North Carolina offers countless outdoor activities that appeal to all ages, especially to those residing in or visiting the city of Raleigh. From hiking adventures around Umstead Park or the Neuse River, to learning about art in nature at the North Carolina Museum of Art, there is an abundance of opportunities to move about after a long work week.
Have you felt stunted lately, noticing an ongoing pain in your lower back that prevents you from enjoying the outdoors? Do you notice that you’re putting a greater strain on your neck or hips to counter lower back pain while hiking, sitting, or working? In the content below, we explore common causes of lower back pain, discuss five lower back pain treatments without surgery, and clarify how the onset of symptoms most commonly highlights long-term issues (unless derived from a vehicle or sporting accident).
3 Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, “preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.” Although a plethora of elements can factor into lower back pain, there are three common causes of lower back pain that oftentimes go unnoticed.
Did you know poor posture can lead to excessive straining on your postural muscles that may result in a relaxed structure over time? With heightened attention towards ergonomic chairs, proper shoe insoles, and avoiding slouched stances, many people are beginning to turn their attention towards improving posture.
The most common contributing factors to poor posture include:
- Weak postural muscles
- Abnormally tight muscles
- High-heeled shoes
- Decreased flexibility
- A poor work environment and incorrect working posture
- Unhealthy sitting, sleeping, and standing habits
By neglecting to correct your posture, you risk a greater susceptibility to injury and additional lower back pain.
#2. Exercising with Improper Form or Acquiring Sports Injuries
Ironically, while exercise helps improve one’s body, doing so with improper form can be damaging. Whether you run, bike, hike, play a sport, or lift weights, paying attention to your form not only allows greater performance but also helps prevent immediate and long-term trauma to your body and lower back.
Similar to a small car accident that seems to have resulted in no damage, you never really know until a body shop looks at the undercarriage for a full report. Similarly, although a minor sports injury seems to heal in a short time frame, many people fail to consult with a doctor or chiropractor to determine if any damage will cause ongoing pain or issues. Therefore, even if a fall or hit seems minor and easy to recover from, it is best to schedule a precautionary appointment to determine the true severity of the injury.
#3. Subluxation and Chronic Back Pain
Although most people with lower back pain are capable of fully recovering, a small percentage of people experience chronic recurrence. In some cases, the chronic back pain develops into a disabling pain and disturbance in forms such as arthritis, subluxations, and herniated discs.
What is Subluxation?
A vertebral subluxation occurs when one or more vertebrae moves out of position and puts pressure on, or irritates, spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure, or irritation, on the nerves causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.
5 Lower Back Pain Treatments
Below, we discuss five of the most effective lower back pain treatments that help generate both immediate and long-term lower back pain relief. It is important to note that the greatest results derive from implementing all five treatments unless otherwise directed by your physician and chiropractor.
#1. Chiropractic Adjustments with Spinal Re-Engineering
Lower back pain can be a constant source of discomfort with the potential of leading to more serious issues if left untreated. Although an improperly aligned spine is often the leading cause of low back pain, the North Carolina Chiropractic Association shares that the overuse of opioids has caused a nationwide crisis of epidemic proportions. However, chiropractic care and adjustments are a safe, cost-effective, non-invasive, and drug-free treatment for lower back pain that treats the issue, not just the symptoms!
Spinal re-engineering is a chiropractic care that combines chiropractic and engineering principles, believing that if you correct the structure of your spine, you directly affect its function. This practice can help remedy many issues, including low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and others:
- Decrease pain
- Improve flexibility
- Improve posture
- Promote overall function
- Increase range of motion
- X-ray correction
- Boost health and overall performance
- Improve immune function
- Decrease risk of injury
- Correct the biomechanics of all joints in the body
#2. Utilize Traction, Laser Therapy, and Whole-Body Vibration
Oftentimes, a chiropractor will advise that you include traction, laser therapy, and whole-body vibration in your lower back pain treatment plan. Each of the three affects your back differently.
Traction therapy is a decompression exercise that encourages correct alignment from your neck and spine. Typically, this exercise occurs before a chiropractic adjustment and can also be done at home when prescribed by your chiropractor. Depending on your individual x-ray results, your chiropractor will develop customized exercises catered to your body’s health.
Approved by the FDA in 2002, laser therapy, or photobiomodulation, is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include:
- Improved healing time
- Pain reduction
- Increased circulation
- Decreased swelling
- Reduced muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain
Typically after each chiropractic adjustment, you can stand on a vibration plate for a few minutes. Doing so increases the longevity of your adjustment. Additional benefits include:
- Improving posture and balance
- Increasing flexibility
- Enhancing endurance
- Reducing inflammation and back pain
However, it is important to note that whole-body vibration is best done under chiropractic approval and supervision.
#3. Correct Your Posture
Before considering heavy medications or surgery to relieve lower back pain, have you considered the effects of improving your posture? This free treatment can significantly reduce lower back pain and help correct long-term issues.
By simply taking the conscious effort in fixing your posture, you can:
- Keep bones and joints in correct alignment and correctly use your muscles
- Reduce the stress put towards ligaments holding together your spinal joints
- Minimize the likelihood of incurring injuries
- Increase the efficiency of your muscles and use less energy doing so
- Prevent muscle fatigue, muscle strain, overuse disorders, back pain, and muscle pain
Therefore, take the next week to consciously assess your posture when working, standing, sleeping, and sitting. You may be surprised what needs correction!
#4. Rest in Alignment
As nearly one-third of your day is spent resting or sleeping, it is crucial that you practice sleeping and resting in alignment. To help with this practice, it is best that you sleep on your back with prescribed wedges and rolls that level out your neck, back, and hips.
Although it takes time to establish a new habit, especially while sleeping, practice each day by resting in alignment for at least fifteen minutes. Over time, your body will grow accustomed to sleeping and resting in alignment.
#5. Exercise and Stretch
Exercise that adheres to what your doctor or chiropractor suggests can help reduce lower back pain! From taking a twenty-minute walk on your lunch break to taking the weekend to swim and hike, exercise helps loosen any stiff areas along your spine and encourages proper alignment.
For an optimal exercise routine, try high intensity interval training three days a week for 12-15 minutes. Also, incorporate strength training three days a week, leaving one day each week for rest and recovery. Stretching is another great lower back pain treatment that promotes loosening and flexibility. Doing so lowers your stress levels and promotes greater rest.
Start Your Lower Back Pain Treatment Today with Raleigh’s Team Chiropractic
Anyone can crack a back. However, only a spinal engineer can truly fix the spinal issues you are facing and generate the greatest long-term relief. At Team Chiropractic, our team of qualified spinal engineers works hard to create a custom treatment plan according to what your body needs for long-term restoration.
With over 25 years of service, we are the leading spinal adjustment practice in the Raleigh area and are uniquely suited to helping relieve your lower back pain through safe, professional spinal adjustment. Our Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioners (CCEP) and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians (CCSP) enables us to correct the overall biomechanics, which enables you to hold your correction.
We believe in the six essentials to healthy living: spiritual/mental alignment, physical alignment, nutritional alignment, exercise in alignment, rest in alignment, and removing chemical stress. By offering both services and products that adhere to the six essentials, we help promote an overall health and wellness treatment for every client who comes through our doors.
If you or someone you know is experiencing troubling neck or back pain, we are here to help! Contact us online today or give us a call at 919-788-8881 to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray. We look forward to helping restore your health!