Low back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal issues troubling the U.S. population.
Studies have shown that 80% of the population will suffer from a low back condition at least once in their lifetime.

Many conditions can be contributing to your back in the lower back, hips and radiating sciatica type pain. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common conditions treated at Empowered MVMT. 

Lumbar Disc Disorders
The lumbar spine is make up of 5 different bones, called vertebrae. In between each vertebra are the "shock absorbers" of the spine, called lumbar intervertebral discs.

The intervertebral discs are composed of two components, an outer ring of fibrous tissue called the annulus fibrosis and a thick gel like center called the nucleus pulposus.  The disc is connected to the vertebrae by ligaments on the front and back. The muscles of the trunk provide additional support.

With Lumbar Disc Disorders, the onset of pain can occur suddenly or gradually after an injury.
Unprepared heavy lifting, twisting, or straining activities or repetitive trauma can lead to pain.

Pain is usually characterized by a sharp, shooting, or electrical pain that may be aggravated with movement, changing positions, sneezing, coughing, or prolonged sitting and standing. The pain is usually relieved with rest and a recumbent position.

Conservative care should be your first course of treatment to manage low back pain, including lumbar disc conditions.  Your individual treatment will depend upon your clinical presentation, your age, overall health and tolerance to therapies. 

With disc herniations, the early days of care will focus on reducing leg pain if present, decreasing inflammation and preventing neurological loss by reducing pressure on the nerve root & reducing the disc herniation.  Chiropractic mobilization/manipulation and soft tissue therapy may be performed as tolerated. 


Lumbar Sprain/Strain
Lumbar sprain and strains are common injuries that can contribute to low back pain.

strain is an injury to a muscle.  A sprain is an injury to a ligament.

Both have similar pain and symptom patterns.  When injured, they can lead to movement compensations and dysfunction.  Pain with these conditions often occurs with walking, sitting, exercising and during sleep. 

Main causes:

  • Overexertion 
  • Repetitive movements
  • Falls
  • Heavy lifting when not prepared.  Ever help someone move & have a sore back the next day?
Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome is a common condition that frequently occurs in the neck (cervical spine) or low back (lumbar spine).  Facet joints are located in the back of the spine and allow for rotational movements. Pain is often increased with extension movements such as transitioning from sitting to standing or standing up from a bent over position. 

Main causes:

  • Overuse (sports or labor)
  • Whiplash/motor vehicle accident
  • Sitting for long periods of time

Treatment frequently includes: chiropractic manipulation/adjustment, core strengthening exercises, soft tissue therapy & lifestyle changes.

Lumbar Stenosis
Lumbar stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar vertebrae (low back).

This narrowing can cause compression of the spinal cord, which can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, weakness which can radiate down the leg.  

Main causes:

  • Degeneration of the lumbar spine
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tumor

Degeneration of the spinal column is a normal change that occurs with aging.  It may or may not result in lumbar stenosis. 

Life happens outside of our office
Home care for low back pain will consist of pain relieving exercises and lumbar stabilization exercises.

We will educate you on ways to protect your low back, positions to avoid while healing and how to manage activity. 

In most cases, bed rest will not be recommended.  The sooner you are up and moving, the better the prognosis.  

After the pain and inflammation has decreased, we will continue working on lumbar stabilization & core strength.  Your home care will emphasize the progression of your exercises. 

If your concern is not responding to conservative treatment, or in cases of severe neurological loss, a referral for a surgical consultation will be recommended. 

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