"What is West Des Moines lower back pain? How does chiropractic help?"
So much discussion about this question of back pain swirls as 80% of us in West Des Moines will have it in our lifetimes. Almost half of us have it right now! So what is lower back pain? Why does lower back pain come and go? Why is it so disabling? Executive Chiropractic of Iowa knows lower back pain and knows that chiropractic has a solution. But first, what is it?
WHAT IS BACK PAIN?
It's an irritated nerve due to mechanical irritation or chemical irritation. The irritation is brought about either
- by compression on the nerve (the so called "pinched nerve" so many West Des Moines back pain sufferers relate to and hear so much about) or
- by inflammation of the spinal nerve caused by chemicals produced when the intervertebral disc is damaged and/or degenerated.
So what causes mechanical nerve compression or a pinched nerve?
One, any change in the spine that narrows the spinal opening through which the nerve passes can cause a pinched or compressed nerve.
A disc herniation will bulge out of its space between two vertebral bones in the spine and press on a nerve to cause pain. This pain may go into into the hip, thigh, leg, foot and even toes if there is sufficient pressure on the nerve.
Two, disc degeneration. This is the shrinking of the disc. The disc keeps the spinal bones apart and allows room for spinal nerves to pass through easily. If the disc degenerates, the narrowing of the disc space allows narrowing of the nerve opening, resulting in back pain and perhaps the lower extremity (leg, calf, foot, toes).
Three, arthritis. Of course, we have to consider the old friend arthritis. We West Des Moines friends and family talk about arthritis a lot. Arthritis is bone growth into the nerve opening that will compress or push on the nerve. Your West Des Moines chiropractor is the back pain specialist who knows arthritis’ ways!
And, lastly, ligament thickening. There are ligaments in the spine that, when under stress, can thicken to narrow the nerve opening and compress the nerves exiting from the spinal cord. Executive Chiropractic of Iowa works to coax the irritating factors away from the nerves to relieve pain.
Mechanical irritation of the nerve is easy to understand as a cause of back pain and is the usual reason most West Des Moines back pain sufferers think of as the cause of pain. It's easy to see on x-rays and MRIs, too. But then, there's chemical irritation causing back pain: not frequently seen on imaging but quite pain-producing.
So what is this chemical irritation caused by? Do many West Des Moines back pain patients have it? We find that many of Executive Chiropractic of Iowa's own patients are not familiar with this cause of back pain, but it is very common, especially with aging persons.
The intervertebral disc, that pad of cartilage between two vertebrae or spinal bones, is normally a fluid-filled inside (called the nucleus pulposus) surrounded by a ligament-like structure (called the annulus fibrosus) that holds the fluid inside. Now, when the outer ligament-like annulus is torn, as occurs in motor vehicle accidents, lifting, bending, twisting, falling, etc., the inner fluid leaks into the outer disc fibers of the annulus fibrosus to create an inflammatory reaction.
This inflammation occurs because once the inner fluid of the disc leaks into the edge of the disc where it doesn't belong, it causes a chemical reaction that causes back pain.
NOW if that leaking disc material from the inside of the disc leaks into the spinal canal behind the disc, it will then chemically irritate the nerve and result in back pain and probably leg pain as well. This chemical reaction is truly an immune reaction of our body rejecting the presence of this inner disc material outside of its normal confines within the disc. Having back pain and/or leg pain in West Des Moines is no fun!
Both the mechanically compressed nerve and the chemically inflamed nerve will produce back pain that can radiate into the hip, thigh, leg and foot. This is called sciatica. West Des Moines folks get help for this at Executive Chiropractic of Iowa all the time.
CHIROPRACTIC HELP FOR BACK PAIN
The good news about all this back pain ... this nerve compression and inflammation can be healed through various modes of chiropractic care, the first line of which is spinal manipulation to remove compression of the nerve and absorb the chemical irritation. Certainly, contact Executive Chiropractic of Iowa before resorting to back surgery...or after West Des Moines back surgery if your pain continues.
Executive Chiropractic of Iowa trusts that this gives an understandable overview of why we humans get back pain and leg pain (and even neck and arm pain). At least we trust this is enough of an overview to assure you that Executive Chiropractic of Iowa fully understands back pain and is here to help you.
Contact us today.