Why does my back hurt?

Traditionally, chiropractic treatment for lower back pain is thought of as manipulation of the spine. What we do here at Edwards Spine and Sport here in Wembley is far from traditional chiropractic.

One of the more common causes of lower back pain is an annular tear of the disc. It gives a deep pain that you can’t quite put your finger on and it hurts when you bend over. It is usually worse in the morning or when sitting for too long and eases after you get up and get moving. It’s also the type of problem that doesn’t seem to go away by itself, making it a big reason people present for treatment. So why does the disc, a structure that is designed to carry load, fail?

As with any structure in the human body it has to do with load and capacity. When the load on the disc exceeds its capacity damage will follow. This can be because you picked up something too heavy, like trying to get a trailer off the back of the car (personal story), or because of repeated poor movement patterns caused by adhesion in the muscles and ligaments of your spine.

The adhesion is the most under diagnosed yet easily treated conditions of the musculoskeletal system. An adhesion is that hard lump in muscle that doesn’t ever seem to go away with massage or stretching. It forms from overuse of the muscle, either through poor posture (most common) or training too much/hard. An adhesion will reduce the strength and flexibility of a muscle, so when you go to bend you can’t stabilize the joints in your body the way they need to be. This puts increased stress on the joint that the muscle is supposed to be controlling.

So if your lower back is loaded up with adhesions from sitting too much, the muscles of your spine can’t properly stretch out or contract. Then, when you bend or move your spine, you end up putting an increased amount of pressure on the disc. The weight goes from rolling over the disc to compressing it, much like what happens to a nut in a nut cracker.

Breaking down the adhesion with effective treatment is the only way to restore normal movement bio-mechanics and allow the disc and muscles to recover.

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