Winter Brings Back Pain

With winter bringing snowstorms and blizzards, chiropractors are seeing an increase in patients with severe back problems. Shoveling snow and falls on slippery ice can both cause back injury, but it’s important that back problems are diagnosed correctly before beginning any treatment. 

Dr. Mark Schlobohm says it is extremely important to get a proper diagnosis of any low back, hip and leg pain. A typical patient suffering from such pain is diagnosed with sciatica, a painful condition usually caused by a slipped disc. If rest, back exercises and pain pills don’t provide relief after a few weeks, most of these patients are scheduled for surgery.

There’s just one problem - up to half of people diagnosed with sciatica may not be suffering from a disc problem at all, and surgery won’t provide any relief. That’s because they’re actually suffering from a condition called piriformis syndrome. 

The piriformis muscle is a deep muscle of the buttock. This muscle can go into spasm due to subluxations in the lower spine and pelvis. Subluxations are spinal misalignments that entrap a nerve, and the resulting pressure can cause debilitating pain, not just in the buttock but also in the lower back. That’s why piriformis syndrome is often mistaken for sciatica.

Piriformis syndrome can be caused by prolonged sitting (such as office work), twisting and rotating the torso (as in shoveling snow) and trauma like falling on one’s buttock. Up to 85% of people with this condition can expect to see at least a 70 percent improvement within weeks with regular chiropractic treatment, making an accurate diagnosis absolutely crucial if you want to avoid an unnecessary surgery.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has recently recommended that patients with back pain should see chiropractors before conventional medical doctors because chiropractors are neuro-musculoskeletal experts are well-prepared to manage and prevent low-back pain. Research has proved that the services of chiropractors not only work to manage pain but are cost-effective, so taking a more conservative approach at the onset of pain could save you or your health plan hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical costs.

If winter shoveling has caused you pain, follow the AMA’s advice and book an appointment with a chiropractor today. With deep massage therapy, spinal adjustments, spinal exercises and stretching, you could be feeling like yourself again in no time, without the need for pain pills or surgery you may not even need.

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