone at one time in their life or another.

Doctors tend to lump the causes of back pain into two main categories based on age as follows:

  • Back problems in people aged 30 to 60 years old. These are conditions caused by such things as disc degeneration, muscle strains and nerve compression.

People over 60 years of age tend to have conditions that stem from such things as joint degeneration, osteoarthritis or compression fractures.
Major Causes Of Back Pain In People 30 To 60 Years Old:

  • Back Muscle Strain – these often result in miniature tears in the muscle that in turn cause back pain.
  • Lower Lumbar Herniated disc – this condition results when one of the nerve roots that is located in the spine gets compressed. When it happens in the lower spine it causes sciatica.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease – This is when a disc in between two vertebrae causes instability and inflammation when it breaks down.
  • Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – This is when a vertebra slips toward the front of a disc that is located below it and in turn compresses the nerve there.
  • Sacroiliac Joint Disease – severe pain can result when the movement of this key back joint becomes restricted.

Back Pain Causes commonly found in Adults over 60

  • Degenerative Osteoarthritis /Facet Joint Osteoarthritis – this happens slowly over time as the result of the cartilage that is located in between the facet joints of the spine deteriorating
  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis or Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – this condition results when pressure is put on the nerves where they exit the lower back.
  • Compression fracture of the spine – this is often accompanied by the sudden occurrence of severe back pain

Auto Accidents

back pain from auto accidentIt is estimated that there are over 300,000 automobile accidents in the USA each year and many of these result in some type of injury to those involved. One of the most common injuries that occur when two automobiles collide is what is called whiplash. This type of injury happens when the neck and head are subject to sudden and violent movements during a collision. Victims of whiplash injuries often suffer damage to the soft tissues that help support the neck.

Whiplash is one of the hardest types of injuries for medical professionals to agree upon because of the very unpredictable nature of it. Many times it takes days or weeks for the symptoms of whiplash to even appear. This is one of the major reasons why you should never assume you have been unhurt in an accident and sign off on any paperwork that relieves an insurance company of their responsibility to pay for your injuries until many weeks after the accident happened.

How does Whiplash Occur?

A lot happens to a body in a short period of time in such accidents as a rear end collision. There is a very intense and rapid acceleration of your body followed by a similar deceleration of it too. During this time there are extreme forces acting upon your neck and back. Despite the fact this is all done over a period of just a few seconds it can leave you with some very devastating injuries to say the least. Whiplash often results in injuries to vertebrae, muscles, facet joints and other soft tissues found in the neck and back.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash Trauma

Here are some of the most common injuries that result from an accident that produces a whiplash type movement to your body:

–        Neck pain

–        Headaches

–        TMJ problems

–        Dizziness

–        Low back pain

 

Neck Pain

neck pain reliefIt would be very hard for any individual to go through their entire life without experiencing at least some type of neck pain at one time or another. When a person experiences neck pain it often is related to something minor in the cervical spine (the neck is often referred to as this) and it will heal up on its own in less than a few weeks. For those who do not get relief from neck pain in a short amount of time it can turn into a long and miserable process on the road to recovery. When many people suffer from the longer term effects of neck pain they often turn to chiropractic care as a solution.

What causes neck pain? Well for starters it is one of the most sensitive areas of your body and can be easily injured if you are not careful. Your cervical spine is made up of vertebrae, ligaments and muscle that are called upon to not only provide many movements for your head but at the same time support it too. Throw in a few nerves in the neck area for good measure and you have the perfect recipe for pain if such things as stress, strains and other undue forces act upon it.

Many things can affect your neck and end up causing you pain. Neck pain can result from simple things such as poor posture, overuse or keeping your neck in the same position for a long period of time (such as when you are working on the computer). It can also result from something much more severe such as whiplash, sports injuries or other trauma to the neck. For neck pain that lasts for more than a few days you should seek medical attention and if it is accompanied by weakness in the arms and dizziness it could be a serious medical situation that needs immediate attention.

Sciatica

Despite the fact that many people refer to sciatica like it is a medical diagnosis it is actually an underlying symptom of one of several different types of lower back problems. Most often it is associated with such conditions as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and herniated discs. Sciatica pain originates in the back but is felt more in the buttocks legs and sometimes the feet too. It can be such severe pain that it leaves those who have it in a debilitating condition. It can also have numbness, weakness and tingling sensations that go along with it too.

It is often identified by the following characteristics:

Pain that gets worse when sitting down
It’s often occurs on only one side of the buttocks or leg
The pain can be described as burning and searing as opposed to just a dull ache
It’s sometimes accompanied by numbness, weakness or difficulty moving one of your legs
The pain can be so sharp at times it makes it hard to walk or stand.

Sciatica Facts

The sciatic nerve has long been known to be the largest single nerve in the human body. Sciatica pain results when a condition in the lower back causes an area of the nerve to become compressed. The pain often varies from one person to another as does the time for recovery. Permanent nerve damage from sciatica is very rare to say the least. It is a condition that almost never affects anyone under 20 years of age and seems to be the most prevalent in people who are between 50 and 60 years of age. It tends to develop very slowly over time as opposed to being a bodily condition that results from some form of trauma to the lower back. Surgery is almost never an option and most people get significant relief from the pain within a few weeks of the start of treatment. It is a condition that is known to respond very favorably to chiropractic care.