The Progression of Low Back Pain

Approximately 70% of the people that come in to the clinic complain of low back pain. Low back pain can take many forms, but, in general, long-standing low back pain follows a typical plot line.

I will often hear from a patient that their low back has been bothering them, on and off, for years. It bothers them after gardening, shovelling the driveway, sports, or a similar physical activity. They will report that it is happening more frequently and lasting longer.

Now, this explanation may seem self-evident, but please allow me to explain the situation as we chiropractors see it.

The reason the low back hurts following activity is because the back is not functioning properly. There are 5 lumbar vertebrae and 2 sacro-iliac (SI) joints that must move in harmony for optimal low back movement.

The initial trauma to the back/pelvis usually starts in childhood. Anyone who has children has seen them fall off the monkey bars, wipe out on a bike, or fall on their backside skating. These little accidents initially sprain the back and pelvis and affect its movement pattern. Next we add a lifetime of ski wipeouts, car accidents, icy parking lot slips, and we get a back and pelvis with repeated small-scale trauma.

Then we sit. We sit at work, in the car; we sit to eat and watch TV. This sitting loads up the back and tightens the hip, leg and back muscles.

Now, instead of vertebrae and SI joints working in harmony when we are active, one or two of the joints do most of the movement and get sore. As the years add up, these overworked joints can become worn and arthritic. The situation builds over time. The problem becomes chronic and then even small activities can strain the back, until finally we are frustrated enough to do something about it.

This is the role of chiropractic care. We assess the level of damage to the low back, and depending on the severity of the situation, come up with a plan to get the lumbar spine and SI joints moving again in harmony. This will reduce pain, but, just as importantly, allow the low back to tolerate activity again, giving us another hike, another day skiing, another day in the garden. We have seen that the more a body moves, the longer it lasts and the more enjoyment we can get out of life.

Like I said, this is a long-term build-up, but the sooner we tackle the problem the better chance we have of making a difference. If this sounds familiar, please come in and have a physical exam and assessment. We would love to help you become more active.

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC

Cucumbers Fly Better than Bricks

When it comes to optimal function, shape is the name of the game. For example, we all know that if something is aerodynamic, it has less resistance, resulting in greater speed and efficiency. Can you imagine a jet plane shaped like a Hummer?

Your spine operates the same way. It requires specific curves in order for your brain and spinal cord to communicate properly with your body. These curves allow your spine to bend and flex, and to handle the compression of gravity effectively. The loss of your spine’s “aerodynamics” turns you from the cucumber into the brick! You can no longer move freely, and the resulting symptoms can range from occasional stiffness and twinges to the more debilitating pain that affects your quality of life and your ability to work. Chiropractors can help keep your spinal curves aligned. Living in the Okanagan gives us an unparalleled four-season lifestyle—don’t spend another moment being a brick and missing out on what you enjoy. Come see if we can help!

Written by Dr. Tara Spearman, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kal Lake Rd.

The Cost of Low Back Pain

A quick review from Statistics Canada shows that 4 out of 5 Canadians will be afflicted with low back pain at some point in their lives. Many of these people will develop chronic, long-lasting pain that will directly affect their lives.

The cost of this burden to Canadian society is estimated to be in the billions (yes—with a “b”) of dollars. This is seen in costly medical expenses, prescription drugs, and loss of income. For many of us, even more costly than the loss of income is the loss of time doing what we love. You can’t put a price on the ability to fully enjoy a vacation, play your favorite sports, or even have a full night’s sleep.

Chiropractic care has been shown to help with back pain. If you have back pain, let us help you before it ends up costing you your valuable free time.

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kalamalka Lake Rd., Vernon


“Uncomplicated” Low Back Pain?

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is a medical diagnosis for the presence of low back pain, without pain radiating into the leg (no nerve deficits). Unfortunately, this diagnosis doesn’t really tell the patient anything other than that they have low back pain, which, I’m pretty certain, they already know!

“Uncomplicated” low back pain is usually treated with anti-inflammatory or pain-killing medication, in hopes that the pain can be masked long enough for it to somehow subside on its own. The term may mislead some patients into thinking that it’s no big deal. Yet it’s been estimated that one out of three people will develop osteoarthritis in their spine that will end up causing disability. Largely, this disabling arthritis is the end result of a wear-and-tear process related to the spinal imbalance that is initially felt in earlier years as “uncomplicated” back pain. The truth is that there is nothing “uncomplicated” about finding the cause of the spinal irritation.

When the spine becomes painful, it’s usually indicative of an underlying problem. Chronic low back pain later in life usually begins as minor episodes of low back pain earlier in life. The more it is brushed under the carpet with medication, the more damage is done over time, increasing the likelihood of future “complicated” pain that can become chronic.

Chiropractors are experts with joint and spine health.  We are trained to find postural imbalances caused by tiny spinal misalignments that irritate nerves and cause pain.  Maybe we can help?

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC
Arise Chiropractic
7-100 Kal Lake Rd.

Is There A Dimmer Switch On Your Child’s Health?

Children come to our office typically because their parents are concerned about complaints like ongoing headaches, neck pain, back pain, pain between the shoulder blades, acute pain from falls and sport injuries, poor posture, or concern as to whether their child has scoliosis or some form of spinal misalignment.

Did you know that most children we meet have 8 or more postural imbalances caused by specific misalignments in the spine?

The spinal column is very durable, but is subject to the stresses and strains of our life, and does mis-align. These misalignments can be detected by a Chiropractor in a simple spine and posture exam. Doctors of Chiropractic train for years to detect these tiny imbalances, and its these imbalances that can put damaging stress on the vital nerves of a child’s spine. This nerve stress has been related to many health complaints. Nerve stress acts like a dimmer switch on a lamp, turning the body’s power down. Pain and dysfunction are the symptoms a child’s body expresses when the damage inside gets large enough.

Chiropractors are successful at helping the body overcome these health concerns because we help correct spinal and postural imbalances, reducing nerve pressure, and allowing the body to heal itself, naturally. The most cherished part of my day is how parents’ eyes light up in amazement when they see their child overcome their health concern.

It’s delightful to see how improved spinal alignment can lead to an improved ability to heal and be healthy.
I’d love to help your family!

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Pain During Pregnancy

One big change a woman’s body goes through when she is pregnant is her center of gravity shifts as the baby grows. This can cause strain to the low back, pelvis, and neck muscles as they compensate for
this shift. These changes can also cause spine and pelvic misalignments, which are not only painful
for Mom, but may also put extra pressure on baby.

As posture changes to carry the weight of the developing baby, many women suffer from low back, pelvis, and neck discomfort. Many do not want to add pain killing drugs to their bodies at this time, and instead seek the help of chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care can help to alleviate the strains on the neck, back and pelvis, allowing a woman’s body to better carry the weight of the baby and decrease discomfort. It can also help to create space for the growing baby by ensuring a more optimal pelvic and tailbone position.

We invite you to contact us to see how chiropractic care can help with pregnancy, or call to make an appointment to see if we can help.

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC

Moms In Pain

Parenthood is the most important job there is. That’s why it breaks my heart to meet so many mothers who feel unable to give their best due to physical pain and discomfort…

• Mothers whose back pain prevents them from freely picking up their child
• Mothers whose blinding headaches sap them of all energy and turn play-time into a chore
• Mothers whose aches & pains leave them feeling worn-out, irritable and older than they are
• Mothers who worry they’re missing precious moments, distracted by feeling lousy

Chiropractic is very successful at targeting the spinal misalignments that so often cause HEADACHES, NECK PAIN or “CRICKS,” mid-back pain, lower back pain, sciatica, arthritis, and many other health complaints…so that your optimal self (and Mom!) can shine through.
For more information on how Chiropractic healthcare can help our Moms and their precious children, please contact us. We are a family practice and are here to help.

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk

Back, Neck, and Hip Pain: Catch it Early!

Spinal pain is often noticed weeks, months, and sometimes years after the underlying problem actually began. Pain is like a ringing fire alarm that is triggered once the nerves are adequately irritated, which sometimes takes years. The key lies in identifying what the underlying problem is—what’s causing the pain. There are dozens of tiny spinal joints in your back and neck. They can become misaligned, or subluxated, by all kinds of stressors: poor posture, falls from playground equipment or down stairs, sport tackles, long hours of sitting, car accidents, and even the birthing process (often called “birth trauma,” and for good reason!).

Spinal inflammation often begins painlessly and is your body’s attempt to heal the irritation. As the inflammation mounts, and more and more damage is done by the grinding pressure of the misalignment, chemicals are released by the surrounding tissue to irritate the nerves for one important reason—to cause the damaged area to hurt so that you become aware of the problem!

Chiropractors are trained in spine, nerve, and joint health. We help by retraining the spine to a more optimal position, freeing nerves and joints of damaging stress so your body can heal properly. If these problems are caught early, years of chronic pain may be avoided. Chiropractor’s often see disillusioned patients who are tired of taking drugs, their tests all clear, and are living in pain not knowing where to turn.

Maybe something is causing the problem that can be overcome.

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk