by | Ask the Doctor

Q:  I have chronic low back pain, according to my doctor.  What makes it chronic?  Is there some other type of back pain out there then?

A:  More than 30 million Americans are living with some sort of back pain. It can be a result of a sedentary lifestyle, aging or an injury. But not all back pain is the same. Some, for instance, is referred to as chronic, and some is acute. The difference? Essentially, the difference is in the duration of the pain. If a condition goes on for three months or more, it is generally considered chronic. An acute condition lasts from a few days to a few weeks.

Generally speaking, I see patients with chronic back pain that is related to some form of arthritis or a significant injury that caused permanent damage.  They have some level of pain all of the time and come to my office when it is aggravated or flared up.  The people I treat that have acute back pain have recently had a sprain or strain injury and are in pain as they are healing from it.

The pain, whether it falls into the chronic or acute category, can range from relatively tolerable muscle aches to excruciating, shooting pain that makes it impossible to get comfortable. Depending on the cause, there may be radiating leg pain, numbness, and even weakness of the muscles.  An acute condition can become more serious if left untreated and lead to a chronic back problem for life, in some cases.

Chiropractic treatment has been proven successful in treating lower back pain. In fact, in the past several years, chiropractic has been categorized as one of a very few most effective treatments available for low back pain, neck pain, and headache.  It is, coincidentally, the least costly form of medical intervention available as well.

The primary technique used is spinal adjustment, which is a manipulation of individual vertebrae to make sure they are in proper alignment and allow muscles to function normally. It is usually very relieving – not painful as some may think – and is extremely safe.  There is ample research to support the safety, effectiveness, cost saving, and satisfaction of chiropractic therapy.  Please look at my website and click on the “Physical Medicine Research” box to learn more.  If you are one of the millions of Americans with lower back pain, don’t sell yourself short, visit a good chiropractor and see what treatment might do for you.

Note that not all chiropractors are  the same and you should not feel like you are being told something new and mysterious when you visit one.  If it seems a little uncomfortable or questionable, then that chiropractor is not for you.  A chiropractic appointment should make perfect sense and feel like exactly what your body has needed.

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Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!

Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!