If you are dealing with back pain you are not alone, back is the number one musculoskeletal complaint worldwide. Low back pain is also the leading cause of disability, missed worked days and loss of ability to perform normal activities of daily living. Taking pain medication may provide temporary relief, however that only masks the symptoms and many pain relief medications such as opioids are dangerously addictive and have many negative side effects. Instead of trying to mask the symptoms, it is much more effective to address the cause of your back pain.
Causes of back pain
There are many potential causes of back pain and each treatment should be specific for the exact cause of the problem. If you are looking for back pain treatment in Fort Collins visit our chiropractic and physical medicine medically integrated clinic, not only will we help you feel better, we’ll help you correct the cause of your problem. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Abnormal spinal alignment – just as there are normal ranges for blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol, there are established normal for spinal alignment. Viewed from the side the lumbar spine (lower spine) may have too much curve (hyperlordosis) or too little curve (hypolordosis). Viewed from the front your spine can become shifted from to one side or you may develop a curve and twisting of the spine called scoliosis. Loss of normal spinal alignment is one the most common causes of low back pain.
- Abnormal movement of the spine – the spinal joints can become locked up or restricted or they may develop excessive motions due to damage of the connective tissues from an accident or trauma. Too much or too little motion in the joints leads to disc degeneration, arthritis and pain.
- Short leg – although many people have one leg shorter than the other, when the difference in leg length is greater than 5mm it frequently leads to abnormal wear on the disc, facet joint causing arthritis, disc bulging or herniations and back pain. A proper shoe lift is frequently an effective treatment for low back pain related to one leg being shorter than the other.
- Disc herniation or bulge – disc herniation and bulges can cause narrowing of the spinal canal and openings where the nerves exit the spine, frequently cause nerve impingement leading to back pain and radicular symptoms such radiating pain, numbness and tingling in the legs and feet. Many disc herniations resolve with conservative treatment such as chiropractic adjustments, decompression, traction and exercise. 
- Degeneration and arthritis – some decreased disc height and arthritis is a normal part of aging, however excessive loss of disc height and arthritic changes in the facet joints (posterior joints in the spine) can lead to back pain and radicular symptoms.
- Lower cross syndrome – Lower cross syndrome is a condition caused by tight and shortened muscles in the hip flexors and lumbar spinal muscles and weakened abdominals and gluteus maximus muscles. This leads to anterior pelvic tilting and hyperlordosis in the lumbar spine, frequently leading to low back pain.
- Being overweight – excessive weight gain, especially weight in the abdominal area causes excess stress on the lower spine and increases pressure on the joints in the lower spine. Medically supervised weight loss programs have been found effective in treating overweight patients with back pain.
Symptoms & Services we offer treatment for at Square ONE for Back Pain
Short-term Back Pain
Chronic Back Pain
Causes of Back Pain
Activities Leading To Back Pain
Back Pain Diagnosis
Back Pain Treatments
Back Pain Research
Treatment approaches for back pain in Fort Collins Colorado
All of our back pain treatments at our Fort Collins chiropractic and physical medicine rehabilitation center are customized and tailored to each individual patient. We begin by doing a detailed consultation and exam with a highly trained healthcare professionals. Our patients are evaluated by both a medical provider and a chiropractor certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics. Advanced diagnostic tests including digital posture evaluation, digital range of motion test, x-rays or an MRI may be ordered to help determine the underlying cause of your back pain. After reviewing your exam and diagnostic findings our medical team will review your individual case and customize a multimodal rehabilitation program to fit your needs. Your treatment for back pain may include:
- Gentle Chiropractic Adjustments – Spinal manipulations or adjustments help restore normal joint motion and function. Spinal adjustments have been found to be more effective than pain medication, muscle relaxers and acupuncture in providing low back pain relief. At Square One we offer many types of chiropractic adjustments to fit the needs of all our patients including: manual adjustments with hands, drop table adjustments and adjustments done with a mechanical adjusting tool.
- Therapeutic Exercises – A customized rehabilitation program is designed for each patient. Specific exercises are prescribed to increase mobility, correct posture and alignment, and to increase strength and stability. As a patient advances in their rehab program more dynamic exercises can be added to increase the patient’s ability to perform normal daily activities.
- Corrective Traction – Mirror image traction using Chiropractic BioPhysics rehab methods are used to mold the spine back normal alignment. Specialized traction equipment is used to place and hold the patient in a corrected position for up to 20 minutes. This stretches the spinal ligaments and each treatment creates small permanent changes in the spine . Over several treatments major changes can be made to restore the spine’s normal shape and alignment. There are over 250 research papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals showing the effectiveness of CBP rehabilitation methods in restoring normal spinal alignment. Learn more about CBP research at CBPnonprofit.com.
- Spinal Decompression Therapy – Spinal decompression uses a computerized decompression table that provides intermittent traction to specifically targeted lumbar or cervical spinal segments. Decompression stretches the spine causing negative pressure in the disc resulting in a hydration effect to the degenerated intervertebral disc and reabsorbing effect in disc herniations and bulges. Decompression also stretches soft tissues (muscles, ligament and scar tissue) reducing muscle tightness, reducing inflammation and causing a relaxation effect.
- Trigger Point Injection – Trigger points are focalized hyperirritable muscle bands or knots of skeletal muscles. Trigger points can cause pain in the direct area of the trigger point and referral pain in other ares. Trigger points are caused by sustained repetitive stress on muscles including repetitive activities and poor posture. Trigger point injections (TPI) can help the knots of muscles relax by injecting a local anesthetic into the trigger point. This can provide pain relief and make it easier for the patient to tolerate other treatments.
- Back Braces – Back braces have been found to be highly effective in providing back pain relief. At Square One we proved both off the shelf back braces that can be fitted for almost body sizes and customized back braces that can be designed and manufactured for each individual patient. Customized back braces are most typically prescribed to patients with conditions with degenerative, progressive and/or painful scoliosis or large thoracic hyperkyphosis. Back braces can provide significant pain relief and can be worn preventively to prevent back pain and injuries in the future.
- Weight Loss – A medically supervised weight loss program may be prescribed for overweight patients with back pain. Losing weight can directly lead to decreased back pain and makes other treatments easier and more effective.
Whatever is causing your back pain, at Square One we take a team approach to develop individualized and customized treatment plans for each patient to ensure you gets the most appropriate and effective non-surgical and non-drug treatment available.
If you are dealing with any kind of back pain contact our office at 970-207-4463 or click here for a free consultation. After a full evaluation we’ll be able to tell you whether or not you’re a good candidate for our treatment options.
- Chun, S.W., et al., The relationships between low back pain and lumbar lordosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine J, 2017. 17(8): p. 1180-1191.
- Defrin, R., et al., Conservative correction of leg-length discrepancies of 10mm or less for the relief of chronic low back pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2005. 86(11): p. 2075-80.
- Del Grande, F., T.P. Maus, and J.A. Carrino, Imaging the intervertebral disk: age-related changes, herniations, and radicular pain. Radiol Clin North Am, 2012. 50(4): p. 629-49.