Matteo Chiropractic Clinic - Proudly serving the following areas: Burlington, Graham, Hillsborough, Mebane, and the surrounding areas.

941 S Fifth Street

Mebane, NC 27302


919.563.0063 FAX

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941 S Fifth Street

Mebane, NC 27302


919.563.0063 FAX



Low back pain is a very common pain symptom. One out of three of us suffer from some kind of back pain every year, and many people live with chronic spinal pain.

The good news is that chiropractic has been shown over and over to be an effective treatment of back pain. Here’s a collection of articles that discuss how chiropractic can help in the treatment of back pain.


Back Pain: Common Causes

There are a lot of different ways you can hurt your back. Both car accidents and trauma (such as falling) can leave you with back pain for long periods of time. Straining muscles and ligaments in your back is easy to do when your body is not properly aligned, which is what happens if you don’t bend your knees and hips when lifting a heavy box.

Extra weight can also pull the back out of proper alignment, which is why people who carry extra weight during pregnancy may experience back pain. Generally, after the baby is born, the mother no longer experiences back pain. People who are overweight may also experience back pain. In many cases, if a person loses the extra weight, the pain will go away.

Back pain may also be triggered by structural weaknesses that are genetic. These reasons can include ruptured discs, arthritis, skeletal problems and even osteoporosis.

Whether your back pain stems from an injury or from some type of genetic degeneration, your doctor or chiropractor can treat you for pain, as well as give you suggestions of other ways to help yourself.

Back Pain - General Information and Symptoms

At some point in your life, it is likely you will experience some type of back pain. It is one of the most common reasons people seek the help of a chiropractor. Back pain can be located anywhere on your back from the neck area down to the pelvic area, although low back pain is the most common ailment. Often the pain symptoms will last for only a few days or weeks, but in some cases the pain can linger for months or years. Pain that lasts longer than six months is considered chronic.

Back pain can be mildly annoying, or keep you in bed for hours a time. Symptoms can range in intensity from a simple ache along the spine, to a sharp, piercing sensation, and in some serious cases, back pain may cause difficulty with standing or sitting. Some people experience back spasms, which happen when the muscles in the back begin to contract repeatedly. If this happens near the spinal cord, it can be very painful.

Some people with back pain feel that it becomes worse with activity, and feel the need to lie down. Other people feel that sitting or riding in a car for long periods of time makes the pain worse. Whatever your symptoms, it is always best to get a professional diagnosis.

Stressful Life Events and Low Back Pain

This study attempted to examine stressful life events in patients with idiopathic low back pain. The researchers took into account individual predisposition and the psychosocial resources available during the stressful life episode. The study divided 64 low back pain patients into two categories, those with organic causes (16 patients) and those with an uncertain etiology (48 patients).

The most frequently cited stressful life events included “severe illness of family member or close friend,” “loss of job,” and “divorce.” When comparing the two groups of patients, the researchers found no difference in the kind and number of stressful life events. However, the idiopathic group recalled the events as significantly stressful, causing long-lasting disturbances in their daily life. The idiopathic patients showed difficulty in coping with these events and a lack of support—which then sparked feelings of helplessness and exhaustion—contributing to chronic low back pain.

The researchers suggest:

“In the assessment of these patients, the attending physician should pay special attention to highly stressful events while taking the history of the present illness, in particular those events that create feelings of helplessness and exhaustion in their patients. Our results might help determine which patients stand in need of psychotherapeutic support or, in case of marked depression, of additional antidepressant medication and thus help prevent the onset of chronicity in patients with idiopathic low back pain.”

Lampe A, Sollner W, Krismer M, et al. The impact of stressful life events on exacerbation of chronic low back pain. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 1998;44(5):555-563.

Weight Loss Eases Back Pain

Low-back pain and sciatica are common among people who are overweight, and a new study shows that losing weight can significantly reduce pain in those patients. Research shows that having a high BMI can slow your rate of recovery from low-back pain and increase your risk of common causes of sciatica like lumbar disc degeneration. Decreased space between the spinal discs can lead to nerve impingement and sciatic pain.

This new study included 30 patients who had undergone bariatric surgery. As patients lost weight, the space between the discs in the lumbar spine increased, easing pressure on irritated nerves. Patients also experienced a significant reduction in low-back pain and radiating leg pain.

For patients concerned with the potential costs and risk of surgery, non-invasive weight loss could be a viable option. A new literature review concluded that exercise and physical therapy can significantly reduce back pain in overweight patients without the risks of surgery.

A chiropractor can create a natural treatment plan for back pain that includes exercise, nutritional counseling, chiropractic adjustments, and more.

To learn more about natural back pain and sciatica relief, call our office today.


Atchison J and Vincent H. Obesity and low back pain: relationships and treatment

Pain Management 2012; 2(1): 79-86/(doi: 10.2217/pmt.11.64)

Baumgarten K, Walter C, and Watson E. The Effect of Obesity on Orthopaedic Conditions. South Dakota State Medical Association.

Djurasovic M, Bratcher KR, Glassman S, et a. The Effect of Obesity on Clinical Outcomes After Lumbar Fusion. Spine 2008; 33(16): 1789-1792.

Lidar Z, Behrbalk E, Regev GJ, et al. Intervertebral Disc Height Changes after Weight Reduction in Morbid Obese Patients, its Effect on Life Quality, Radicular and Low Back Pain. Spine 2012. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31825fab16.

Samartzis D, Karppinen J, Chan D, et al. The association of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration on magnetic resonance imaging with body mass index in overweight and obese adults: A population-based study. Arthritis and Rheumatism 2012; 64(5): 1488-1496.

Physical Risk Factors and Back Pain

This prospective general population study hoped to determine if non-occupational physical factors increased the risk of new episodes of low back pain (LBP). The authors looked at 2,715 subjects who had no back pain during the previous 30 days. The researchers evaluated their overall health, stress on the spine (in terms of weight, height, and activity), smoking status, psychological stress, and self-rated physical activity.

A year later, the authors followed up with another survey if the patient did not consult a physician in those 12 months. 1,540 patients responded to the follow-up survey; the 1066 who did not reply tended to be younger, less physically active, and more likely a smoker.

594 of 1649 (36%) had experienced an episode of low back pain. 254 patients reported their first episode ever. 37% of the men and 48% of the women who had a back pain episode had their first encounter with LBP over the 12-month period.

In comparing incident rates and surveys, the authors concluded that a poor rating of overall health at the initiation of the study predicted a new occurrence of back pain in the following year—regardless of the patient’s history with the condition. As well, the risk for women increased with heavier weight. Yet, they also found factors which did not influence the probability of a future episode: Current smokers were no more likely to have an episode than former smokers or nonsmokers, and less physically active participants were no more likely to have an episode than more physically active subjects. The authors conclude:

“The major risk for new episodes of low back pain identified in the current prospective investigation, apart from poor self-rating of physical health, was excess weight in women. The extent to which physical activity aids weight control, may protect against low back pain in the long-term, and is beneficial for other reasons is an argument for promoting it in general. To complement this argument, this observational study has provided evidence that physical activity outside the workplace does not constitute a major hazard for low back pain in the short term.”

Croft PR, Papageorgiou AC, Thomas E, et al. Short term physical risk factors for new episodes of low back pain. Spine 1999;24(15):1556-1561.

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