St. Louis Lower Back Pain Treatment

Getting relief from low back pain first requires a consultation or exam to determine what’s going on. Treatments for a lumbar strain, disc bulge, sciatica, and arthritis may each be managed differently. Integrating the appropriate therapy for the condition is critical. Some common treatments that help with back pain relief include myofascial release (massage), chiropractic adjustments, stretching, acupuncture, physical therapy, and spinal decompression. When integrated correctly, these therapies provide excellent results for managing low back pain.

Lower Back Pain Treatment

Lower Back Pain

Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal condition affecting adults. It can become highly debilitating and interfere with every aspect of life. Finding a correct diagnosis is the first step in managing low back pain.

What causes lower back pain?

The most common causes of low back pain are herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI joint), muscle strains, spinal stenosis, and sciatica

Finding the exact diagnosis is sometimes challenging due to the close proximity of structures of the spine. For example, the discs and the facet joints (small joints in the back of the spine) are only millimeters away. Also, most of the symptoms of low back pain have overlapping features. Although these challenges exist, a thorough exam with a qualified spine specialist can be a great start to getting solutions. 

Should you see a chiropractor for lower back pain? How is low back pain diagnosed?

Finding a good chiropractor or spine specialist can be the first step to getting your low back pain answers. During the initial exam, you will want to discuss where it hurts, how long it's been an issue, and what activities make it feel worse or better. For example, does it hurt more with sitting, standing, walking, bending, sleeping, putting on socks and shoes, etc.? Also, what movements or activities help give relief? Finding the answers to these questions can provide clues to the cause of pain.

The next phase of an exam should consist of orthopedic tests to help further identify which low back structures are injured. During orthopedic testing, you move or resist movements to increase or decrease pressures on different joints and muscles. Fining the precise movements that aggravate or relieve the pain helps determine the cause of low back pain. 

Imaging such as x-ray and MRI are other options for diagnosing low back pain. However, several causes of back pain don't show up on imaging. For example, an x-ray does not show disc bulges, SI joint dysfunction, early facet joint pain, or muscle spasms. Also, imaging is not recommended unless pain persists longer than six weeks or has not responded to 6 weeks of therapy. 

Chiropractor for Lower Back Pain in Kirkwood, MO

Chiropractic care for lower back pain

Chiropractors specialize in treating low back pain through a variety of techniques aimed at improving spinal function and reducing pain. They often use spinal manipulation or adjustments, which involve applying controlled forces to the spine to improve alignment and mobility. This can alleviate pain and improve function in people suffering from low back discomfort. In addition to manual adjustments, chiropractors offer guidance on exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to support long-term spinal health and pain management.

What is the best treatment for lower back pain?

The best treatment options for low pain depend on the diagnosis or classification. We've already discussed how to diagnose low back pain. In some cases, classifications can be helpful as well. There are several ways to categorize low back pain, which help predict which treatments will be most successful.

Can a chiropractor help with lower back pain?

Combining several therapies is also helpful in treating and managing low back pain. Some of the more common treatments include; spinal manipulation, myofascial release, decompression, stretching, rehabilitation, and acupuncture. 

The final yet essential component is taking a holistic approach to addressing contributors to the pain. Including how well you move and the balance and symmetry of alignment. For example, most chronic or recurring back pain sufferers have joint restrictions in their mid-back or within a hip, and sometimes both. Neck misalignments also contribute to low back pain. Finally, core stability and strengthening will be necessary for the best outcomes.

Lower back pain relief: comparing massage and chiropractic solutions

Massage therapists and chiropractors are both highly trained and effective at managing low back pain. Massage therapy helps to relax surrounding muscles and release fascial restrictions. Chiropractors provide spinal manipulation therapy, which improves mobility and enhances the function of the spine. The most comprehensive approaches involve combining myofascial release with chiropractic adjustments. Finding a chiropractor that does both spinal manipulation and myofascial release is recommended. 

Can a herniated disc cause lower back pain?

Disc injuries are the most common reason for low back pain. The first phase of a disc injury is a disc bulge. Bulges happen when the disc's outer layers start to unravel or tear. Next, the inside gel-like fluid can travel through the tears, causing pain once it gets to the outside layers of the disc. If the disc bulge comes out far enough, it can irritate the nerve leading to more severe pinched nerve pain and sciatica.

Chiropractic help for lower back pain from disc bulges

More severe and acute disc bulges may require NSAIDs, ice, or even corticosteroids to address the inflammation. In addition, spinal decompression therapy is an excellent way to create more space around the nerve. Gentle forms of manual therapies such as myofascial release and spinal manipulation can also help promote a healing response and relieve pain. Finally, specific stretches in the hips or spine can help regain mobility and minimize muscle tension around the injury.

In the later phases of therapy, physical therapy is necessary to minimize the risks of future episodes. Strengthening the core and surrounding muscles can make the spine more resilient, allowing optimal protection.

What is degenerative disc disease?

The second phase of disc injuries is degeneration. Once the disc's outer layer starts to unravel and tear, it can slowly progress. When this happens, the disc loses some of its height and ability to protect against forces. 

Although degenerative disc disease (DDD) sounds scary, it is a normal part of aging. There is no fix or cure for DDD. Instead, management strategies are necessary to lessen the symptoms. 

Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain from degenerative disc disease

Spinal manipulation, stretching, and myofascial release are great management options for degenerative disc disease. In addition, a therapy that we've found extremely helpful is Cox flexion distraction. This technique uses a unique table that allows the spine to be stretched forward and side while getting a massage. Cox flexion-distraction relieves muscle tension while also improving mobility. 

What is facet syndrome?

The facet joints are the small joints along the back of the spine. When the source of pain is from these joints, it's referred to as facet syndrome. Facet joint pain can happen after bending or lifting or from sustained pressure during standing.

Facet joint-related pain also becomes more prevalent in people with degenerative disc disease. As the disc loses height, more pressure becomes placed on the facet joints.

Chiropractic therapy for lower back pain from facet syndrome

Spinal manipulation is especially beneficial for mobilizing and nourishing the facet joints. As previously mentioned, for degenerative disc disease, Cox-flexion distraction is also an excellent option for chronic facet joint pain. Finally, stretch therapy and myofascial release help relieve muscle tension, reducing stress on those joints.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis describes the narrowing of the spinal canal and is often the result of degenerative disc disease and facet arthritis. When the canal narrows, nerve pathways are compromised, resulting in chronic nerve pain.

Chiropractic solutions for lower back pain from spinal stenosis

Decompression therapies and Cox flexion distraction help open the nerve pathways, relieving nerve pain. Myofascial release and stretching are additional complementary therapies to reduce pain and tension. In complicated cases, surgery is recommended for spinal stenosis.

What is sacroiliac joint (SI joint) dysfunction?

The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is the connecting joint between the sacrum and ilium. When the SI joint becomes injured, the pain can feel similar to sciatica. Sometimes SI joint is brought on after a particular injury. In other instances, it's the result of cumulative trauma over time. 

Chiropractic treatment for lower back pain from SI joint pain

The first phase of treatment for the SI joint is to promote healing and relieve pain. Therapies such as stretching and myofascial release are excellent in the first phase. In addition, spinal manipulation helps reset the joint and relax surrounding tight muscles.

The second phase of treatment for the SI joint is to begin rehabilitation. Strengthening the surrounding hip, butt, and core muscles is necessary for long-term success. 

Top-rated lower back pain specialist in St. Louis

When it comes to managing low back pain, being educated on your particular injury is crucial. There is not one stretch or exercise that works for everyone. There are multiple types of injuries, each requiring a unique approach and personalized treatment plan. When you work with members of our team, you'll get an individualized approach.

Book an appointment

Begin Your Healing Experience Today

Whether you're a new patient looking for answers and solutions to a complicated condition, or just need a chiropractic adjustment, our office can help. Our chiropractors can help no matter if you are recovering from an injury or are experiencing chronic back pain or neck pain, so call O'Guin Wellness today!

We specialize in leading, non-invasive therapies that restore alignment, enhance movement, and promote healing.

Other Conditions We Treat



Begin Your Healing Experience Today

Free Consultation
Discover a Healthier You

Claim Your Free Chiropractic Assessment

Start your journey towards a healthier, pain-free life. Experience the difference our expert chiropractors can make.

Free Assessment