Did you know that of the 5 types of low back pain, only one type can be helped by “back cracking”?
Low back pain could be caused by many underlying conditions. The five common causes include reduced mobility, reduced stability, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction.
In this blog post, we will discuss these underlying conditions, as well as the safe and appropriate treatments, remedies, and exercises that can help relieve low back pain.
Reduced mobility can be caused by tight or shortened muscles and degenerative bone changes. Tight muscles often develop from overuse or overactivity. They are hypertonic, short, stiff, and less mobile.
Osteoarthritis of the spine is the most common degenerative bone disease that causes low back pain. It is also the most common type of arthritis, which develops through years of wear and tear. When the cartilage in the vertebral joints breakdown, it can cause inflammation, pain, and reduced mobility.
How to relieve low back pain caused by reduced mobility?
Most of the time, cracking the back can only help if the pain is related to reduced mobility that is caused by shortened muscles. If the pain is caused by degenerative bone changes, popping the joints will not help. Active exercises would benefit the patients by improving more muscle support to reduce stress on bones. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and pain.
A strong back and abdominal muscles are both important in keeping a strong and stable core. Weak muscles and ligaments in the back are often caused by physical inactivity, which may lead to back pain as the muscles cannot effectively support the weight of the spine and upper body.
How to relieve low back pain caused by reduced back stability?
For people who have reduced stability due to weak muscle or ligament, a sudden thrust of the joints may do more harm than good. Core muscle strengthening exercises prescribed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy could help these people.
Herniated disc and spinal stenosis
The spinal or intervertebral discs hold the vertebrae together and act as shock absorbers that allow slight movements of the vertebrae. These discs have a tough outer layer called “annulus” and a soft inner layer called “nucleus pulposus.”
In patients with a herniated disc, the nucleus is pushed out into the spinal canal through a small tear in the annulus. This can compress the spinal cord and lead to back pain.
Spinal stenosis, on the other hand, refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. This can be caused by bone spurs from osteoarthritis, spinal tumors, trauma, and even a herniated disc.
How to relieve low back pain caused by a herniated disc and spinal stenosis?
For people with a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, they may feel pain or numbness in their legs in addition to low back pain, because local edema compresses their nerve roots. Extension or flexion exercises are normally used at PT clinics to treat these conditions.
However, many people experience too much pain to complete the exercises. For these people, acupuncture can be used alone or combined with PT to reduce the edema and inflammation.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction
Also called sacroiliitis, SI joint dysfunction is commonly caused by a poorly aligned sacroiliac joint. Too much and too little mobility in the SI joint can also lead to SI joint dysfunction.
Patients often describe the pain in the problem joint as dull, sharp, shooting, or achy. The pain also radiates to the back of the thigh and the knee and is often present when patients are sitting, climbing stairs, and lying on the side of the affected joint.
How to relieve low back pain caused by SI joint dysfunction?
The SI joint misalignment is often associated with local inflammation. The joint misalignment can be corrected with muscle energy techniques and the local inflammation can be reduced or even eliminated with acupuncture.
Where to get physical therapy and acupuncture in Gainesville Fl?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been proven effective in alleviating lower back pain. If you are looking for the best physical therapist and acupuncturist in Gainesville Fl, Guan Physical Therapy and Acupuncture clinic is the place to go. Dr. Guan is a licensed physical therapist and acupuncturist who has helped many patients with chronic pain get their normal life back. She uses a combination of physical therapy and acupuncture to synergize the benefits of these treatments and improve patient outcome.
Learn more about acupuncture for back pain in Gainesville
Dr. Guan has served the Gainesville area since 2011 when she graduated from the University of Florida’s DPT program. A fifth-generation doctor from the world’s leading acupuncturist family, she has helped many people who suffer from low back pain with PT and acupuncture.
If you have tried chiropractor, PT, and/or massage, and are tired of painkillers or cortisone injections, you may think surgery is your next and final step. It is not. You should talk to Dr. Guan first to find out if acupuncture, alone or combined with PT, can help you.
Book a consultation with Dr. Guan to ask all your questions and get your options before you decide on a risky procedure.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.