TREATMENT FOR LOW BACK PAIN IN
PITTSBURGH & FOX CHAPEL
When you have back pain it can really slow you down. Understanding why you have low back pain is great, but what you really want to know is if someone can give you back pain relief. At Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Pittsburgh we provide evidence based and effective low back pain treatment for the Pittsburgh and Fox Chapel areas. The treatment that we provide is designed to get you, lower back pain relief fast and help you stay pain free. We are able to do this by understanding the 4 key mechanisms behind most low back pain symptoms and what each of these mechanisms responds best to. So regardless of if you got to this page from searching google for “low back pain treatment near me”, or if you were just clicking around on our website, I am going to tell you how we treat the most common causes of low back pain.
The four places that back pain comes from
While there are many diagnostic reasons that may cause you to suffer from low back pain, there are 4 main mechanisms that low back pain comes from. These four mechanisms are disc derangement, joint dysfunction, radiculopathy, and myofascial pain. Each of these mechanisms requires different treatment approaches. While these treatment approaches do overlap in some ways if the wrong treatment is applied then the condition is unlikely to improve. The main treatment approaches for each condition will be discussed below.
Disc derangement is the most common source of low back pain in Pittsburgh & Fox Chapel, but luckily it responds very well to treatment. The treatment that has been found to be effective for disc derangement was originally described by the New Zealand Physical Therapist Robert Mckenzie. As such it is often termed as the Mckenzie approach or end range loading. To understand end range loading you must first understand the centralization phenomena. The centralization phenomena is a symptomatic response to loading a joint in a certain direction. During the centralization phenomena when a joint is loaded in the proper direction a patient’s pain will move more towards the center of the body (the spine). This proper direction is called the patients directional preference. When a trained doctor properly puts a patient into their directional preference, if the patient had pain in the legs or buttock, they will often feel a decrease in the amount of pain in those areas. The patient will then progress through treatment until their pain centralizes to a small spot in the low back and then eventually goes away after the appropriate amount of treatment.
Through the use of systematic testing Dr. Tauberg is able to determine your directional preference and take you through the proper low back exercises and treatments to enact the centralization phenomena. These treatments often include exercises where you, the patient, are taught to move in a certain direction repeatedly throughout the day. In addition to these exercises certain techniques such as mobilization or manipulation may be used to further assist you into the direction of preference. Dr. Tauberg of Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation will guide you through these exercises and treatments in such a manner as to get you better quickly. After your condition has improved you will be taught low back exercises that are meant to help keep you out of pain and able to live your life to the fullest.
Joint dysfunction is a common condition in which the joint does not have the complete range of motion that it is anatomically designed to have. Joint dysfunction is best treated by returning the joint to its full range of motion. This can be done by putting a force through the joint as well as by providing exercises to make sure that the joint functions properly.
Dr. Tauberg uses palpation of the joints in the spine to determine when joint dysfunction is present. Dr. Tauberg will gently put pressure on the joints in your spine and feel how well they move. When there is joint dysfunction the joint segment will not move as well as those around it. Once joint dysfunction is determined to be the source of your low back pain, Dr. Tauberg will use spinal mobilization or manipulation to help restore movement to the area. Spinal manipulation is the treatment that one typically associates with chiropractors. Spinal manipulation in Pittsburgh & Fox Chapel is the process of putting the joint into the position in which it is not moving and then providing a fast but low force thrust through the joint. This thrust helps to reset the joint and restore its mobility. After the mobility has been restored to your joint it is important for you to perform certain exercises that Dr. Tauberg will prescribe you. These low back exercises are meant to help to keep the joint mobile and prevent further joint dysfunction.
Radiculopathy comes about from irritation of the nerve root. As was discussed on the causes of back pain page, radiculopathy is most often caused by disc herniation or spinal stenosis. In these conditions there is either inflammation around or direct pressure on the nerve root. This causes the patient to experience low back pain which may include pain that radiates down the leg. The treatment for radiculopathy involves mobilizing the nerve through certain treatments and exercises.
At Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Fox Chapel, Dr. Tauberg can determine if radiculopathy is the source of your pain through orthopedic testing that puts tension on the nerve roots. Once Dr. Tauberg has determined that you have radiculopathy he will use exercises which will improve the mobility of the nerve. In essence one can think of this as the nerve being flossed through the structure which is putting pressure on it. By doing this it loosens up the pressure that is directly on the nerve and relieves the low back pain. While you are performing these exercises Dr. Tauberg will use other treatment approaches to further help improve the mobility of the nerve through the structures. You will then be prescribed exercises to do at home which should help keep the nerve mobile and eventually allow for remodeling of the tissue irritating the nerve root.
Myofascial pain is pain that comes from the soft tissue, such as the muscles of the low back. While myofascial pain is often present in combination with all of the above conditions sometimes it is also the main source of back pain. There are multiple techniques and modalities that are effective for treating myofascial pain they are generally termed as myofascial therapies and are effective when used in combination with stretching exercises.
At Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Dr. Tauberg has a wide array of treatments that he will use for myofascial pain, however his three favorite techniques are IASTM, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release. All three of these treatments work on similar principals to help the muscles in the area relax. IASTM stands for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization and uses a metal tool to help loosen the soft tissue, and feels similar to a deep tissue massage. Trigger point therapy is when direct and deep pressure is applied to a knot in the muscle which helps the knot to get blood flow in and consequently release. Myofascial release is performed by Dr. Tauberg pinning down the soft tissue with his hands and then stretching the area around the soft tissue. This helps to activate the mechanoreceptors in the tissue which causes it to relax and elongate. All three of these myofascial treatments as well as the others that Dr. Tauberg uses can work together to get the soft tissue to relax and stop generating pain. In order to keep the soft tissue relaxed Dr. Tauberg will show you stretches that are designed to keep the area loose and free.
Stretches and exercises to prevent future low back pain episodes
While some may think that the stretches and exercises that the doctor shows them are unimportant this could not be further from the truth. While patients will often leave the office with less pain and discomfort then they came in, the exercises and stretches are the treatments that help keep the patient pain free.
It is common for the treatment to involve a combination of the above approaches because patients will often have a combination of conditions. If you have any questions regarding any of the above treatments for low back pain treatment in the Pittsburgh and Fox Chapel areas please feel free to contact us through our website or call 412-517-8124.
- Murphy, D., Seaman, D., & Heffner, S. (2013). Clinical Reasoning in Spine Pain Volume 1.Pawtucket: CRISP Education and Research, LLC.