Low Back Pain – Westminster, CO
A Common Source Of Pain Come From Your Spinal Joints
The pain from inflamed spinal joints is described as a dull, deep ache and there may be a history of sudden “catching” or “locking” feeling that are sharp and jabbing in nature. Low back pain from the spinal joints often radiates down into the buttocks and down the back of the upper leg. The pain is rarely present in the front of the leg, and rarely radiates below the knee or into the foot, as pain from a disc herniation often does. Spinal joints are also called “facets”.
Recurrent painful episodes can be frequent and quite unpredictable in both timing and extent. Patients describe having more pain and stiffness and rigidity in the morning. Most patients will have a persisting point of tenderness overlying the inflamed facet joints and some degree spasms (called guarding). Typically, there will be more discomfort while leaning backward than while leaning forward. Forward flexion relieves pain. The pain is often exacerbated by twisting the back, by stretching, by side bending, and in the presence of a torsional load.
Most Effective Treatment For Low Back Pain – Spinal Manipulation
Science has caught up to the benefits of Chiropractic as medical literature on the subject is plentiful. Moreover, there is little or no evidence that medication or surgery is of any value. Chiropractic’s aim is to restore joint mobility and decrease muscle spasms. While the facet pain is usually severe at first, it is a consequence of other problems that need to be addressed. Facet joints are clinically important spinal pain generators in a significant proportion of patients with chronic spinal pain as well. Excessive lordosis (increased lower back curve) increases the load on the facet joints. Therefore, the patient should be taught pelvic tilt maneuvers to reduce the degree of lumbar lordosis. Abdominal strengthening exercises are also important in stabilizing the lumbar core musculature and decreasing lordosis. Ice packs are used regularly to reduce the pain and joint inflammation.
Treatment duration and expectations
The treatment frequency in most cases is 3 times per week for the first week or two. Facet joint problems normally respond to spinal manipulation within the first 3-6 visits depending on prior history. Initially, the sharp stabbing pain subsides and the referred pain in the hip and thigh progressively fades away and flexibility improves. Movements are no longer accompanied with “jabbing” pain in the lower back and the muscles begin to relax. Dry needling is very helpful in acute cases with severe spasms. Failure to improve with conservative care (your first logical choice), would require a referral to a Physiatrist for facet cortisone injections and possible radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the nerves that supply the facet joint. Medications will not resolve your lower back pain but may be administered attempting to reduce pain while you receive chiropractic care to address the underlying issues of improper joint mechanics and lumbar weakness.