Do you suffer from chronic low back pain? I want you to know that you’re not alone. Low back pain is one of the most prevalent conditions in society today, affecting millions of people around the world. It can be caused by a variety of factors, from poor posture habits and prolonged sitting to injuries and inflammation. Regardless of the cause, one thing is clear: low back pain has a profound negative impact on your daily life. Let’s explore the effects of untreated low back pain on your body (and even your mental and emotional health!) and why it’s crucial to seek non-invasive, non-toxic treatment quickly.
Living with low back pain becomes a nightmare for far too many people. In fact, studies show that up to 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Whether you’re an office worker who sits at a desk all day or an athlete who puts their body through rigorous training, you’re at risk of developing low back pain. It can affect your ability to work, exercise, and even perform simple daily tasks like getting dressed or tying your shoes. It’s not just the unbearable physical pain, but the emotional toll it takes. Living with chronic pain can lead to anxiety, depression, and a feeling of hopelessness. If you’re dealing with low back pain, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that effective treatment options are available to help you get your life back on track. Going down the road of drugs and surgeries does NOT have to be your reality.
Studies show that if your first point of contact is a medical provider, you have a 43% chance of ending up in spine surgery compared to only a 1.5% chance if you visit a Chiropractor first. Also, the risk of ending up on a dangerously addictive Opioid painkiller is reduced by up to 90%. 1, 2, 3
Many things can cause low back pain. Everything from muscles, ligaments, spinal joints, discs, and nerves play a role. The muscles and ligaments in your back provide support and stability, while your joints allow for movement and flexibility. Your discs act as shock absorbers, cushioning your spine and protecting it from damage. The nerves that exit the spine control literally all functions in your body, which is why we often see people suffer from other types of symptoms when they develop low back pain. When one of these components is damaged or injured, it can lead to pain and discomfort. If left untreated, low back pain can worsen over time, making it harder to manage and potentially leading to long-term damage and serious chronic health issues.
If you’re dealing with low back pain, seeking treatment quickly is vital to avoid further complications and the permanent negative effects it can have on your body and daily life. Chiropractic care has proven to be the safest and most effective option for treating low back pain. It addresses the root cause of the pain and promotes healing and recovery. By taking action now, you can improve your quality of life and get back to doing the things you love without the burden of chronic pain holding you back.
How Our Low Back Pain Care Plan Works
Stop masking the symptoms and get to the root cause of the low back pain
1. Be Truly Heard
Far too many people have told us that they felt like their doctor was not listening, and rushed off after filling yet another prescription, ignoring the true cause of their issue. Let’s change that so you can finally be heard.
2. Take The First Step
“We don’t guess…we test.” The first step is finding the cause of your low back pain. Our state-of-the-art facility allows us to gather the evidence to support the diagnoses and clinical decisions that help you get better, faster.
3. Be More.
We create a customized care plan based on five key areas of health to address the root cause of your low back pain getting you back to the best version of YOU, faster. Get healthy, stay healthy. Be more, do more. That’s what TRUE healthcare looks like.
How We Treat Low Back Pain In Grand Rapids, MI
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
At our chiropractic clinic in Grand Rapids, MI, we take a comprehensive approach to treating lower back pain. Our goal is to get to the root cause of the problem and provide our patients with a plan for lasting relief. Too many are suffering unnecessarily and heading towards dangerous drugs and surgery as the only options given to them once back pain starts showing up!! Low back pain initially doesn’t feel like a big deal…but it’s life-altering if you don’t get it under control quickly. It’s the #1 cause of disability and physical suffering in the world, with Americans alone spending at least $50 Billion on this one condition! Here’s how we help you prevent the downward spiral of back pain from progressing, no matter how far down the road you already are:
1st visit: Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
The first time we meet, we’ll start with a thorough consultation and exam to understand your medical history, lifestyle, and other factors that may be causing and contributing to your low back pain. It can be scary to lose the ability to do simple daily tasks like getting dressed comfortably or playing with your kids. This can easily lead to stress and anxiety. We want you to know that we’re listening and are here to help answer any questions or concerns you might have.
The doctor and techs will also perform a variety of exams and tests to evaluate the health of your spine and nervous system, including chiropractic, functional, orthopedic, and neurological exams. Your testing day may also include digital X-rays if necessary. These tests help us get to the root cause of your problem, which is essential. The system-wide problem that persists in healthcare is that it is mainly set up to mask your symptoms temporarily using only drugs and surgery. These methods are life-saving in emergencies but fail to fix the cause of your problem and can lead to more harm than good outside of those rare emergency situations.
2nd Visit: Your First Treatment and Follow-Up Tests
After that 1st day of testing, we will take time to analyze your results to find the root cause of your low back pain and get you scheduled for your 2nd day of testing, which includes your first chiropractic adjustment. Usually, we can bring you back as soon as the next morning. We don’t typically perform that service on the first visit because we don’t guess with anybody’s health. This is also why we will verify the results of that first adjustment and seek to gain more insight into the cause of your low back pain using specific neuromuscular stress tests. We will be able to see the changes, or sometimes even more importantly, the resistance to postural changes, immediately on digital X-ray. This level of objective testing helps us develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. One of the major pitfalls with chiropractic clinics is that most are not yet utilizing these technologies to properly assess your issue(s) and create a proper plan of action that goes beyond temporary symptom relief. Our goal is to not only to relieve your symptoms but to address the underlying issues that are causing your pain so that your body can get back to doing what it does best…heal.
In addition to our comprehensive approach to treatment, we provide our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to treat and manage their lower back pain at home. As part of this effort, we’ve created a video demonstrating three tests you can do to determine what is causing your low back pain. This video can help you better understand your condition and make informed decisions about your care.
If you’re dealing with low back pain, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward lasting relief.
Specific Chiropractic Care in Grand Rapids, MI
Subluxation…the silent killer
As chiropractors, we primarily deal with something called vertebral subluxation. This simply means that the joints are not completely dislocated but misaligned. This may not sound serious, but subluxation/misalignments of the spinal joints create inflammation in and around the joints affected.
This inflamed, stuck joint that is no longer moving properly negatively impacts the spinal cord and nerve roots inside those spinal joints. The pressure from inflammation (swelling) can easily compress and pinch the nerves. Some of those nerves go to the muscles of the low back, the hips, and even down into the legs, creating debilitating spasms and other painful low back pain symptoms.
Our concerns are that those symptoms are only warning signs of more serious issues, since those very same nerves that control the muscles also branch off to the front of your body and control organs and tissues like your digestive tract, your colon, your sex organs, your bladder, etc.…you get the idea. If you leave the problem there (the low back pain) and simply treat the symptoms with temporary bandaids like pain pills and injections, you are setting yourself up for serious degenerative changes (decay and arthritic joints with bulging discs) and even organ dysfunction that may lead to serious health issues related to the “simple” back pain. Wherever those spinal nerves go will struggle. It’s a very black-and-white, simple concept that modern health care fails to address…a bad spine = bad organs = bad health. Nobody is talking about the fact that the pinched nerves that go to your sore back muscles are the same ones that travel to your bladder and are possibly responsible for causing (or at least significantly contributing to) your incontinence issue…or your irritated bowels…your erectile dysfunction etc. (Name the pinched nerve, and we can name the health problem associated with that poor nerve supply!)
This is why we have seen thousands of people who not only overcame their low back pain but reported other health issues resolved without diagnosing nor treating a single symptom! Chiropractors do not diagnose or treat disease, but if we can find the cause of your problem and remove the interference…then your body’s self-healing ability gets restored on its own.
What causes subluxation?
Everything from trips and falls, old sports injuries, and bad sleeping positions can misalign your spine. And now, with modern technologies in our hands most of the day, we are sitting and holding poor postures longer than ever before, accelerating the damage to our spines and nervous system. Studies show that even an 8 mph fender bender can cause ligament damage to the spinal joints that must be properly aligned to protect your spinal cord! When you had your last car accident…did you remember to call your chiropractor? The trampoline fall at four years old or the old accidents and injuries you had 20 years ago may be the reason you find yourself in pain and unhealthy today! Stop masking the symptoms, and seek to find the cause instead! Call us today to come in for a complete evaluation.
How do we fix subluxation?
Before we can fix anything, we must find out if you have subluxation. Our state-of-the-art facility and experienced team will utilize everything from a thorough physical exam to sEMG (surface electromyography) neuromuscular scans and digital X-rays to identify the exact nature of your pain. We certainly don’t want to guess with any aspect of your health. “To see is to know” as they say, so once we can identify the problem, we will test the areas in question for stability and get you your first corrective chiropractic adjustment to see how you respond. After we see the results, you will be given a full report of the findings and outcomes and then begin on your corrective journey with a specific plan of action that may include chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, neuromuscular rehab exercises, and natural anti-inflammatory protocols to speed up your results.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
This isn’t your average physical therapy! It’s far more effective. Also known as neuromuscular reeducation, these adjunct therapies and exercises really separate us from all other Chiropractic and Physical Therapy clinics in the area. We are a spinal correction facility known for our results, and we achieve this for you naturally with no drugs or surgery involved.
As part of your care, you will be prescribed a set of exercises for neuromuscular rehab to do before and after your chiropractic treatments in the clinic, as well as customized home exercises to perform. These will all be individualized and based on the results of your exam and X-rays, putting you on a specific and rapid path to recovery.
A single chiropractic adjustment can have powerful effects on your symptoms. However, we must also address the muscle imbalances and weaknesses caused by years of poor posture and old injuries. If we don’t, you won’t hold your adjustments for long, and the problems will worsen over time, despite occasional symptom-relieving adjustments.
Legacy Family Chiropractic’s Spinal Decompression Therapy
Are you tired of living with chronic low back pain? Look no further than our cutting-edge Spinal Decompression therapy in Grand Rapids, MI. Our expert team is dedicated to helping you find relief and regain control of your life.
The discs in your spine play a vital role in supporting and cushioning your vertebrae. When a disc becomes compressed or degenerated, it can lead to excruciating pain and limited mobility. Our specialized Spinal Decompression therapy focuses on precisely targeting and addressing these problem discs, providing long-lasting relief.
How does spinal decompression work?
Using state-of-the-art technology, our non-surgical decompression system gently applies traction to your spine, creating negative pressure within the affected discs. This negative pressure acts as a suction-like force that helps to pull back and reposition the material in the bulging or herniated discs, relieving pressure on surrounding nerves and reducing inflammation. It also reduces pressure inside the disc, allowing for healing nutrients and other helpful substances to flow into the disc. Restoring proper disc alignment helps facilitate the body’s natural healing process.
But that’s not all! We believe in a comprehensive approach to spinal health. This helps you achieve predictable results that help you get back to the things YOU care about. Our Spinal Decompression therapy is combined with chiropractic adjustments, anti-inflammatory lifestyle recommendations, and personalized exercise plans. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper spinal alignment, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of decompression therapy. Additionally, our expert team will guide you through targeted exercises that strengthen the supporting muscles around your spine, promoting long-term stability and preventing future issues…most importantly spinal surgeries!
At our Grand Rapids Spinal Decompression center, we understand the debilitating effects of back pain on your quality of life. Our goal is to provide you with a tailored treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your pain, allowing you to regain your freedom and live pain-free. Don’t let low back pain and neuropathy hold you back any longer – contact us today to schedule your consultation!
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Common Causes of Low Back Pain in Grand Rapids, MI
Bulged Lumbar Discs
Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. Over time, they can wear down and lose moisture, leading to dehydration. As a result, the fibers within the discs may start to tear, causing the jelly-like nucleus to bulge out. This condition can cause low back pain, which may even radiate down the leg. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seeking professional help to address the underlying issue is crucial.
Herniated Lumbar Discs
Herniated discs are closely related to bulged discs. When the fibers tear further, the nucleus can break through the disc’s exterior. This occurrence leads to more intense leg pain, which may extend to the feet. It’s worth noting that the body’s natural healing process, called phagocytosis, may attempt to heal the injured disc. However, if the pain persists, surgery may be necessary. That’s why early intervention is vital in preventing further complications.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related arthritic condition characterized by the breakdown of discs in the spine. Obesity, smoking, and physically demanding occupations can contribute to this condition. As the discs shrink, the space for the nerves decreases, which can result in pinched nerves and subsequent pain. While the disease cannot be reversed, there are effective ways to slow down its progression and improve symptoms. Consider seeking chiropractic care, spinal rehabilitation, and adopting a low-inflammatory lifestyle for significant improvements.
Spinal stenosis occurs when there is pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves exiting the spine. Activities like standing or walking can worsen the pain, while rest, sitting down, or bending forward can provide relief. This condition can cause pain, weakness, numbness, and even affect organ function, such as the bladder and bowels. As the nerves exiting the spine control various bodily functions, it is essential to address spinal stenosis promptly to prevent further complications.
Muscle strain is a common cause of low back pain that shows up as a dull, achy sensation, intensifying with movement. It is often localized to the lower back. Strains can be caused by sudden activity, repetitive motion, poor posture, or weak core muscles. While muscle strains typically resolve on their own within 2-3 weeks, it is advisable to seek early treatment to prevent potential complications and speed up recovery. Moreover, it is essential to consider that muscle strain could be a symptom of an underlying condition that requires further evaluation. Don’t delay, call us today!
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is where the sacrum meets the pelvis, absorbing shock between the upper body and the pelvis/legs. Approximately 5-30% of low back pain cases are attributed to SI joint pain. Causes of SI joint dysfunction include leg length discrepancy (a short leg), pregnancy (because of hormones that cause ligaments to relax and expand), and repeated stress on the joints. Both hypomobility (limited movement) and hypermobility (too much movement) can contribute to SI joint pain. Seeking chiropractic care is crucial to accurately diagnose and treat this condition before it worsens and becomes permanent.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
Facet joints are located where the back of the vertebrae meet. They can get stuck and, over time, the cartilage inside these joints can break down and become inflamed, leading to pain. Activities like back extension and standing for long periods can exacerbate facet joint dysfunction. If you are experiencing pain in this area, seeking a chiropractic evaluation and treatment can help alleviate the symptoms, prevent further damage and more serious issues, and improve your overall health.
Vertebral subluxation is a condition that chiropractors specialize in detecting and treating. It refers to the dysfunction in the spine, which can cause inflammation and pressure on the nerves. Specific chiropractic adjustments are the recommended solution to address vertebral subluxations. Chiropractic care can alleviate low back pain and improve overall well-being by restoring proper alignment and function to the spine.
If you are experiencing low back pain in Grand Rapids, MI, our team of experts is here to help. We offer specialized care tailored to your specific needs, addressing the underlying causes of your pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards a pain-free life.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I be worried about lower back pain?
Generally, right away! Symptoms of low back pain can be a warning sign of a deeper issue happening inside that can have long-lasting consequences on your health. Back pain is mostly never JUST back pain, even when it comes and goes. Remember that your body has a very intelligent warning system and always tries to heal itself. It alerts you with symptoms when something is struggling. Mild or severe issues need to be addressed as soon as possible.
The nerves that exit the spine that cause the back muscles to go into spasm and stabilize the misaligned spine are the same group of nerves that also branch off to the front of your lower abdomen and control your digestive tract, bladder, reproductive organs, etc. You should never simply mask the symptoms of low back pain, instead get a thorough evaluation of the area. Acute and chronic pain in the low back is bad enough on its own, but it may be why you’re experiencing other issues in your body as well.
What can I do to relieve my lower back pain in Grand Rapids, MI?
As you wait for your initial exam at Legacy Family Chiropractic, you can alleviate your low back pain by applying heat or cold packs, practicing gentle stretching exercises, maintaining good posture, and avoiding prolonged sitting or heavy lifting. We often see new patients the same day, and certainly within the same week they request an appointment.
How do I know if my lower back pain is serious?
The short answer, is that all back pain can be serious and should never be ignored nor masked with drug, only to attempt to keep “pushing through” your day. This approach too often leads to worse symptoms down the road and irreversible changes that we find on X-rays. If your back pain is accompanied by red flags such as sudden onset after a fall or injury, unexplained weight loss, or constant and worsening pain, it is critical to consult a healthcare professional immediately for further evaluation.
What causes lower back pain?
Low back pain can be caused by muscle strains, ligament sprains, bad posture, inflammation, herniated discs, spinal subluxations (misalignments), arthritis, or underlying medical conditions. A thorough examination by a Doctor of Chiropractic can help determine the specific cause and get you healing as soon as possible.
How should I sleep with lower back pain?
This is one of our most frequent questions! You can often relieve your low back pain on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees. Also, for back sleepers, a small rolled towel can be placed under the low back and neck when sleeping on your back (without pillows) to help relieve pressure by keeping your spine in its normal curved alignment. You can always protect the alignment of your spine, whether you’re a back sleeper or a side sleeper. Most important is to find a comfortable sleep position that properly supports your spine and allows you to get a good night’s rest.
How do I tell if lower back pain is muscle or disc-related?
While we definitely recommend consulting a chiropractor for an accurate diagnosis, muscle-related lower back pain is often associated with muscle spasms or aching and is usually a localized pain that does not travel up or down the body nor into the limbs. Misalignments and inflammation in or near the spinal joints may be what is irritating the nerves that control the back muscles. Disc-related pain may radiate and travel down the leg or up the back, accompanied by numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. It’s important to examine either type of back pain as soon as possible.
How does a slipped disc feel?
A slipped (bulging) or herniated disc can cause sharp localized, or radiating pain down the legs and even into the feet. It can also cause numbness, tingling or burning sensations, and muscle weakness. The pain may worsen with certain movements like bending or even sitting for prolonged periods. Consulting with our team at Legacy Family Chiropractic can help confirm a diagnosis. If you have any of these symptoms, do not delay coming in for an exam!
Why won’t my lower back pain go away?
Low back pain can be complex and influenced by many factors. If the pain is not going away, it’s usually a warning sign of a serious issue that should be diagnosed as soon as possible. Your intelligent, self-healing body is trying to give you warning signs that it’s in trouble, so whether the symptoms are mild or sharp and acute…you need to have this evaluated yesterday! There is always a cause to these issues, and the longer you choose to mask the symptoms with painkillers and delay fixing the root cause, the worse the problem will likely become. Don’t just keep pushing through pain. We’re here to help you get back to living your best life and avoid serious health issues.
Can a Chiropractor in Grand Rapids, MI help with lower back pain?
100% ! It’s also the safest and most effective form of treatment you can receive to help your low back pain, according to research and over 125 years of clinical data! Research shows that your chance of undergoing a life-altering spine surgery is only 1.5% if you choose chiropractic first, versus almost 43% chance of having surgery if your primary care doc is referring you for consults with a surgeon instead of chiropractic care. Chiropractors are primary, portal-of-entry providers into the healthcare system and do not require a referral from your medical doctor. We use non-invasive techniques such as spinal adjustments, decompression, physical therapy exercises, and anti-inflammatory lifestyle recommendations to achieve these above-average results for you. Find out what is causing your pain by scheduling your first appointment with us today!
What is better for lower back pain: a chiropractor or massage?
Both chiropractic care and massage therapy can provide benefits for low back pain, so what profession you choose depends on what is causing the pain. We often recommend (and refer you to) massage as part of your care, but we always recommend seeing a chiropractor first to rule out more serious issues. If it’s more than a simple muscle issue, chiropractors will be able to help with spinal adjustments, decompression, and postural rehab to fix the root cause of the issue, whether it is a bulging disc, inflammation of the joints, or neuropathies, etc. Massage therapists primarily work on muscular tension and relaxation, which is fantastic and often much needed, but if the root cause of your low back pain isn’t being addressed fully, the problem will keep coming back and only get worse.
How can you tell if your spine is out of alignment?
A board-certified spine specialist, such as a chiropractor, can assess the alignment of your spine through physical examination, evaluation of your posture, and possibly diagnostic imaging such as digital X-rays. Signs of spinal misalignment may include uneven shoulders, a tilted pelvis, or changes in the curvature of the spine. Muscle spasms, low back pain, headaches, and even systemic issues like reflux and G.I. issues like constipation are also strong indicators that your spine is out of alignment.
The critical thing to understand is that the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, and spinal nerves (your central nervous system that controls ALL functions in your body) live inside the spine and cranium, where they are usually protected. So when the spine is misaligned, it seriously impacts how your body functions and heals. In other words, a bad spine = damaged nervous system = bad organs and muscle tissues = dysfunction that eventually leads to disease. Protecting your spine through specific chiropractic adjustments help you regain lost function and protect your health in all aspects! Call us today for your first evaluation, we can’t wait to meet you to see how we can help.
- Kazis LE, Ameli O, Rothendler J, et alObservational retrospective study of the association of initial healthcare provider for new-onset low back pain with early and long-term opioid useBMJ Open 2019;9:e028633. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028633
- Kelsey L Corcoran, DC and others, Association Between Chiropractic Use and Opioid Receipt Among Patients with Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Pain Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages e139–e145, https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnz219
- G, Alex. “✍️.” YouTube, 30 August 2022, https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2013/05150/Early_Predictors_of_Lumbar_Spine_Surgery_After.18.aspx. Accessed 25 July 2023.