So you have this nagging lower back pain. This condition manifests itself as a dull, stiff, achy back. Especially, in the morning upon arising and/or after sitting or standing for long periods. When bending forward at the waist, it may feel like a good stretching hurt, but when returning to an upright position you may experience increased discomfort about half way up. With bending backwards you may feel pain as well. If the condition worsens, pain may result in referred pain around the pelvis region to the groin area, pain may be deep in the hip, and/or pain may be generalized down the back of the thigh but rarely below the knee. Things that will cause this condition are sleeping on your stomach, sleeping on your side with one knee bent, sit-ups, leg lifts, and any prolonged activity that requires bending backwards. Facet syndrome is the cause of the symptoms of arthritis and disc degeneration of the spine. While this condition may occur suddenly, it usually gradually develops.
The symptoms are due to overload of the little joints in the back part of your spine “jamming down” and causing the ligamentous capsule (the “stitching” between the facet joints in your spine) to be stressed. This in turn irritates a small nerve that controls the posture muscles, causing those muscles to spasm. This causes further joint compromise, further nerve irritation, and muscle spasm. As you can see – a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself occurs.
Our job through physiotherapy (i.e. heat, interferential, and ultrasound therapies) is to affect the nerve and relax the muscle. Through spinal manipulation and traction, joint function is restored. While joint function is restored with each visit, it is important to note that each treatment builds on the other, therefore making it necessary to keep each scheduled appointment in order to achieve pain relief. It is important to note that while symptoms may improve significantly early on, ligaments are slow to heal. Adequate time is also necessary for the facet capsule to regain its strength. Essentially, following through with care will achieve long lasting pain relief and ward against reoccurrence.
Typically, treatment for this condition includes moist heat and interferential therapy to the low back for ten minutes; lumbar spinal manipulation and manual traction; and ultrasound therapy to the low back for ten minutes. In cases of traumatic injury muscles strengthening therapy for fifteen minutes may also be incorporated.
For this condition, treatment is recommended three times a week for three weeks, at which point your improvement should allow for a frequency reduction to twice a week for three weeks, and then once a week for three weeks. Please keep in mind that anticipated improvement relies upon keeping up with your scheduled appointments and following all hoe care recommendations.
We have many commuters and for this reason we have late nights and Saturday appointment available for your care and convenience. Please do not hesitate to give us a call for your care @ 540.898.4100.
Larry L. Stine, D.C.,F.A.C.O.
Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist Common