Eight in ten people in the Netherlands (80%!) will experience back pain at some point in time. Yearly around 5% of the population will suffer from back pain. Usually complaints resolve spontaneously, but treatment is indicated if complaints are persistent.
The lower back: sensitive
On the front side of the spine there are cartilage discs between adjacent vertabrae. At the rear there are small joints (facet joints). Between facet joints there are small layers of cartilage which cover the joint surface. Among the vertebrae in the spine, the ones in the lower back (L1-5) are the strongest and largest but also highly flexible. Because of these characteristics the lower back is a particularly sensitive area to injury.
Causes of back pain
The lower (lumbar) spine processes stronger forces than any of the other parts of the spine. For this reason the lumbar spine is particularly sensitive to injuries and degeneration. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back. Movement disorders in the lower spine, for example due to a herniated disc, fall or over-endurance can remain asymptomatic for a long time. Eventual irritation of the nerves and surrounding tissue will occur, leading to muscle tension and back pain and worsening of the movement disorder: a catch-22. As the nerves from the lumbar spine run towards the legs problems in this area may coincide with radiating pain in the leg or foot (see hernia's).
The new guideline for treatment of low back pain (Nederlands Huisarts Genootschap, NHG) now advocates rapid mobilisation, which has been state of the art within chiropractic care already for years. Rapid mobilisation avoids stiffening of the joints and enhances the circulation in the tissues. The present guideline advices a maximum of one week rest after which, if possible, the patient should mobilize quickly and look for treatment.
What can the chiropractor do?
The chiropractor examines the spinal column, performs a neurological examination and will ask you about the history of complaints. Review of x-rays or other scans may be needed and new scans may be requested. Treatment is only instigated upon clear indications for a likely benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatment usually consists of carefully dosed pressure techniques or rapid impulses. Occasionally complaints require a special approach. There are for example specific stretching techniques for hernia-like complaints.
Back problems seen in our practice
Below we present examples of back problems that are commonly treated in our practice:
- Acute hernia
- Chronic hernia
- Back pain associated with tingling in the leg
- Back pain associated with a nagging pain in the leg
- M. Bechterew
- Sacro-iliacal (SI) complaints
- Pelvis problems / crooked
- Back pain during pregnancy, in children or athletes
Should have queries or require further information, please do not hesitate our practice at 070-3941157 (see Contact us)