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Up to eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. In fact, it is estimated that low back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year and more than 10% of all people experience frequent bouts of lower back pain.
The susceptibility of the low back to injury and pain is due to the combination of modern lifestyle activities which de-condition and weaken the spine and that the low back, like the neck, is a relatively flexible part of the spine; unlike the thoracic spine, which is supported and stabilised by the rib cage. This flexibility allows us to have a great deal of mobility to touch our toes, tie our shoes or pick something up from the ground, but with modern lifestyle activities causing weakness of the low back it is put at an increased risk of injury due to its innate flexibility.
As long as the low back is healthy and functioning correctly, it can withstand tremendous forces without injury. Professional powerlifters can pick up several hundred pounds off the floor without injuring their low back. However, if the low back is out of alignment or has weakened supporting muscles, something as simple as lifting a bag of shopping out of the boot of your car, picking something up off the floor, or even simply bending down to pet the cat can cause a low back injury.
Until recently, researchers believed that back pain would heal on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. Recent studies showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily, but will most likely return often getting progressively worse with each episode. It is important to take low back pain seriously and seek professional care. This is especially true with pain that recurs over and over again. At the Atlas Wellness Centre in Bedford we have many experts that specialise in spinal care. Our team is made up of one former doctor of chiropractic who has gone on to specialise in advanced techniques to rehabilitate the spinal abnormalities/injuries and nerve damage that are the cause of low back pain. We also have two chiropractors and one spinal/sports therapist, all of whom work as a team to reverse the root cause of your low back pain. If you suffer with back problems contact our centre today, we can help!
There are many different conditions that can result in low back pain, including: sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, trigger points and inflamed joints. While sports injuries or accidents can lead to injury and pain, sometimes even the simplest movements, like picking up a pencil from the floor, can have painful results. In addition, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, psychological stress and even kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss can lead to pain.
Due to the fact that there are a lot of things that can cause low back pain, and some of those things can be quite serious if left untreated, it is important to seek professional help. Our experts specialise in diagnosing the cause and determining the proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes we see:
Whenever there is a disruption in the normal movement or position of the vertebrae, the result is pain and inflammation. In the lumbar spine, these usually occur at the transition between the lower spine and the sacrum. Subluxations can lead to debilitating low back pain. Fortunately, subluxations are easily treatable and often times a significant reduction in pain is experienced almost immediately after treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, a herniated disc does not automatically mean that you are going to suffer from low back pain. In fact, one study found that almost half of all adults had at least one bulging or herniated disc, even though they did not suffer any back pain from it. On the other hand, herniated discs can be a source of intense and debilitating pain that frequently radiates to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, once a disc herniates, they rarely, if ever, completely heal on their own. Further deterioration can often be avoided through regular non-invasive and re-constructive spinal care, a complete recovery is difficult to achieve but possible with the right type of intervention.
This is commonly the source of low back pain among the weekend warriors. You know, the type who have very little physical activity during the week, but once the weekend arrives, they push themselves hard! By the end of the weekend, they are lying flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get some help. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight.
Whenever you become stressed, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure and heart rate, flooding your body with stress hormones and tightening up your muscles. When you are stressed all the time, the chronic tension causes your muscles to become sore, weak and loaded with trigger points. If you are stressed out all of the time and you have low back pain, it is important to do some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, as well as to get regular exercise.
Re-constructive spinal care for low back pain is usually pretty straightforward. Most commonly, it's simply a matter of adjusting the lower lumbar vertebrae and pelvis to re-establish normal motion and position of your bones and joints.
Re-constructive spinal care for the low back has been repeatedly shown to be the most effective treatment for low back pain. In fact, major studies have shown that this type of care is more effective, cheaper and has better long-term outcomes than any other treatment. This makes sense because re-constructive spinal care is the only method of treatment that serves to re-establish normal vertebral motion and position in the spine. All other treatments, such as muscle relaxants, pain killers and bed rest, only serve to decrease the symptoms of the problem and do not correct the problem itself.
Program of Care Derived from Pain Data Reported in RCTs on Low Back Pain. John K. Maltby, et. al. J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. February 14, 2009.
CHIROPRACTIC MANAGEMENT OF LOW BACK PAIN AND LOW BACK-RELATED LEG COMPLAINTS: A LITERATURE SYNTHESIS. Dana J. Lawrence, DC, et. al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics November/December 2008.
CHIROPRACTIC MANAGEMENT OF LOW BACK DISORDERS: REPORT FROM A CONSENSUS PROCESS. Gary A. Globe, MBA, DC, PhD, Craig E. Morris, DC, Wayne M. Whalen, DC, Ronald J. Farabaugh, DC, and Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics November/December 2008.
CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT OF PREGNANCY-RELATED LOW BACK PAIN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE. Kent J. Stuber, DC, MSc, and Dean L. Smith, DC, PhD. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics July/August 2008.
A PILOT MIXED METHODS STUDY OF PATIENT SATISFACTION WITH CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR BACK PAIN. Robert M. Rowell, DC, MS, and Judith Polipnick, DC, PhD. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 31, Number 8, 2008.
Effects of Biofreeze and chiropractic adjustments on acute low back pain: a pilot study. John Zhang MD, PhD, Dennis Enix DC, Brian Snyder DC, Kristan Giggey DC, Rodger Tepe PhD. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2008) 7, 59-65.
EFFICACY OF TREATING LOW BACK PAIN AND DYSFUNCTION SECONDARY TO OSTEOARTHRITIS: CHIROPRACTIC CARE COMPARED WITH MOIST HEAT ALONE. Kathleen L. Beyerman, RN, EdD, Mark B. Palmerino, PhD, Lee E. Zohn, DC, Gary M. Kane, DC, and Kathy A. Foster, BS. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 29, Number 2, 2006.
Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. Valter Santilli, MD, Ettore Beghi, MD, Stefano Finucci, MD. The Spine Journal 6 (2006) 131-137.
Chiropractic management of chronic low back pain: A report of positive outcomes with patient compliance. Kenneth W. Schenk, DC, DACRB. JOURNAL OF CHIROPRACTIC MEDICINE WINTER 2005, Number 1, Volume 4.
COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDICAL AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR ACUTE AND CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN. Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, Rajiv Sharma, PhD, and Miron Stano, PhD. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics October 2005.
EFFECTS OF A MANAGED CHIROPRACTIC BENEFIT ON THE USE OF SPECIFIC DIAGNOSTIC AND THERAPEUTIC PROCEDURES IN THE TREATMENT OF LOW BACK AND NECK PAIN. Craig F. Nelson, DC, MS, R. Douglas Metz, DC, and Thomas LaBrot, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 28, Number 8, 2005.
THE NORDIC BACK PAIN SUBPOPULATION PROGRAM: A 1-YEAR PROSPECTIVE MULTICENTER STUDY OF OUTCOMES OF PERSISTENT LOW-BACK PAIN IN CHIROPRACTIC PATIENTS. Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde, DC, MPH, PhD, et. al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 28, Number 2, 2005.
Dose-response for chiropractic care of chronic low back pain. Mitchell Haas, DC, Elyse Groupp, PhD, Dale F. Kraemer, PhD. The Spine Journal 4 (2004) 574-583.
A RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIAL COMPARING CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS TO MUSCLE RELAXANTS FOR SUBACUTE LOW BACK PAIN. Kathryn T. Hoiriis, DC, et. al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 27, Number 6, 2004.
A PRACTICE-BASED STUDY OF PATIENTS WITH ACUTE AND CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN ATTENDING PRIMARY CARE AND CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIANS: TWO-WEEK TO 48-MONTH FOLLOW-UP. Mitchell Haas, DC, Bruce Goldberg, MD, Mikel Aickin, PhD, Bonnie Ganger, and Michael Attwooda Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 27, Number 3, 2004.
Pain, Disability, and Satisfation Outcomes and Predictors of Outcomes: A Practice-based Study of Chronic Low Back Pain Patients Attending Primary Care and Chiropractic Physicians. Joanne Nyiendo, PhD, Mitchell Haas, DC, Bruce Goldberg, MD, and Gary Sexton, PhD. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 24 • Number 7 • September 2001.
Chiropractic management of mechanical neck and low-back pain: a retrospective, outcome-based analysis. McMorland G, Suter E. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Jun;23(5):307-11.
Randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient management for low back pain: results from extended follow up. T W Meade, et. al. BMJ 1995;311:349-351 (5 August).
Randomised clinical trial of manipulative therapy and physiotherapy for persistent back and neck complaints: results of one year follow up. Koes B.W., et. al. BMJ. 1992 Mar 7;304(6827):601-5.
Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment. Meade T.W., et. al. BMJ. 1990 Jun 2;300(6737):1431-7.
Improvement in a Soldier with Urinary Urgency and Low Back Pain Undergoing Chiropractic Care: A Case Study and Selective Review of the Literature. Curtis Fedorchuk D.C. & Claire Campbell B.S. J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. April 28, 2010.
Resolution of low back and radicular pain in a 40-year-old male United States Navy Petty Officer after collaborative medical and chiropractic care. Gregory R. Lillie DC, MS. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2010) 9, 17-21.
FUNCTIONAL SCORES AND SUBJECTIVE RESPONSES OF INJURED WORKERS WITH BACK OR NECK PAIN TREATED WITH CHIROPRACTIC CARE IN AN INTEGRATIVE PROGRAM: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF 100 CASES. Donald Aspegren, DC, et. al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics November/December 2009.
Chiropractic management of mechanical low back pain secondary to multiple-level lumbar spondylolysis with spondylolisthesis in a United States Marine Corps veteran: a case report. Andrew S. Dunn DC, ME, MS, Shayne Baylisc, Danielle Ryanc. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2009) 8, 125-130.
Chiropractic Care for a Patient With Subluxation & Unsuccessful Surgery of the Lumbar Spine. Patrick D. Layton, Jr., B.S. J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. January 10, 2009.
Resolution of Chronic Back, Leg and Ankle Pain Following Chiropractic Intervention and the Use of Orthotics. Robert B. Mattson, D.C. J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. March 20, 2008.
Chiropractic management of a 47-year-old firefighter with lumbar disk extrusion. Matthew J. Schwab DC, DAASP. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2008) 7, 146-154.
The Chiropractic Care of a Gravid Patient with a History of Multiple Caesarean Births & Sacral Subluxation. Joel Alcantara, BSc, and Ingrid Hamel, DC. J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. March 11, 2008.
Relief of depressive symptoms in an elderly patient with low back pain. Robert M. Rowell, Dana J. Lawrence, Cheryl Hawk. Clinical Chiropractic (2006) 9, 34-38.
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain of Pregnancy: A Retrospective Case Series Anthony J. Lisi, DC Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health Volume 51, No. 1, January/February 2006.
Treatment of chronic low back pain incorporating active patient participation and chiropractic: a retrospective case report. Larry Legier, DC JOURNAL OF CHIROPRACTIC MEDICINE WINTER 2005, Number 4, Volume 4.
CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT OF LUMBAR SPINE SYNOVIAL CYSTS: A REPORT OF TWO CASES. James M. Cox, DC, and James M. Cox II, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics February 2005.
CHIROPRACTIC MAINTENANCE CARE AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF A PATIENT PRESENTING WITH CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN. Adrian B. Wenban, BApp Sc, Mmed Sc, and Michelle K. Nielsen, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 28, Number 2, 2005.
CHIROPRACTIC MANAGEMENT OF PATIENTS WITH BILATERAL CONGENITAL HIP DISLOCATION WITH CHRONIC LOW BACK AND LEG PAIN. Francisco Dýez, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 27, Number 4, 2004.
MANAGEMENT OF A CHRONIC LUMBAR DISK HERNIATION WITH CHIROPRACTIC BIOPHYSICS METHODS AFTER FAILED CHIROPRACTIC MANIPULATIVE INTERVENTION. Phillip Paulk, DC, and Deed E. Harrison, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics November/December 2004.
CHIROPRACTIC CARE OF A PATIENT WITH LOW BACK PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH SUBLUXATIONS AND A MALGAIGNE-TYPE PELVIC FRACTURE. Joel Alcantara, DC, Gregory Plaugher, DC, Richard Elbert, DC, and Bryan Gatterman, DC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 27, Number 5, 2004.
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" ... it's just amazing!"
Malcolm & Pat Pete
Atlas Wellness Centre (Atlas): Can you tell me your names, please?
Malcolm: Yes, Malcolm James Pete.
Pat: Pat Pete.
Atlas: And what made you want to come and see us in the first place.
Malcolm: Well, I’ve been suffering with severe pain in lower back and legs for two, three years really. I had several hip operations which supposedly were designed to cure the problem. But they had absolutely no effect and I would say in desperation, I saw your advertisement in the local paper. It sounded very good. So I thought, “Let’s give this a try.”
Atlas: And how would you say that having the health problems affected your life before you came in?
Malcolm: It stopped me doing most things that I enjoy doing. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t go for walks. I couldn’t garden. Found it extremely difficult to do any jobs around the house and was virtually confined to a wheelchair.
Atlas: And how would you say things have changed since you started having the care here?
Malcolm: Since I’ve had the care, I’ve lost 95 percent of all the pain that I was suffering with. I rarely use the wheelchair now unless in fact I’m – got a lot of walking to do and I can rely on a walking frame and now I can get about comfortably with a walking frame. My only problem now is that it has been so long since I’ve walked that I’ve got to build up my stamina and balance before I can really try to walk without any support at all.
Atlas: And Pat, would you say you noticed changes with Malcolm?
Pat: Definitely. He’s not taking any painkillers now. He was on quite a lot of painkillers. Within about three weeks to a month, he had dispensed with all the painkillers. It’s so good for both of us. He’s much more independent. I don’t have to push him around in a wheelchair, so it has made a lot of difference to my life too. Yeah, it’s just amazing!
Atlas: Excellent. What would you say to someone who’s maybe a bit worried, a bit – about coming here for the first time?
Malcolm: I would tell them to come along without any concerns at all. I found the people – all of the people I’ve come in contact with to be very helpful. They explain what’s going to happen and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. But the benefits can be immense.