Sunday, August 18, 2013

Look For Uneven Pelvis As The Root Cause Of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is an incredibly common problem which affects tens of millions of Americans each year. A very high percentage of hospital emergency department as well as primary care physician office visits are because of chronic lower back pain. Lower back pain affects all races, all genders and people of all ages. Sedentary and overweight people are at a higher risk of suffering with this problem.

Despite billions of dollars being spent on the problem, there isn't any decrease in the incidence or prevalence of this troubling medical epidemic. One plausible reason for this is because we haven't been utilizing the correct remedy. The most common treatment for chronic back pain is medications, massage therapy & physical therapy. Ask any chronic back pain suffer about the effectiveness of these treatments and you will hear a range of comments from "it helped, but after a while the pain came back". You may also hear "I didn't get much of any relief at all". Why is this? Why do so many people continue to suffer day in and day out?

One of the primary causes of chronic lower back pain is an uneven, imbalanced pelvis. The pelvis is composed of two large bones (the innominate), and a triangularly shaped bone in the center (the sacrum). There is very little movement that occurs between the innominate bones and the sacrum (the sacroiliac joint, or "the SI joint"). The SI joint has very little motion. An athletic, younger person may have as much as one to one and a half degrees of total joint motion. Rather than independent movement between these three bones, the pelvis instead moves as a solid block. It can tilt side to side and front to back. The pelvis can also rotate right and left.

The problem occurs is when the pelvis tilts or rotates in a certain way and then stays fixed in that location. When this occurs, the muscles, ligaments and other supportive connective tissues themselves become shortened or lengthened and serve to hold the pelvis in that position indefinitely. When the pelvis becomes chronically misaligned like this, it sets the stage for chronic SI joint pain as well as lumbar spine pain.

The lumbar spine is positioned on top of the sacrum. When the pelvic/sacral block is tilting or is rotated, it creates biomechanical stress on the rest of the spine. In particular, there is a shearing or twisting effect on the lumbar spine (the lower back). This problem can be so pronounced that on x-ray, the spine appears to have a scoliosis.

What can be done to fix an imbalanced pelvis? Certainly taking drugs (NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, etc) won't resolve the problem. Exercise doesn't realign the spine. In fact, exercising on an uneven pelvis may cause more harm than good. It would be the equivalent of continuing to hammer on a bent nail. The most effective thing you can do for an imbalanced pelvis is to get it balanced. You must realign the spine, sacrum & pelvis in order to minimize biomechanical stress on the joints, ligaments, tendons and other supportive soft tissues. The chiropractic adjustment is a time tested therapy for realigning the spine. In my clinic, I utilize chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy modalities, stretching, rehabilitative exercise and soft tissue therapies. And without question, the number one most effective treatment for balancing the pelvis is the chiropractic adjustment. If you have chronic lower back pain, you need to have your pelvis checked for imbalanceding. Getting your pelvis balanced will offer amazing, long lasting relief.

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