Low back (lumbopelvic) pain effects approximately 80-85% of the population at least once in their lifetime. Insignificant things that you may do throughout the day can cause low back pain. A wallet in a back pocket or crossing your legs will place stress on the lumbopelvic area after many years of doing these actions.
Many people experience low back pain from trauma such as a "slip and fall" or an automobile accident. The repetitive motion of twisting and turning produces pressure in the intervertebral discs (shock absorbers) of the lumbar spine.
The intervertebral disc has a gel inner layer called the nucleus pulposis and is covered by a collagen (connective tissue) layer called the annulus fibrosis. Sometimes when there is an increased stress on the disc, the gel layer will push the connective layer out of shape and bulge. Many refer to this as a slipped disc, but it is actually a protrusion. If the protrusion bulges into the spinal column it is a herniation. This will cause low back pain, which may travel into the leg or legs.
Sciatica, which is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, may cause low back pain.
The pain is usually one sided. It travels down the back of the thigh, knee, leg, and into the foot. Some experience a "pins and needles" sensation; others have an intense pain that shoots through the leg.
The majority of the population seeks medical help for a quick fix for pain relief. The medications that are prescribed help diminish the pain but do not treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction. The Doctor of Chiropractic looks for these causes.
The Chiropractor will perform an initial consultation and a detailed medical history. After the physical, orthopedic, and chiropractic examinations, radiographs of the area of chief complaint may be warranted for further diagnosis. Based on the findings the chiropractor gives a report of findings and a treatment plan, which will be discussed with the patient. Referrals to other practitioners are made if necessary.