Lower Back Pain management in Singapore
An estimated 80% of adults experience back pain at some point of time in their life. It’s common, but not normal to feel pain. If the pain persists for a long time, it is likely chronic back pain. Common causes of chronic back pain are injuries, degenerative tissues, pregnancies etc. Fortunately, there are many preventive and mediative options targeted at managing lower back pain.
Read more to find out causes and symptoms of your back pain, and if chiropractic is the answer for you.
What are causes of lower back pain?
When experiencing lower back pain, it is usually a signal from your body that one or more of the muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves, or discs, are negatively affected in some way (e.g. strain, misalignment, compression on nerves)
Pain is considered chronic if it lasts for more than 3 months, and the body is not healing naturally. Some causes of lower back pain are:
- Muscle strains or ligament sprains due to overstretched or tears in the muscles.
- Trauma or accidents could compress the spine, causing discs to herniate or injure tendons and ligaments causing the pain.
- Spondylosis typically occurs with normal wear and tear of the spine as people age, which could lead to spondylolisthesis when one vertebra slips over another, putting pressure on the bone below and potentially pinching the nerve.
- Osteoarthritis which also results from wear and tear of the disc and joints, and is slowly progressive.
- Osteoporosis due to a progressive decrease in bone density and strength, leading to potential vertebrae fractures.
Nerve and spinal cord issues
- Sciatica caused by compression on the sciatic nerve. Pain usually radiates beyond the lower back to shoot down the leg.
- Herniated discs (or “slipped disc”) when intervertebral discs are compressed and bulge out.
- Spinal stenosis which is the narrowing of the spinal column, compressing the nerve root.
Other potential conditions
- Pregnancy due to the increased weight of the baby placed on the lower back.
- Kidney stones which cause sharp pain
- Fibromyalgia which typically causes chronic widespread muscle pain
Any best approaches for management of chronic low back pain?
Many of us manage chronic low back pain by avoiding triggers (e.g. carrying heavy things) or using short-term pain relief methods (e.g. pain relief patches). However, these are stop gap measures that does not address the root cause of the problem.
Some approaches that could help are:
- Stretching and lengthening muscles (e.g. piriformis muscle) that can cause chronic lower back pain when it is very tight
- Strengthening muscles (especially your core muscles) that help support
What are some effective stretches for lower back pain?
Here are some stretches that can relieve lower back pain:
- Trunk rotation
- Cat-cow stretch
- Forward bend
- Knee-to-chest stretch
- Piriformis stretch
Are there better sleeping positions for lower back pain?
Sleeping on your back is commonly considered the best position to sleep in for proper spinal alignment and for a healthy back. Your body’s weight is evenly distributed, and it lessens pressure points. To help with lower back pain, place a small cushion under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your spine.
If lying on your back hurts, try sleeping on your side with a pillow or bolster between your knees. This will help keep your pelvis and spine in better alignment when sleeping. Try not to only sleep on one side every night, and constantly change sides (if you happen to wake up…).
Try not to sleep on your stomach as it adds unnecessary stress to your neck.
Should I see a chiropractor for lower back pain?
Chiropractors are trained to make physical adjustments to the spine to address spinal alignment and mobility. Research has shown that chiropractic care can lead to less pain and reduce the need for pain medication for lower back pain.
As a first step before even considering chiropractic care to manage your lower back pain, we strongly recommend coming in for a check-up just to understand your condition and check if chiropractic can help.
How many chiropractic adjustments do I need for lower back pain management?
Chiropractic is not a quick-fix for lower back pain, and one adjustment will not solve the problem. Think about your teeth – it took them years to be misaligned and it takes a long process through bracing to get back the proper alignment. Likewise, it takes time for your body to respond to chiropractic adjustments and feel the relief that you are looking for.
The number of adjustments required to find relief from your low back pain depends on the following:
- Severity of your condition
- How your body responds to adjustments
- How regularly you come for your adjustments
We have helped many members who find relief after their first few adjustments, while others take a few months.
At Chiropractic Singapore, our focus goes beyond just pain relief. We seek to address the root cause of the problem, typically through regular adjustments (e.g. 1-2 times per week) and a tailored stretch & exercise plan over a few months.
How do I know if my back pain is serious?
Your lower back pain is serious if:
- It persists for more than 1-2 weeks
- Is not responding to home treatment or medications
- Restricts your daily activities due to sharp/acute pain
- You experience weakness/numbness/tingling in your legs
- Loss of bowel or urinary control
- High fever
- Other symptoms which extend beyond your lower back pain
The above list is not exhaustive, and we strongly recommend getting a check with a doctor or chiropractor if you experience the above symptoms.
When should I do a check-up for my lower back pain?
If your pain has been persisting for more than a few days and is not responding well to home treatment or medications, you should come in for a check-up. It is important to address the root cause of your pain to prevent it from worsening.
At Chiropractic Singapore, our chiropractors are trained to understand if your spinal misalignment is causing your lower back pain, and recommend if and how chiropractic can help.
Note: The above information is not a substitute for a diagnosis or any form of medical care. Symptoms and treatments differ from person to person, and one should consult a chiropractor for an accurate diagnosis and recommendation.