Low Back Pain, The Many Pain Generators & How Chiropractic Can Help
It is estimated that as much as 80 percent of American adults experience at least one significant episode of low back pain each year. Low back pain ranks among the top four reasons for doctor’s visits and experts predict that two to five percent of adults in the U.S. will lost time from work or see a doctor about low back pain. It is a very common problem with many different causes. These causes, called pain generators, can stem from physical causes like injury, illness, or they can have psychological origins. Understanding the pain generators and their connection to low back pain is the first step finding relief and realising chiropractic ’s role in pain management and healing.
What are Pain Generators?
Pain generators are the origins or causes of pain. Lower back pain generators can be any number of things including disc problems, joint problems, or muscular problems which can stem from illness, injury, or emotional upsets. Disruptions in other parts of the body can also cause pain in the lower back.
For instance, pain or injury in the hip, knee, ankle, or foot can throw the body off balance as it tries to compensate for an irregular gait. Infection and inflammation as well as systemic disease can also be cause or contributor to low back pain. We are typically inclined to look for the most obvious reason for pain, but sometimes the cause may be obscure and difficult to pinpoint. Often, finding the exact pain generator requires an examination of not just the body, but the mind as well.
Low Back Pain and Pain Generators
Back pain is not always easy to diagnose which can make it difficult to treat. The method that is used for treating low back pain depends on the specific pain generators that are involved. The method for treating a disc problem differs greatly from the method used to treat muscular strain. A degenerative disease like arthritis is not treated the exact same way that spinal trauma is treated.
Some pain generators may have a variety of components that must be addressed. Back pain with an emotional component is a prime example. Emotional upset, stress, depression, and anxiety can cause low back pain in many patients. When addressing the physical pain, it is also important to address the emotional component. This, in turn, leads to addressing diet and lifestyle changes.
Chiropractic for Low Back Pain
Chiropractic is an effective treatment for low back pain caused by most pain generators. While it addresses the specific area where the pain is located, the whole body wellness approach that is part of the practice makes it very effective in treating other issues that may be causing the pain. In other words, your back pain could be caused by a misaligned pelvis due to an ankle injury is addressed by realigning the spine and pelvic area as well as treating the injured ankle. Lower back pain caused by obesity can be relieved by spinal alignment, but the Chiropractor can also counsel the patient on eating healthy, exercising, and losing weight.
Chiropractic is so much more than simply aligning the spine, although that is the crux of the practice. When the spine is properly aligned the central nervous system as well as the entire body function much more efficiently and effectively. There are times when aligning the spine through Chiropractic care is enough to relieve a patient’s pain. Other times the Chiropractor must look a little deeper to find the cause. That is the beauty of Chiropractic care, though. It is not about putting a band aid on a symptom; it’s about addressing the cause of the problem.