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There are infinite ways to acquire low back pain, some as dramatic as downhill racing and some as minor as bending down to tie your shoe. The many joints, ligaments and discs that comprise the spine maintain balance and mobility, and if any of them are injured, stressed or thrown out of alignment, there can be significant pain. When this happens, your chiropractor can probably help. Here are a few of the most common causes of low back pain as well as corrective measures your chiropractic doctor may employ:

Low back sprain/strain:

This can be caused by bending and twisting movements as well as repetitive lifting. It can also be caused by bending over to lift a heavy object. Pain is sharp, localized in the low back and does not radiate down the legs. In this instance, ligaments or muscles in the lower back are strained or torn. Your chiropractor will first examine you to confirm the diagnosis of sprain/strain, and rule out the probability of arthritis or other conditions.

At this point, your chiropractic doctor may administer conservative chiropractic adjustments to restore normal alignment and function to the spine. Treatment may also include therapies such as ice and electrical stimulation. A self-care regiment may also be given, which includes periodic icing of the injured area as well as stretching.

Herniated disc:

As with low back sprain/strain, a herniated disc can be the result of repeated bending and twisting movements as well as sudden, heavy lifting. It may also be the result of advancing age. In either case, the injury is defined by a compromised disc that ruptures, allowing the liquid center to flow out, creating pressure on a nerve root. As a result of interference with nerve function, you might experience pain or numbness in your legs.

Your chiropractor may recommend further studies such as x-rays or MRI’s to determine the severity of the disc herniation or disc bulge. Treatments might include adjustments to correct misalignment in the spine or pelvis, therapies such as ice, ultrasound, stretching, and perhaps even postural corrections.


The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and runs down the back of each leg, providing sensation all the way to the sole of the foot. For this reason, compression or damage of the sciatic nerve may cause pain in the lower limb. Compression may be caused by a slipped disc, pelvic injury, a tumor or piriformis syndrome. As with the other conditions, your chiropractic doctor will create an individualized treatment plan. This may include conservative corrections, heat or ice, prescribed exercises and a reduction in activities (although bed rest is not necessarily recommended).

Whatever kind of low back pain you have, your chiropractor is trained to consider these and other conditions when focusing on your diagnosis and creating a treatment plan to restore your life to normal. For more information, call Live Well Chiropractic & Pilates Center in Los Angeles at (323) 930-9355