Franklin Chiropractor | Lumbar Joint Dysfunction
Lumbar Joint Dysfunction – aka Lumbar Subluxation What Is It & You Can Do About It Low back pain affects 80% of the population at some point in their life and one-third of the population on a yearly basis. One of the most common causes of low back pain comes from a slightly misaligned or restricted joint in your spine, which your franklin chiropractor specializes in treating. Your lower back is made up of 5 bones stacked on top of each other with a soft “disc” between each segment to allow for flexibility. Normally, each joint in your spine should move freely and independently. Our examination of your spine has shown that one or more of the joints in your low back is slightly misaligned and restricted. We call this condition “lumbar segmental joint restriction” or more simply a “subluxation.” The term “subluxation” literally means “less than a dislocation.”To help visualize this, imagine a normal spine functioning like a big spring moving freely in every direction. A spine with a joint restriction is like having a section of that spring welded together. The spring may still move as a whole, but a portion of it is no longer functioning. Joint restriction can develop in many ways. Sometimes they are brought on by an accident or an injury. Other times, they develop from repetitive strains or poor posture. Several factors may make you more likely to experience low back problems. These include: being overweight, smoking, strenuous work, repetitive bending, twisting and lifting, prolonged exposure to whole body vibration- i.e. operating a motorized vehicle, stress, anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction with your job and even your attitude! Restricted joints give rise to a self-perpetuating cycle of discomfort. Joint restriction causes swelling and inflammation, which triggers muscular guarding leading to more restriction. Since your spine functions as a unit, rather than as isolated pieces, a joint restriction in one area of your spine often causes “compensatory” problems in another. Think of this as a rowboat with multiple oarsmen on each side. When one rower quits, the others are placed under additional stress and can become overworked.
Joint restrictions most commonly cause local tenderness and discomfort. You may notice that your range of motion is limited. Movement may increase your discomfort. Pain from a restricted joint often trickles down to your hips or thighs. Be sure to tell your franklin chiropractor if your symptoms include any radiation of pain below your knee, weakness, groin numbness or changes in bowel or bladder function. Long-standing restrictions are thought to result in arthritis – much like the way a slightly misaligned wheel on your car causes premature wearing of your tire. You should recognize that your problem is common and generally treatable. Franklin chiropractor care has been shown to be the safest and most effective treatment for joint restrictions. Your franklin chiropractor’s office offers several tools to help ease your pain. To speed your recovery: You should wear supportive shoes Avoid activities that increase your pain. Be sure to take frequent breaks from sedentary activity. Yoga has been shown to help back pain sufferers so consider joining a class or picking up a DVD. See your franklin chiropractor and get adjusted Some Things That You Can DoTo Help YourselfIn & Out of Bed – Here are a couple of tips to help you get in and out of bed more comfortably: To lie down: Sit on the edge of the bed, pull your arms to your sides and tilt your body into the bed, maintaining the bend of your knees at 45 degrees. Finally, bring your feet into in a lying position or roll onto your back. To get up: From a side-lying position with your knees bent, push your body upright into a sitting position, swinging your legs over the edge of the bed as you rise. Lifting Mechanics -Here are some tips to help you lift safely: Avoid lifting or flexing before you’ve had the chance to warm up your muscles (especially when you first awaken or after sitting or stooping for a period of time). To lift, stand close directly facing object with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down by bending with your knees, not your back. Imagine a fluorescent light tube strapped to your head and hips when bending. Don’t “break” the tube with improper movements. Tuck your chin to help keep your spine aligned. Slowly lift by thrusting your hips forward while straightening your legs. Keep the object close to your body, within your powerzone” between your hips and chest. Do not twist your body, if you must turn while carrying an object, reposition your feet, not your torso.
Lumbar Support Cushion – Sitting without proper support is a common contributor to back pain, so make sure you: Sit all the way back in chairs and car seats to promote proper posture. Adjust the lumbar support in your car to fit your back. Consider a “lumbar support pillow” to make sitting more comfortable. Your Franklin chiropractor can help make a decision on the best support out there for you Footwear -Improperly supported feet can affect the alignment of all of the structures above. To improve your overall comfort: Choose shoes with good arch support. Avoid going barefoot or wearing shoes that lack support (i.e. flip-flops). The following brands of sandals provide better than average arch support: Naot, Fit Flops, Orthoheels, Abeo, Vionic and Yellow box. Avoid high-heeled shoes or boots (keep heels to a maximum of 1½ inches, especially if you are going to be doing a lot of walking). “Cross-trainer” athletic shoes tend to provide the best all around support and shock absorption for daily activities. Patients with fallen arches should consider adding arch supports or orthotics. Repair or replace shoes with worn soles or heels. Your Franklin chiropractor can fit you for custom orthotics which is the best option Running Shoes -Running shoes need to be replaced every 250 miles. There are three basic options: Motion Control Shoes – Designed for people with low or no arches, these shoes are for runners who strike the ground on the outer edge of their