How the Upper Cervical Spine Effects Low Back Pain

Low back pain, commonly known as lumbago, commonly effects over 80% of adults. It is be very debilitating. In a recent study, more than a quarter of adults report having experienced low back pain within the last 3 months. While the problem may be originate from the low back itself, the upper cervical spine may also be the cause and contribute to low back pain.

The anatomy of the low back

The lumbar spine consists of 5 bones known as vertebrae stacked on top of each other with a disc sandwiched between each bone. The spinal cord runs down the center canal in the middle of each vertebra. This design allows the spine to be a flexible, moveable structure. In addition, there are also ligaments, spinal nerves, and organs located in this region of the body.

Discs in particular act as shock absorbers of the spine. They cushion each individual vertebra as the body moves and help to minimize the stress on other structures. Each disc is like a jelly donut. The outer portion of the disc consists of a firm fibrous material known as the annulous fibrosis. The center of each disc contains a more fluid like material that is capable of rupturing through the outer portion. When this happens the nearby nerves become irritation, and the body creates an inflammation and a condition called sciatica.

Causes of Low Back pain

Low back pain can be trigger by:

  1. An injury
  2. Overuse
  3. Everyday activities

Factors that worsen its symptoms include movement, prolonged sitting or standing, and long periods of rest or inactivity. Other symptoms that accompany low back pain include decreased range of motion, stiffness, muscle spasms, loss of balance, muscle weakness, and numbness and tingling.

How the neck effects low back pain

The human head weights approximately 10-14 lbs. When it is shifted off the center of the neck, the body becomes imbalanced. In an effort to keep the head centered over the neck, the body will contort itself causing one leg to appear shorter than the other. This type of body imbalance can lead low back bain because the pelvis becomes twisted and raised on one side. The postural muscle tone of the body is controlled in the brain steam that is house in top two bones of the neck (C1 atlas and C2 axis). When the misalignment is corrected, the body is in postural symmetry with muscle tone will become relaxed.

Author
David Chen, DC Dr. David Chen has been practicing Blair Chiropractic since 2014. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in upper cervical chiropractic. This type of correct is gentle without the normal popping and cracking associated with chiropractic neck adjustments.

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