Lower back pain is very common. It seems as if almost everyone has a bout of it at one time or another. In some cases, it may lead to sciatica – pain that radiates from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down one leg. The cause of this is the sciatic nerve, one of the largest in the body, being irritated or pinched. In recent years, it has been noted that approximately $80 billion is spent on medicine, gadgets, support belts, shoe inserts, and similar items to relieve lower back pain.
It may sound a little strange, but may cases of lower back pain are connected to a misalignment of the bones of the upper neck. The C1 and C2 vertebrae are quite different from the other vertebrae of the spine. They are able to move freely without interlocking joints. While this is good when it comes to the range of motion for the neck and head, it also puts them at risk for being able to move out of place easily. A misalignment at this vital location can cause the rest of the spine to compensate by shifting and readjusting. A common result is lower back pain because this is where the greatest compensations take place. No matter what is done to the lower back, unless the underlying cause in the neck is addressed, pain levels may not improve, or pain may stop but then return.
At our upper cervical chiropractic practice, we recognize that a healthy upper cervical spine is vital to the overall health of our patients. We look closely at one’s posture to see just how the head is aligned with the rest of the body, and we also use specialized x-rays to help us find the exact location of the problem in the neck. Once this is determined, we use a very gentle amount of pressure to a specific area of the neck to help the bones to realign on their own. Once the head is realigned over the spine, muscle tension and nerve irritation can clear up. This is often all that is needed to help patients find some relief from lower back pain. Some see it go away completely.
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