Over 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Many will develop chronic low back pain which is back pain that persists for over 90 days. Some will develop low back pain that goes away…but then it returns and becomes worse. Just about every case is unique and should be treated as such.
Sciatica is a sharp pain moving down the leg or legs due to pressure on the sciatic nerve. It can also result from the same underlying causes of low back pain. In fact, you can have sciatica and not have back pain at all…just the pain, numbness, or abnormal sensations in the leg. Most patients with low back pain just have low back pain with varying levels of severity.
Prolonged sitting may cause back pain by placing more pressure at the facets of our spine. Americans are sitting more than ever before. Sitting for an average of 13 hours a day and sleeping an average of 8 hours results in a sedentary lifestyle of around 21 hours a day. Doctor James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, is credited with coining the mantra:
He’s not the only one who believes it. Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.
Obesity or weight gain can put too much stress on the low back and cause compression. Persistent compression can result in the following:
- Thinning of the discs
- Disc degeneration
- Bulging and herniated spinal discs
- Spinal stenosis
Since two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese this is a leading cause. Then there are injuries to the spine from sports and other exercises. Other known causes included car accidents, poor posture and ergonomics, bad sleeping habits, slips and falls, traveling, and other activities of life.
Here are some of the more common conditions that cause low back pain:
- Lumbar sprain or strain
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Facet syndrome
- Vertebral restriction or fixations
- Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD).
- Sitting for long periods of time
The good news is the low back pain responds very favorable to chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat all these conditions through a comprehensive examination and a tailored treatment protocol. Chiropractic is 100% natural and very safe. There are many things you can do yourself to relieve pain but here’s why you should never foam roll your lower back.
To find out if you are a candidate for back pain treatment at our San Francisco clinic in Telegraph Hill area, please call at 415–421–1115 or book an appointment here.
Also published on Medium.