Do you have back pain?
Many of our patients at N.E.W. Chiropractic, PC in Palatine, IL, came to us because they had back pain. Often the pain was in the low back. Low back pain can be on the right side or the left side, or in the middle of the lower back.
Less often, patients may have mid back pain.
Low Back Pain Causes
Low back pain can result from many different factors. It is often caused by frequent repetitive activities. It can also result from an imbalance in weight, for example in pregnancy, or from stress—from carrying or moving heavy objects.
Low Back Pain in Pregnancy
The imbalance in weight during pregnancy can cause low back pain. This is because the additional weight in front can shift pressure on the spine. Furthermore, low back pain in pregnancy can be aggravated by the fact that ligaments tend to be lax during pregnancy. In addition, the back pain may be worsened by lifting and carrying car seats, bags, and other children, etc.
Other Causes of Low Back Pain
Many common daily activities, conditions, or unusual occurrences can cause low back pain.
- Workers with repetitive tasks or long periods of sitting may also experience low back pain. For example, if you drive for a living, you’re sitting for long periods of time. Additionally, your right foot is displaced forward while you’re twisting your pelvis. Over time, this twisting force can cause low back pain that radiates into the hip.
- Heavy lifting, tripping or slipping can cause injury to the spine and the muscles around it, leading to pain in the lower back.
- Herniated discs can be extremely painful. The discs are spongy connective tissue located between the bones of the spine. A hernia is a bulge. This is where the jelly-like connective tissue slips out through a tear. It may also be called a slipped disc or a ruptured (broken/burst/bulged) disc in the low back.
- Scoliosis, an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, can also cause low back pain.
- Weight shifts in front can lead to back pain. For example, women with heavy breasts may have added pressure on the spine. This can lead to low back pain.
Treatment Options for Low Back Pain
At N.E.W. Chiropractic, the treatment for low back pain depends on Dr. James’ initial assessment. Some of the factors he may consider are what he sees, feels, and measures regarding:
- Knots, swelling, inflammation, or tightness in your spine or back muscles
- Your reflexes and range of motion
- How your posture is affecting your lower back pain
He will also listen carefully to your concerns:
- How severe the low back pain is
- Where it hurts
- Tenderness to touch
- Numbness, tingling, or shooting pain down the legs
Dr. James and N.E.W. Chiropractic often use more than one treatment method to help patients feel relief from low back pain. Treatments might involve:
- Reducing restrictions in the spine and lower back
- McKenzie Method
- Whole-body vibration
- Myofascial release
- Physical therapy
Reducing Restriction in the Low Back
Gentle traction between the segments of the spine is often helpful in relieving low back pain by opening up restricted areas of the spine. Traction literally means “the act of drawing or pulling.” N.E.W. Chiropractic may choose to use a roller table to gently stretch the spine. This can increase blood flow in the muscles and fluid flow around the spine.
Traction can also increase your range of motion. For example, after gentle traction of your spine, you may be able to move better—and without pain.
Another way to relieve restriction in the lower back is through chiropractic adjustments. For example, activator technique is one method to reduce compression in the spine. An activator is a tool that helps a chiropractor move the bone into alignment. Depending on the patient’s circumstance, Dr. James may choose hands-on chiropractic adjustments instead of using the activator. Both options can relieve low back pain.
McKenzie Protocol for Back Pain
The McKenzie Method consists of gentle range of motion and stretching exercises that Dr. James can teach you at N.E.W. Chiropractic. Later, you can do these at home to continue to heal your back. These stretching exercises also may help prevent future low back pain.
Whole-Body Vibration for Back Pain
Whole-body vibration gently wiggles and jiggles the body to increase circulation and relieve low back pain. It also may increase muscle mass and bone density. Additionally, research has shown that whole body vibration may result in weight loss, increased strength and balance, and increased bone mass.
Myofascial Release for Back Pain
Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, organs, bones, and nerves. The fascia can form points of restriction, sometimes called trigger points. Trigger points in the back can cause chronic pain.
Myofascial release (MFR) is the hands-on stretching of the fascia. This can increase blood flow and remove toxins. As a result, MFR can relieve the trigger points and reduce low back pain.
TeslaMax® for Low Back Pain
At N.E.W. Chiropractic in Palatine, we have chosen a more advanced form of electrical stimulation therapy. This device, called the TeslaMax®, causes the muscles to strongly contract and relax, resulting in better blood flow. Essentially, the machine exercises your muscles while you relax without any pain or discomfort.
Besides better blood flow, this treatment results in increased oxygen to the muscles, removed cell waste, and decreased inflammation. Therefore, it can reduce pain and increase motion in the lower back.
Treatments for Herniated Discs in the Back
Dr. James Stegner personally knows the pain of a herniated disc. He suffered a traumatic gymnastics accident in high school. He also knows how chiropractic care has helped him.
As a result, he is eager to help people with back pain from a herniated disc. Dr. James’ treatment for a herniated disc in the back might involve:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Myofascial release (MFR)
- Physical therapy
- Spinal Decompression/Traction Therapy
- McKenzie Method
Treatments for Scoliosis
Treatment for scoliosis may combine some traction, exercise and stretching, and chiropractic adjustments.
“Maybe you spend much of your time driving, sitting with your right foot and head pushed forward. Maybe you sit at a desk or hunched over a computer. Maybe you stand over a task that you do for hours at a time. All of these activities lead to compression. That’s life. Life is compression. At N.E.W. Chiropractic, we do De-Compression.”
Mid Back Pain
Sometimes mid back pain can shoot up the neck, out or down to the ribs, and even extend to the shoulders. Many people may experience this toward one side of their mid back. It may feel just out of reach. It may also come and go over time. This can interfere with daily function.
Causes of Mid Back Pain
However, mid back pain may not be related to the spine. Instead, it can be the result of rib issues. Repetitive motion, as well as body posture with rounded shoulders and head forward, can compress the front of the ribs and push them back.
Rib pain is easy to treat, but it may take a few visits to fully address the problem.
Treatment of Mid Back Pain
N.E.W. Chiropractic treatment for mid back pain typically includes a combination of treatments—especially when it is due to a repetitive task. For mid back pain, Dr. James almost always includes chiropractic adjustments. He performs a highly specialized rib adjustment. He also encourages exercises that bring the shoulders back. Additionally, he may use other forms of physical therapy, such as a foam roll.
If an individual has tight muscles, Dr. James will work on stretching them. If they have weak muscles, he will work on strengthening them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens at the first chiropractic appointment?
At your first appointment, Dr. James will take a full medical history and conduct a comprehensive exam. This helps him to make an accurate diagnosis of your current condition and to establish the best possible plan of care. You can expect Dr. James to:
- Carefully listen to your needs, concerns, and fears
- Express empathy about the severity of your pain
- Assess your range of motion to see how well the affected areas can move
- Palpate your spine—gently pressing on the spine and other areas to check for knots, tightness, discomfort or inflammation
- Do orthopedic tests—such as bending and gently pressing to see what causes discomfort or pain
- Test for muscle strength and weakness
- Check your reflexes and address any issues of numbness or tingling
- Study your posture to see how you sit and stand
After completing the assessment, Dr. James will discuss a recommended treatment plan with you. What’s more, you will receive treatment on your first visit to N.E.W. Chiropractic. Starting your path to pain relief as soon as possible is part of our commitment to compassionate chiropractic care.
Can you help stop my pain?
James Stegner, D.C. does a careful examination and evaluation of your symptoms, and more often than not, he can help relieve your pain with chiropractic care. However, your overall health issues may be more complex.
Dr. James will determine if you are a good candidate for chiropractic care treatment. If you are, he will handle your care with consideration and attention. If he believes you would be better served by other doctors, he’ll refer you to the necessary and appropriate specialists to help guide your care.
Why would I choose a chiropractor (D.C.) instead of a medical doctor (M.D.)?
The root word “chiro” means “hands.” Chiropractors, such as James Stegner, are “hands-on” doctors. Traditional chiropractic care focuses on hands on adjustments of the spine.
Today, chiropractic doctors like Dr. James Stegner in Palatine, IL are certified in techniques such as acupuncture and a variety of physical therapy treatments as well.
Dr. James does not prescribe opioids or pain killers. Instead he focuses on naturally healing the body, by making it healthier, stronger, and more flexible. In fact, the N-E-W in N.E.W. chiropractic stands for the Natural Education of Wellness and compassionate chiropractic care.
Can I get acupuncture for whiplash treatment?
Yes, definitely. It’s often a good option for whiplash. Unfortunately, your insurance may not cover the treatment. However, N.E.W. Chiropractic has very affordable rates for acupuncture treatments.
What insurance does N.E.W. Chiropractic take?
The chiropractic doctor, Dr. James Stegner, takes multiple forms of insurance. Among these are Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO.
Many new patients have had an accident or injury. For that reason, N.E.W. Chiropractic also takes auto accident insurance, workmen’s compensation, and personal injury insurance.
Coverage may depend on your policy. If you have another type of insurance, contact the office before making an appointment to see what your out-of-pocket expenses might be.
Is it going to hurt?
If you’ve never had a chiropractic adjustment, you may feel a bit anxious about it. Dr. James will walk you through it. It can be a little surprising—but should never be painful. Afterward, you may feel amazing or be a little tender.
Do you accept auto insurance or workmen’s compensation for whiplash treatment?
Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?
Yes, absolutely. We know that many people work outside the home or need to wait for another adult to care for young children. That’s why N.E.W. Chiropractic offers both evening and weekend appointments.