Lower back pain is the most common reason people seek treatment at Remedy Wellness Centre. Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability and time off from work. Clinical studies have shown that manual therapies such as spinal manipulative therapy with a chiropractor, resulted in better outcomes, compared to patients who were prescribed bed rest, medication, traction or ultrasound. Massage therapy and physiotherapy are also both highly effective for resolving lower back pain and all of our practitioners have lots of experience in this area. You may be surprised to learn that lower back pain can be not related to muscle or joint pain, but is actually digestive or organ pain. When manual therapy is making no significant improvement, we recommend consulting our Naturopathic Physician or Acupuncturist.
Our goal is to find the underlying cause of your pain, so it can be effectively treated, and avoid a recurring problem. How do we do this? We start by reviewing your health history and looking for any red flags or things that stand out. We discuss your symptoms, lifestyle and talk about when it started, an obvious injury/incident/activity that preceded the pain. We then move on to some orthopedic testing and postural assessment, which helps us to determine what the cause may be.
Mechanical lower back pain, facet syndrome, disc lesion, cancer and sprain/strain all have a similar presentation/symptoms, so the assessment part is actually very important. This is why we recommend attending a longer first visit appointment, to allow time for a proper assessment.
In many cases the underlying cause of pain is improper mobility of the lumbar vertebrae. This can be a result of injury, postural habits or lifestyle (prolonged sitting and/or inactivity). Our job is to figure out what the major factors are so we can restore mobility to the area, and also teach you to maintain that mobility on your own. Depending on how long you’ve experienced symptoms, there can also be compensatory areas of excessive (hypermobile) or inadequate (hypomobile) motion above and/or below the painful are, which must be dealt with as well. Massage therapy, physiotherapy or chiropractic are all good options to address these issues.
It is not uncommon for the painful area to be a location of compensation rather than where the actual problem is. So even simple joint dysfunction is not always so simple and the actual cause of the complaint must be found with a professional examination and history-taking. The issue can be resolved with spinal adjustments (also called manipulation) to improve the vertebrae’s mobility. The vertebral joints and surrounding muscles share the same nerves, so by improving mobility to the vertebrae, the muscle tension or spasms will also diminish and make you more comfortable.
Whatever the cause of your lower back pain, we will find it. Your symptoms and health history give us a lot of clues as to where we should start. Often we are right, sometimes it’s complicated and we go through a process of elimination. Our team of experts have a lot of tools and experience at your disposal.