At some point in their lives, a vast majority of Americans will experience lower back pain. Not all experiences will be the same, however. Back pain is diverse: ranging from mild to severe, presenting in the form of a shooting pain, numbness, or a dull ache. Qualifying every person’s unique type of low back pain is the key to understanding the underlying condition causing it, whether it’s a recent injury or a degenerative condition.
Among the most common instances of low back pain is lumbar radiculopathy. Also called sciatica, this occurrence refers to pain that extends from nerve endings in the lumbar spine, down into the legs. It’s so common because it’s most often associated with bad posture, which is a prevalent concern in today’s society. Anything from prolonged sitting to slouched standing can trigger lumbar radiculopathy.
Most people reach to their medicine cabinet for low back pain relief. But the problem isn’t that simple. Lumbar radiculopathy needs to be foundationally treated, and that means taking a chiropractic approach to restoring spinal homeostasis. It’s something the team at Graybar Chiropractic is Wilmington, NC strives to do each and every day, with back pain cases of all types.
More than just low back pain
When it comes to lumbar radiculopathy, the root cause of the problem is invariably subluxation in the lumbar spine. When subluxations in lumbar spinal vertebrae occur, they’re liable to compress and irritate nerve endings, namely the sciatic nerve that’s associated with radiculopathy pain. This in turn leads to the following symptoms:
- Radiating or shooting pain from the hips down through the legs;
- Numbness or tingling;
- Weakness and difficulty walking;
- Reduced mobility.
Beyond just discomfort and a modicum of back pain, there are longer-term side effects that become detrimental to the rest of your spine. Radiculopathy sufferers tend to overcompensate for the pain by stressing other parts of the spine, such as favoring one leg or developing pelvic tilt. Likewise, someone might avoid making certain movements, as to not aggravate their lumbar pain.
This kind of domino effect leads to muscle strain and spasms as other parts of the body do extra work. Additionally, stress on other parts of the spine may damage vertebral discs, leading to even more central nervous system issues.
Taking the stress off of nerves
The chief goal in managing the symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy is to alleviate tension on lumbar nerves. Working backwards from this goal, a chiropractor will discover which particular vertebral discs are responsible for your pain and, through a series of spinal manipulations, adjust them to reduce compression and improve spine health. As nerves are decompressed, inflammation is reduced and health is restored, mitigating pain naturally.
The primary reason chiropractic is such a pertinent response to lumbar radiculopathy is because painkillers and OTC medications only mask pain. Nerve pain in particular can’t be adequately treated until the catalyst has been resolved. Masking that pain with painkillers only enables nerves to suffer unabated, worsening a patient’s overall prognosis.
Avoiding the risk of long-term damage
Though low back pain is something we’re all likely to encounter, it by no means makes it acceptable to live with. Shrugging off your radiculopathy can mean setting yourself up for a lifetime of chronic pain.
If you’re living with lumbar pain, it’s time to pay a visit to the experienced team at Graybar Chiropractic. We see patients throughout the Wilmington, NC area with diverse low back pain conditions. Using Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), we’ll assist you in qualifying yours, to see if lumbar radiculopathy might be at play. Schedule a free consultation today for more information.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.