Lower Back Pain
Do you have low back pain? Is it affecting your sleep? Is it making it more difficult to work or play with your kids? These issues can be solved, we are here to help. The most common causes of low back pain are the following: The discs of the low back spine, the joints of the low back spine, and the soft tissues.
SPINAL DISCS – The spinal discs, also known as intervertebral discs, are a common cause of low back pain. Intervertebral discs are what separate the bones (vertebrae) of the low back and act as shock absorbers. Typically the spinal discs lose most of their blood supply in our early twenties. After this happens, it is essential to have normal movement of the spine in order to hydrate and bring nutrition to the discs. Life stresses such as sitting at a computer all day, slips, falls, car crashes, and exercise/sports injuries can cause abnormal motion problems in the spine. When bones of the sine lose their normal motion for long periods of time, spinal discs start to dehydrate and degenerate. As a disc dehydrates and degenerates, it becomes weaker and easier to injure. Most of the time patients report some simple activity like bending over is what caused their injury. When a spinal disc is injured, it can bulge and/or herniate. These can put direct pressure on the spinal nerves and/or the spinal cord. The resulting pressure on the nerves can cause low back pain, buttocks pain, hip pain, groin pain, leg pain, foot pain, as well as numbness and tingling, and even loss of strength. Disc injuries are very painful and it is critical that conservative care be started as soon as possible in order to bring about proper healing of these injuries. When these injuries are not dealt with properly, there is a high rate of reoccurrence.
JOINTS OF THE SPINE – The joints of the spine, also known as spinal facet joints, are another source of low back pain. Facet joint pain can be caused from injuries, joint motion problems, and arthritis. Injuries to the facet joints can occur from life stresses such as sitting at a computer all day, slips, falls, exercise/sports injuries, and car crashes. Facet joints also develop motion problems due to repetitive stress, prolonged bad posture, trauma, and wear and tear. Arthritis of the facet joints, also known as osteoarthritis, spondylosis, and degenerative joint disease, can form when there is abnormal motion of the facet joint. Once the facet joints gets “locked up” or subluxated, they no longer move in their full range of motion and start the degenerative process. The problem is, the more you exercise a dysfunctional joint, the faster it will break down and degenerate. Arthritis/ degenerative joint disease is the result of a long standing problem with the spine that has never been corrected. If normal motion and alignment are not restored to the spine, then it will continue to degenerate and become more arthritic and more painful. Facet joint injuries irritate nerves and can cause low back pain, buttocks pain, and thigh pain. It is critical that facet joint problems be addressed as soon as possible. When ignored or allowed to continue, they lead to advanced arthritis and degeneration.
Soft tissues of the neck include muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Muscle spasms are most commonly involved and almost always accompany injury and dysfunction of the facet joints as well as disc injuries. Scar tissue can form in the soft tissues after trauma and injury. Your body throws down scar tissue to “stabilize” and injured area which is okay in the short term. But the long term consequences of scar tissue are not good. Scar tissue is weak, non-elastic, and doesn’t allow as much blood flow through it compared to normal tissue. If you want your muscles to be strong with nice elastic flexibility, it is essential to get the scar tissue worked out of the soft tissues.
How we can help – Dr. Espinoza has almost two decades of experience at examining, diagnosing, and helping people get rid of their low back pain. A thorough examination is performed to determine the exact cause of your low back pain. Then, we retrain and restore normal motion back to the injured area, stopping any degeneration of the spine and discs, and getting scar tissue out of the soft tissues. Last we strengthen your muscles and teach you how to keep the low back pain from coming back. If you want to get rid of your low back pain so you can sleep better and get more fork done or just play with your kids again, call us. The solution is here.