Low Back Pain and Chiropractic

Low back pain (LBP) is a very common disorder and is often described as dull ache or sharp pain, felt below the waist, sometimes running down one or both legs.

Low back pain can come from sudden movement or injury from heavy physical work, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting in awkward positions, or being in a “bad posture position” for too long. Any of these situations can “re-awake” a prior or existing back disorder or create a new one.

Other conditions that can cause low back pain can include tumors, fractures, infections and boney arthritis as well as other medical conditions.

Low back pain can last from just a few days to becoming a lifetime problem.

Symptoms range from pain in a specific area of the low back, general aching or soreness, with our without pain that radiates (run) down to the leg(s) or toe(s). Sometimes pain is accompanied by neurologic (“nerves”) symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.

Neurologic symptoms requiring immediate attention include loss of muscle strength or size, loss of leg reflexes, bowel or bladder dysfunction, severe symptoms that do not subside after a few days, or pain prohibiting everyday activities.

How does Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C. evaluate low back pain?

First a careful examination is performed involving chiropractic, orthopedic (“bones”) and neurological (“nerves”) testing. Are the leg reflexes intact? Is there a sign of disc or joint misalignment? Is there loss of muscle strength or signs of muscle wasting? Is there loss of sensation or strength along an area supplied by a particular nerve? These are the vital questions that the chiropractic, orthopedic and neurological exam can help answer.

Other diagnostic procedures may be used that are unique to chiropractic and establish the foundation for a program of care.

Such tests can check joint motion, muscle strength, and perform a postural analysis of the patient. Techniques include motion and static palpation to determine exact areas of restrictions in spinal joint motion. Palpation of muscles and muscle testing, as well as perform tests for hip balance and determine whether there is a “short leg” or posture problem.

X-rays of the low back may be taken (if needed), or other imaging study of the back ordered.

Chiropractic Care of Low Back Pain Conditions

After analyzing this information, Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C. determines if the patient can be help by chiropractic care and the type of treatment needed. Treatment involves gentle low-force techniques and therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation to the area, as well as help restore proper joint alignment and posture to help the healing cycle.

As the area improves, patient education involving corrected exercises and stretching often time is given to help strengthen the weaken area and prevent future injury.

“After my vehicle accident, I visited Dr. Mashike to get treatment on my injured lower back. Dr. Mashike has always explained my injury and the treatments to me in detail. My pain level has gone from extreme to tolerable over the months. I have gone from taking full doses of pain medicine to much less. I still have a back injury and experience pain but due to the treatments given to me by Dr. Mashike, I feel I may be able to avoid any surgery in the future. That is my goal.”

Scott Garber

Do you have any questions about low back pain? Just call me at 858-794-4007, and I will be glad to answer your questions promptly or make you an appointment.

Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C.