Low Back Pain and Spinal Video Xray:
Low Back Pain is a common problem that brings people into my office for help on a regular basis. It can be debilitating, frustrating, and severely impact a person’s quality of life.
There are many different causes for low back pain. This is why at our clinic we use Video Motion Xray technology to examine the low back. We do this because by visually seeing the spine in motion we can more accurately determine the problem. (Below is a front-to-back video of a low back bending from side to side).
Combining the old and the new
In addition to using video motion xray, we also use more traditional chiropractic exam methods. In doing so we combine what we consider to be the best of traditional approaches and new technology. Our more traditional approaches include: Visual observation of a patient’s posture and observing leg length; Literally ‘feeling’ the low back using ‘motion-palpation’ with the hands to determine muscle tension and spine restriction; and measuring a patient’s spinal range of motion and ability to hold their posture is also used. These motion measurements along with other baseline ‘functional tests’ allows us to more easily track patient progress. A patient’s initial Spinal Health Report is created using video findings, functional tests, and traditional chiropractic findings.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Based on my experience and success in helping those suffering from low back pain, there seems to be several common causes:
1. Misalignment of the pelvic region:
The pelvis and hips are the foundation of your spine, and when the pelvis becomes misaligned the low back tends to misalign as well. This can cause the low back to tighten and spasm and causes irritation to nerves, muscles, discs, and ligaments. Observe how on the right the spine has compensated for a tilted pelvis. We take still xrays like these to see if this might be the case and work to realign the pelvis if it is.
2. Restriction of the hip joints:
The hip joints themselves can get somewhat ‘jammed’ into the hip socket over time. This can cause microscopic scar tissue and tightness of the hip flexor muscles surrounding the hip. The hip flexor muscle attaches to the spine itself, and can pull on it abnormally if tight and can also cause low back pain. At our Victoria BC clinic we test the flexibility of the hip joint and make adjustments to the hip and show patients how to do stretches to keep it flexible if necessary.
3. Misalignment/spinal joint restriction of the low back itself:
Sometimes low back pain is caused by the exact place it hurts due to vertebrae of the low back misaligning causing irritation to nerves, muscles, and ligaments. We would be able to see this with video motion xray and work to realign the spine with chiropractic care.
Other Causes of Low Back Pain:
Misalignment/spinal restriction of the neck:
It may seem like an odd one, after all what does the neck have to do with the low back? More times than I can remember the cause of a patient’s low back pain has been the neck. The phrase ‘everything is connected’ is exactly true here. All the nerves that travel to the low back pass through the neck. A restricted/misaligned vertebrae here can affect the muscle tone of the low back. The upper neck literally sets the muscle tone of the entire spine. Often I will adjust the C1 vertebrae and patients will feel a sensation of release in the low back. The entire body is connected through the nerve system- this is why we examine the entire spine carefully before starting care. Here is another article explaining this connection.
These are other reasons low back pain may arise. Dysfunction of the foot, ankle, or knee can transmit force into the low back. In our examination we will try to determine if this is the case. In more rare cases it may be a more serious underlying problem as well. All the more reason we use the technology at our clinic to determine the true cause of the problem.
What to do about it
After careful analysis, the vast majority of individuals benefit greatly from chiropractic care. Realigning misalignments and restrictions of the body over time to allow full and proper function. We create a personalized care plan based on the individual and track progress over time as well as recommend strengthening and flexibility exercises to help maintain progress and become more resilient. If you or someone you care about suffers from low back pain there is hope! Contact us to find out how we might help today.