Additional Information

Medical imaging and low back pain
  • Most people with low back pain feel better in about a month, whether or not they have an imaging test.
  • Imaging tests can lead to surgery and other treatments you may not need. In one study, people who had an MRI were much more likely to have surgery than people who did not have an MRI.
  • 40% of people without symptoms of low back pain may show a bulging disc on an MRI.
  • Despite what diagnostic imaging (MRIs, x-rays, CT scans) shows us, the finding may not be the cause of your pain.
Back pain - quick facts
  • Nearly one-third of all adults have low back pain and 14.2% of them reported an average of 7.6 lost work days per year.
  • 80% of adults experience at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime.
  • Lying down longer than two days doesn't help.
  • Many people recover just as quickly without any bed rest.
  • The sooner you start physical therapy or chiropractic services, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to recover.
  • Direct medical costs for spine conditions has increased more than 60% since 1998.
  • Low back pain risk factors include: age (>30 years old), obesity, cigarette smoking, no regular exercise, and heredity.
  • There is little correlation between general arthritis and low back pain.
Treatment Options
What can physical therapy do for my lower back pain?

Researchers found that people who were initially prescribed advanced imaging, such as MRIs, for management of low back pain ultimately paid more and were more likely to have surgery or injections or to visit an emergency room compared to those who were first sent to physical therapists.

Based on a thorough examination, physical therapists may use any of the following treatment options:

  • Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues
  • Specific strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Education to teach patients how to take better care of their back
  • Training for proper lifting, bending, and sitting; for doing chores both at work and in the home; and for proper sleeping positions
  • Assistance in creating a safe and effective physical activity program to improve overall health
  • Ice/heat treatments or electrical stimulation to help relieve pain

-American Physical Therapy Association
Learn more at Low Back Pain - MoveForward

What can chiropractic services do for my lower back pain?

Chiropractors practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to healthcare that includes patient examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling.

One of the most common and well known therapeutic procedures performed by chiropractors is spinal manipulation (sometimes referred to as a "chiropractic adjustment"). The purpose of spinal manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile - or restricted in their movement - as a result of a tissue injury.

-American Chiropractic Association
Learn more at Back Pain Facts and Statistics

Understanding pain

Did you know that research has shown people can reduce their pain simply by learning how pain works?

Quick facts about pain:

  • The brain tells the body when it is in pain, not the other way around.
  • Pain may still exist even after the injury has healed.
  • The severity of an injury does not always equal the severity of related pain.
  • Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, can make pain worse.
  • Social environment can influence the perception of pain.
  • Each individual’s interpretation of pain is different. A low level of pain for one person may be perceived as a high level of pain by someone else, and vice versa.

Learn more here

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is any level of pain that lasts for more than 3 months – or beyond an expected normal healing time. Those with chronic pain feel that their body has not healed, when this may not be the case. Chronic pain has lingered beyond the initial warning of danger to the body. Anyone can develop chronic pain, at any age. Furthermore, the brain changes when a person lives with chronic pain:

  • When pain is constant or chronic, the brain and nervous system become highly sensitive making it easier to experience pain. This becomes the new normal for the body and keeps the person in a heightened state of sensitivity even though the injury may have healed.
  • Pain can affect many different areas of the brain – areas that may control an individual’s flight or fight responses, movements, emotions, problem-solving skills, and memory. We develop new “pain memories” that are unconsciously associated with an activity or emotional, or social situation.
  • Almost any system of the body can be affected by chronic pain. As an individual continues to experience pain, the circulatory and endocrine systems adapt to pain responses and can negatively affect whole health.
  • Chronic pain is quite common, but should not be considered normal. There are resources available to help individuals find solutions to reduce and potentially eliminate chronic pain.

Learn more here

Additional resources

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Learn More Here- Managing Chronic Pain: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach

Learn More Here- 10 Beginner Yoga FAQs Answered | Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More Here- Acupuncture - Mayo Clinic

Learn More Here- Massage Therapy for Pain Management

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Learn More Here- Progressive Relaxation Technique

Imaging Tests for Lower Back Pain

Learn More Here - Choosing Wisely Imaging Tests

Back Pain Tests and Treatments

Learn More Here - Choosing Wisely Back Pain Tests

Low Back Pain Patient Resources

​Learn More Here - Choosing Wisely Patient Resources

Back Pain - Choosing Wisely

​Learn More Here - Choosing Wisely Back Pain​