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Low Back Pain

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Dr. Smith safely and effectively treats all types of Low Back Pain in Noe Valley at his San Francisco office through a combination of stretching, strengthening, chiropractic adjustments, massage, and reiki. 

Low back pain Noe Valley

Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down, never stay awake when you can be asleep.

~an old army aphorism

The Importance of the Low Back

The low back, or lumbar area, serves a number of important functions for the human body.  These functions include structural support, movement, and protection of the abdominal organs.

When we stand, the lower back is functioning to support the weight of the upper body.  When we bend, extend, or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement.  Injury to the structures important for weight bearing, such as the bony spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often is quite painful and limiting to mobility.

How We Develop Low Back Pain

There are many potential causes of low back pain.  Depending on the specific etiology of your pain, Dr. Smith will craft a targeted treatment appropriate for you.

Common Causes:
  • Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain
  • Disc Injury of Aggravation
  • Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation
  • Facet Joint Irritation
  • Hip Flexor Contraction
Many of our everyday activities can contribute to low back pain.  Sitting at a computer for too many hours, improper lifting, and carrying excess weight are but a few.  Sometimes our core is weak. Sometimes pregnancy injures the abdominal muscles.  Depending on the specific cause of your low back pain, the treatment needs to be specific to that cause.
 

Treatment of Low Back Pain in Noe Valley

Low back pain relief can be elusive, and it helps to know all your options.  Whether it was brought on by arthritis, a structural or nerve problem, bending the wrong way, or lifting something a little too heavy, low back pain is frustrating.

Dr. Smith understands this and does his best to educate you while he treats your pain.  His goal is to empower you to effectively manage your pain at home.  He incorporates core strengthening, stretching, deep tissue massage, chiropractic adjustments, and electrical modalities into his treatments.  Expect to leave with homework!

When it comes to low back pain, there is no one size fits all treatment.  That being said:

  • Core strengthening is almost always helpful
  • Improving workplace ergonomics can provide a lot of needed relief
  • Wearing supportive shoes can reduce stress on the hips and low back
  • Regular stretching is often helpful
  • If your problem is acute, use ice rather than heat.  Let’s not make it worse.

Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain

A chiropractic approach to treating low back pain is to find the source of the back pain and correct it, not just treat the symptom; this ensures that the body can heal naturally. Low back pain often responds dramatically to the correction of vertebrae positioning and the restoration of normal motion.

Chiropractors use spinal manipulations or adjustments to precisely apply a directed force to the vertebrae that is out of position. Gradually, these adjustments help restore normal range of motion, position and function of the joint.  The doctor may either use their hands or specialized tools to apply a quick thrust or slower pressure to the misaligned joint.

A common cause of low back pain can be problems with the disc, the fibrous cushion between each vertebra. A bulging or ruptured disc can irritate nerves that travel from the spinal cord.  Leg pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs may all be a result of disc irritation. Low back problems are more common in people who are in poor physical condition and those with jobs that include heavy lifting, long periods of sitting, standing or lots of bending. Emotional stress or long periods of inactivity may intensify symptoms or trigger the appearance of previous problems.

Additionally, your chiropractor may suggest adding exercises, hot or cold compresses, or massage to compliment your adjustments. It may also be helpful to consider some lifestyle changes such as healthier eating and stress reduction techniques.

It is important to have back pain treated within the first month of the onset of the pain.  Waiting until the pain is unbearable or immobilizing is not only unhealthy but may end up costing more time, stress, and money in the long run. There is no reason to suffer longer than you must, and chiropractic care at Sports Chiropractic & Massage | San Francisco can help get you back to a pain free life!