The Department of Health carried out a survey of Great Britain to find the prevalence of low back pain. Of nearly two fifths of adults aged 16 and over, 37%, had suffered from lower back pain which lasted for more than a day in the twelve months prior to interview.
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints we see presenting to Younger Chiropractic Clinic. The lower back consists of 5 vertebrae, 5 inter-vertebral discs and spinal nerves that exit at each level of the spine. Often therefore, lower back issues will affect these nerves, producing a wide variety of symptoms in the many areas they supply.
Common symptoms that we can relieve include:
- Joint Restriction
- Tingling (Paraesthesias)
Common complaints that chiropractors see in their Practice include:
Facet Dysfunction: Facet joints are small stabilizing joints located between and behind adjacent vertebrae. They are found at every spinal level (except at the top level) and provide about 20% of the torsional (twisting) stability in the neck and lower back. Facet joint disorders are some of the most common of all the recurrent disabling lower back and neck problems and can cause serious symptoms.
Acute episodes of lumbar joint pain are typically intermittent, generally unpredictable and occur a few times per month or per year. Typically there will be more discomfort while leaning backwards than while leaning forward.
Lower back pain from the facet joints often radiates down into the buttocks and 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.
This is a very common condition that many of our patients present. Evidence shows along with recommendation from the Department of Health that treatment including manipulation and home exercises given by your chiropractor is an effective form of treatment for these conditions.
Disc Herniation: This is a less common presentation of back and leg pain, with a prevalence of approximately 1-3 % of symptomatic herniations although recent studies have found that up to 50% of the population can have disc herniations without symptoms, therefore, not all disc herniations cause symptoms.
Herniations usually occur due to tearing of the outer fibres of the intervertebral disc allowing the softer central matter to bulge out irritating the adjacent spinal nerves which is characteristic of producing buttock and leg pain, weakness of the foot and often associated with numbness and pins and needles. This complaint does not always present with back pain and is often referred to as a slipped disc or sciatica.
Piriformis syndrome. Buttock and leg pain as stated above can occur from spinal herniation, however, another common cause of buttock and leg pain can be due to over tightness/injury to the piriformis muscle which is a muscle of the buttock. The sciatic nerve passes very close to this muscle and in some cases actually passes through this muscle. This can present similar symptoms sciatica.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: The sacroiliac joints are two joints at the bottom of the spine that along with the sacrum form the pelvis. They are a common area of pain and discomfort with patients pointing to one side or the other and often associated with radiating pain into the buttock and or around the groin.
SI joint pain does not often refer past the knee and patients often report pain on sitting, from sitting to standing and pain when slightly leaning forwards as when brushing teeth. Pregnant women can often have pain around this area (please see our pregnancy page).
Scoliosis: This occurs due to twisting in reaction to some of the vertebrae being angled or misshapen. This can exist from birth if genetic or secondary to trauma if a fracture results in the irregular healing of vertebrae. Although this is a structural problem, there are many benefits to receiving chiropractic treatment for pain relief and improving joint, muscle and nerve function.