Nearly every adult out there has experienced pain in the low back at one time or another. Sometimes the pain may last only a day or two, but for some it becomes chronic, causing pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. Pain may begin suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, or may present after an accident, heavy lifting, or long-term wear and tear. To attack the episode of low back pain, recommendations range from painkillers, ice, heat, and stretching, all of which might provide some measure of temporary relief. For anyone suffering from lower back pain, it’s important to actually address the underlying cause, rather than just covering up the symptoms.
You may be wondering how your neck can possibly be related to the pain you’re experiencing lower down in your back, and even down the leg. The truth is, your entire spine is connected. Because of the unique shape of the top bone in the neck, the atlas, it is extremely vulnerable to misalignment. When the atlas shifts away from its normal position, much compensation occurs as a result. This creates imbalances in muscle tension, as well as abnormal tension along the spinal cord. This unequal tension results in a tilt of the head, unequal shoulders and hips, and causes one leg to shorten. It’s easy to see, then, how a small shift at the top of the neck can have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the spine.
In our office we use specific adjusting techniques to gently realign the atlas underneath the skull. Not only does this restore the structure of the spine to normal, but it also reduces the tension on the spinal cord that can be a major contributor to sciatic nerve pain. We know it may sound unusual that pain in the low back has its origins in the neck, but if you’re tired of the traditional treatments, medications, and therapies and would like to know more about how upper cervical chiropractic can help, please contact an Upper Cervical Doctor!