Back Pain, Sciatica, Disc Injuries
95% of back pain is mechanical in origin and can be treated by a Chiropractor. The Royal College of General Practitioners recommend manipulative treatment within the first six weeks for patients with low back pain. They also state that the risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands.
Almost everyone gets back pain at some time. A survey carried out by the BCA in 2004 found that at any one time, 33% of the population are suffering with back pain and up to 80% of the adult population will suffer significant back pain at some time in their life.
Between each pair of spinal bones is a disc. Its fibrous outer ring holds in a jelly-like material. This soft centre serves as a shock absorber for the spine. Because of the way a disc attaches to the spinal bones above and below it, it can’t actually slip. However, a disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate and impinge on an adjacent nerve (sciatica). It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can’t slip.
Repeating daily activities such as bending, lifting and twisting may cause your back problems. You will be advised on ways to tackle these everyday movements, as well as being able to help you if you have an injury due to a car accident, fall, sporting injury or lifting heavy weights.
Poor posture may also lead to back pain. Your chiropractor may advise you to make postural changes if you, for example, spend long periods of time sitting at a desk or computer, watching TV or driving.
Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination (which may include an X-ray referral) and take a thorough history before advising an appropriate treatment programme for you. Treatment consists of specific adjustments done by hand to free stiff joints and reduce spinal nerve irritation. He may also recommend ice, heat or massage treatment amongst other things. He will also support the treatment they offer with individual advice about the patient’s lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.