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 low back pain.

The susceptibility of the low back to injury and pain is due to the fact that the low back, like the neck, is a very unstable part of the spine. Unlike the thoracic spine, which is supported and stabilized by the rib cage. This instability allows us to have a great deal of mobility to touch our toes, tie our shoes, or pick something up from the ground, but at the cost of increased risk of injury.

Causes of Low Back Pain

There are many different conditions that can result in low back pain, including: sprained ligaments, strained muscles, budging / herniated 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 or brushing your teeth, can have painful results. In addition, conditions such as arthritis, poor posture, muscle imbalances, 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 whole 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. Here at Optimal Health Chiropractic and Physical Therapy we specialize in diagnosis and classifying your pain and providing proper treatment for low back pain. Here are some of the most common causes we see:

1) Joint Restrictions

Our doctors specialize and utilize a motion Palpation approach to adjusting the spine. Often times the individual joints in the spine can become restricted in different ranges of motion.  This restriction of one vertebrae often times causes another vertebra to compensate.  This joint compensation can lead to pain and inflammation.  Often times we find these restrictions in the transition areas of the spine.  Where our lumbar spine meets

our sacrum and where our thoracic spine meets our lumbar spine.   Joint restrictions are an easy fix through the use of diversified adjusting we can restore proper motion in your spine. 

2) Budging/ Herniated Disc

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. Disc issues are commonly treated by chiropractors.

Through proper classifications we can manage a disc through a couple different strategies.  Cox flexion/distraction technique helps to heal a disc through negative pressure allowing the disc to migrate back into its natural position.  Advanced training with MDT (McKenzie) technique also helps us prescribe correctional exercises to help maintain and prevent your disc from become worse.  Proper core exercises can also help manage prevent a disc from becoming worse

3) Sprains, Strains, and Spasms

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 way too much. By the end of the weekend, they are lying flat on their back counting down the hours before they can get in to see their chiropractor. Overworking the muscles or ligaments of the low back can lead to small tears in the tissues, which then become painful, swollen and tight.

4) Stress

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.

5) Posture Syndrome (Lower Crossed)

Lower crossed syndrome is a postural fault that almost everyone in today’s society falls into.  This problem is due to the sedentary lifestyles that we live in today.  We spend too much time sitting in our cars and sitting at work stuck behind a desk.  When this happens our muscles fall into different patterns that can eventually care pain.  Often times our hips and low back becomes tight and in comparison our core and glutes become weak.  Through the use of Post Isometric Relaxation and proper corrective exercises we can help prevent these muscle imbalances from occurring and help you live a pain free life. 


Here at Optimal Health Chiropractic and Physical Therapy we pride ourselves our advanced training that allows us to provide you with different treatments.  From adjustments, exercises, stretches, Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, and postural advice every one’s treatment plan is slightly different and developed just for you.