KULDIP S. GREWAL
Low back pain is fast becoming the commonest medical ailment in America, with more than 75 million current sufferers and approximately 2 million new victims being added to the list yearly. If uncared for, even minor problems, such as a torn muscle, a stretched ligament or faulty posture, can eventually spread across and through the whole back, affecting the entire spinal structure. The first occurrence of low back pain is usually reported by people in their 30s and 40s, when years of chronic misuse and the strains of lifting, bending and twisting incorrectly have begun to take their toll. Back pain in younger people is less common and is usually a result of sudden trauma, such as a sport injury or an accident.
Any back pain should be given immediate attention to prevent chronic problems later. Lower back pain will not go away by itself.
Back pain is represented in many different ways. It can be caused by something as simple as “sleeping the wrong way” or it may be indicative of a condition which has taken years to develop to the point of becoming a painful nightmare. Low back pain, with or without associated leg pain, most frequently occurs as the result of faulty alignment and mobility or one or more spinal segments (called vertebra). A vertebra(s) in the lower back may be misaligned by an unguarded move, fall, or prolonged muscle tension. Such mechanical derangement of the lower spine may partially occlude a nerve opening between adjacent vertebras. A partially occluded nerve opening in the lower spine serves to pinch or irritate a spinal nerve and thereby cause low back pain and loss of function to the leg and foot. This type of a mechanical derangement of a vertebra is called a subluxation.
A subluxation of a vertebra in the lower back may be caused by a single incident such as a fall or accident or unusual exercise. While a single incident may be the immediate cause of a painful subluxation, more often the ligaments and muscles which support the vertebra are first weakened by many years of undue stress and wear. Most spinal disorders that cause low back and leg pain develop in the spine that is structurally inadequate. The structurally inadequate spine may develop due to lack of proper care and rehabilitation of an acute spinal injury, which destroys the delicate alignment and precision movement of the spine.
More frequently the structurally inadequate spine represents many years of minor strains and injuries which might have caused little or no pain at the time. Although, this served to gradually weaken the supporting ligaments and muscles and _ therefore alter the precision movement of the individual spinal vertebra. Eventually the spine fails to provide adequate support and flexibility. Even arch defects of the feet may place prolonged stress on the lower spine and pelvis. The abnormal stress serves to gradually weaken the spinal ligaments and muscles until finally an insignificant incident or unguarded move is sufficient to cause a vertebral subluxation with disabling low back and leg pain.
Chiropractic Research … indicates that most low back and associated leg pains are caused by truly mechanical defects in the alignments of one or more vertebra of the lower spine. f LOWER SPINE WITH MISALIGNED VERTEBRA AND PINCHED NERVE IN GREEN
THE SPINAL NERVES WHICH SUPPLY THE LEGS PASS THROUGH THE OPENINGS BETWEEN ADJACENT SEGMENTS OF THE LOWER SPINE WHEN ONE OF THE SEGMENTS IS DISPLACED THE NERVES TO THE LEGS MIGHT BE PINCHED OR IRRITATED. THE RESULT 1S NERVE PAIN WHICH EXTENDS DOWN THE LEG.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 29, 1985