Lower Back Pain

Low Back Pain

If you're suffering from lower back pain you're not alone. More than 80% of North Americans will at some time in their life suffer from the disabling confines of lower back pain.

According to experts, lower back pain is the number one disability culprit in workers' compensation claims and accounts for more than $50 billion annually in the US through medical care and lost production. In addition, the latest research shows most lower back problems which cause low back pain do not fully resolve without extensive treatment and proper rehabilitation, contrary to previous beliefs.

The chiropractic doctor is unique in the health care field in that much of the training in chiropractic colleges is specifically aimed at identifying and successfully treating and managing lower back conditions. General medical practitioners generally lack adequate training in this area and have not learned the skills necessary to most effectively identify and treat most back conditions.

What causes Low Back Pain?

The first step to understanding the various causes of low back pain is learning about the normal design or anatomy of the tissues of this area. Important structures of the low back that can be related to symptoms there include the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.

The bony lumbar spine is designed so that vertebrae are position on top of each other and together provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is composed of nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain. Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prominence behind the spinal cord, which shields the cord's nervous tissue from impact trauma. Vertebrae also have a strong vertebral bony body in front of the spinal cord to provide a platform suitable for weight bearing of all tissues above the tail bone area. The lumbar vertebrae stack immediately atop the sacrum bone that is situated in between the buttocks. On each side, the sacrum meets the iliac bone of the pelvis to form the sacroiliac joint of the buttocks.

The discs are pads that serve as cushions between the individual vertebral bodies. They help to minimize the impact of stress forces on the spinal column. Each disc is designed with a central softer component and a surrounding outer ring. The central portion of the disc is capable of rupturing also known as herniating through the outer ring, causing irritation of adjacent nervous tissue and sciatica as described below.

Ligaments are strong fibrous soft tissues that firmly attach bones to bones. Ligaments attach each of the vertebrae to each other and surround each of the discs.

The nerves that provide sensation and stimulate the muscles of the low back as well as the lower body parts exit the lumbar spinal column through bony portals.

There are many muscle groups that are responsible for flexing, extending, and rotating the waist, as well as moving the lower extremities, attach to the lumbar spine through tendon insertions.

The aorta and blood vessels that transport blood to and from the lower extremities pass in front of the lumbar spine in the abdomen and pelvis. Surrounding these blood vessels are lymph nodes and tissues of the involuntary nervous system that are important in maintaining bladder and bowel control.

The uterus and ovaries are important pelvic structures in front of the pelvic area of women. The prostate gland is a significant pelvic structure in men. The kidneys are on either side of the back of the lower abdomen, in front of the lumbar spine.

The skin over the lumbar area is supplied by nerves that come from nerve roots that exit from the lumbar spine.

Chiropractor Dr. Michael Cohen of Cohen Chiropractic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida area are skilled professionals in dealing with bones, ligaments, muscles that out of alignment or damaged cause pain.