Suffer From Low Back Pain in Wichita?


Chiropractic Wichita KS Back Pain

Low back pain is not normal.  It is common but it is NOT normal.  If you have low back pain it means that something is going on.  Your body’s nervous system serves as an alarm system to alert you to problems.  If the nerves that come out of the lower part of your spine have pressure on them, then you can feel pain. The good news is that pressure can be relieved through natural ways and that is what we will cover today in this article.

First, to get an understanding just how prevalent low back pain is let's look at some statistics.  

  • Back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • It is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office.
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
  • Americans spend at least $50 Billion each year on back pain.  That’s BILLION with a B!

Many people go to their medical doctor for their low back pain complaints. This commonly means prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxants, referrals to expensive specialists, and if you’re really unlucky…surgery.  The problem with this approach is that the vast majority of low back pain is a structural problem, but most people look first for a medical solution.  This is a major reason why we have such a crisis with opioids in this country.  Many people develop an addiction from a prescription they received for low back pain.  Lives have been ruined for the simple mistake of trying to resolve a structural problem with a medical solution.

Another major problem we see is the recent explosion of spinal surgeries.  In 1993, there were 150,000 spinal fusions.  This is a surgery that fuses two or more vertebrae together taking away all of the natural motion of the segment.  In 2007, there were 350,754 spinal fusions at an average cost of about $75,000.  This doesn’t even take into account the months of rehab needed and weeks of lost work.  The financial burden of a spinal surgery can be a very steep price to pay.  Surgery is always available as a last resort, which is why I always tell my patients to try EVERYTHING conservative first.

There are three structures in your back that cause the majority of low back pain.  Those are the spinal vertebrae, the supporting spinal musculature and the spinal discs.  The nerve that comes out between the vertebrae are surrounded by all of these structures.  If any of these impinge on the nerve itself it will create low back pain. At Optimal Wellness we make sure to address all three because they are so interconnected.  The muscles can be tight on one side of the spine causing rotation of the vertebrae which then presses on the nerve.  Or the vertebrae may not be moving correctly which causes the disc to not function properly, causing it to bulge and hit the nerve.  As you can see there are many ways low back pain can be caused.

Now that you understand how the vast majority of low back pain is caused, it is easy to see why taking a painkiller or muscle relaxant isn’t going to solve the problem.  If you have a vertebrae or disc that is pressing on a nerve, the only thing that will correct this is to remove this pressure.  A wise doctor once told me, “You can’t medicate yourself out of a structural problem.”  This is certainly true for this situation so our goal is to remove that pressure and in turn remove that pain, but before we get into how we help our low back pain patients lets go over some things you can do on your own.

The key to avoiding low back pain is to do preventative things every day.  Even if you already are suffering from low back pain these strategies will help you recover quicker.  I want to show you three stretches, three exercises and a couple of tips to avoid pain at your desk.

3 Stretches to Do Every Morning Before You Get Out of Bed If You Have Low Back Pain in Wichita



Okay, so you tried everything on your own.  Now what?  This is the point where I would suggest for you to see your local chiropractor.  Chiropractic offices can be very different and no two offices will be the exact same. In our office in Wichita, KS, we focus on three things to get rid of lower back pain.

First and foremost is the chiropractic adjustment.  Your nervous system is the basis of all of the function and feeling in your body.  Without it functioning properly your life will not be optimal.  Your spinal column is what protects your spinal cord.  The spinal cord is the highway that the information from the brain to the body travels.  The spinal nerves are the branches that come off the spinal cord that actually gets the information out to the body.  The spinal cord is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae.  If those vertebrae stop functioning properly or get stuck out of alignment it can create inflammation and pressure on the nerve.  What we do as chiropractors is assess the spine for proper motion and alignment.  If we find any issues in either realm, we are able to deliver a spinal adjustment to help alleviate the problem.  Once we correct the problem, then we can work to strengthen and stabilize the area.  The adjustment is the base which we work from because it addresses the most common issue that causes low back pain.  Watch this video of how a chiropractic adjustment is performed and how it helps.

The next most important thing we look at in our office is the intervertebral disc.  This acts as a cushion and shock absorber for the spine.  The disc is dependent on the spinal segments moving the way they are supposed to.  It doesn’t have its own blood supply so it stays healthy and hydrated through a process called imbibition.  This means that when the vertebrae move the way they are supposed to, it draws water into the disc and keeps it full.  If the vertebrae stop moving as well as they are supposed to, the disc can start to dehydrate.  When this happens the fibers that hold the nucleus can begin to tear.  The nucleus is a gelatinous material so it will move into an empty space created by a tear.  If enough of these fibers tear, the nucleus will move closer and closer to the outside of the disc.  Eventually the disc will bulge into the space where the spinal nerve resides, or worse, into the spinal cord.  If this happens, as we talked about before, the nerve will be pinched and you will feel pain.  If enough of the fibers tear, the nucleus can actually rupture and come outside of the disc called a herniation. At this point it is much more difficult to treat and this is why we strongly encourage people to tackle these problems when they are small instead of waiting until they are an emergency.  For disc issues we love our spinal decompression table.  Watch this video of how it works.

As you can see the table gently pulls and relaxes, pulls and relaxes.  This motion actually creates a negative pressure within the disc that will then encourage the bulged area to suck back into its normal space.  If we are able to get the vertebrae moving well again and strengthen the muscles around the disc then the disc has the opportunity to begin to heal and get back to normal.  This is such a key part of our care and most offices do not have the equipment necessary to address this issue.

The surrounding musculature is our final thing that we want to address.  We want to look at two things.  Muscles that are too tight and muscles that are weak.  Tight muscles will put pressure on the vertebrae and not allow them to move correctly or go back into the proper alignment.  Weak muscles will create instability in the spine meaning it will move too much and cause irritation.  So, when we do our exam we do functional movement tests to determine where the tightness and weaknesses are.  For tight areas we use different soft tissue modalities like Graston technique, foam rolling and stretching.  For weak areas we create a custom plan to be done at home, in the office or both.  This plan will give you functional movements that will target the exact areas you need to strengthen and stabilize your spine.  Without addressing the surrounding muscles, you run the risk of ending up in a never-ending loop of the same problem.  Our goal is always to help you get better and stay better long term.

I hope this blog was able to shed some light on what a complex problem low back pain can be, but I also hope that it simplified it to the point that you understand now that a mechanical problem always has a mechanical fix.  Rarely, does it have a medical one.  If you are having lower back pain and are interested in working with us, give us a call at 316-425-1911 or visit us online at

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm


Optimal Wellness
3017 North Cypress Drive Suite B
Wichita, KS 67226
(316) 425-1911