Low Back Pain, Arthritis & Disc Degeneration
The spine, an incredible arrangement of bones, discs, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, is designed to be strong, protective and flexible. Most people take what their spine naturally does for granted—until something goes wrong.
An estimated 80% of the population will experience lower back pain. It is one of the leading causes of missed work, which costs the United States an estimated $25 billion annually.
Common Treatments for Low Back Pain
Standard treatment for lower back pain in the medical community may include rest, over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, spinal injections, and even surgery. However, a five-year study conducted by the United States Agency for Health Care Polity Research (AHCPR) found little evidence that these treatments are effective for acute back pain. This study also found that only 1% of the patients benefited from surgery for back pain. As a part of the “first-line” treatment, the AHCPR panel recommends spinal adjustments and exercise.
Low Back Pain & Trauma
While some pain sufferers recall specific injuries that caused their lower back pain, the majority do not. Many state that one day they just woke up in pain. Some say they felt the onset of back pain when they coughed or sneezed, while others recall they were involved in an everyday activity like putting on shoes or taking a shower when they experience terrible back pain. Movements like these should not injure a healthy back. When they do, it can be the first indication of a chronic, underlying weakness due to spinal imbalance.
Upper Cervical Care & Low Back Pain
Many treatments focus on the lower back when the actual cause of the problem may be in the upper spine. The upper neck can be a factor in the development of lower back pain for two reasons. First, the spine works and moves as one, continuous unit. The top two vertebrae, called the atlas and the axis, are the most mobile segments in the spine. These two bones move in six different directions, allowing the head to move up or down, bend side to side or turn left and right. The other vertebrae move primarily in two directions, making them stronger and more stable than the top two vertebrae.
Secondly, the upper cervical spine (neck) has thousands of “sensors” responsible for maintaining both the proper posture and alignment of the spine, as well as the balance and stability of the head. These sensors are constantly monitoring the head position, making the necessary changes throughout the lower spine to assure that the head remains upright.
When the spine is aligned, it is extremely strong and stable. However, due to their mobility, the top two segments are especially vulnerable to injury or misalignment. When a misalignment occurs at the top of the neck, the spine compensates or adapts in an attempt to protect the vital nervous system it houses. This triggers a chain reaction from the top to the bottom of the spine. When the head is thrown off balance, the lower spine is compromised, the pelvis is tilted, or one leg may be drawn up or shortened, resulting in an internal weakness and a spine that is imbalanced. This chain reaction makes the spinal muscles, bones, and discs more vulnerable to injury—an accident waiting to happen. If neglected, an upper cervical misalignment can lead to premature arthritis and irreversible spinal degeneration.
Can Upper Cervical Care Help with Your Low Back Pain?
For years, upper cervical chiropractors have been helping patients with low back pain. Most sufferers experience a phenomenal improvement in both the severity and frequency of their low back pain with upper cervical care. Most health insurance companies recognize the benefits of upper cervical care to patients and include it in their coverage plans.
If you are currently suffering from low back pain and would like to seek advice from one of our doctors, call the number on the back of this pamphlet or visit our website at www.UCCNT.com to locate an office near you. We will develop an upper cervical program specific to your needs. Call today!