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Back Pain

If you have lower back pain, you are probably wondering what is wrong with you? Why are you having this pain? How did this happen to you? And how do you get to feeling better as quickly as possible? Let’s dive in and get you more information. 

First, you are not alone.  Lower back pain is something that over 80% of us will deal with at some point in our lives.   

In fact, low back pain is now considered the number one source of disability worldwide. 

How we move our body, previous injuries and the habits we have (or don’t have) each day can play a huge role in either increasing or decreasing your risk of an aching back. Back pain is the number one reason people visit our Raleigh chiropractic office. 


Lower back pain can present itself in many forms including:

  • Tightness or Spasming of the muscles of your lower back
  • Sharp stabbing pain with movement  
  • Pain traveling down into your buttock or leg to the knee
  • Pain traveling down your leg all the way to your feet (Sciatica)
  • Numbness in your back or leg
  • Burning in your back or leg
  • Tingling or pins and needles feeling in your leg
  • Pain worse getting out of bed in the morning
  • Pain when going from sitting to standing

“Dr. Ashforth helped me go from back pain due to a workout injury that made it difficult to even walk or sit to running my 1/2 marathon a few weeks later. Dr. Ashforth continued to ensure my back stays aligned allowing me to successfully run my first marathon this past fall.” -Jill T. // Raleigh, NC

Why are you having this lower back pain?

Life can be pretty rough on your spine. 

Common things that put stress on your lower back include:

  •  Sitting improperly which includes: crossing of the legs, sitting under a leg, leaning to one side as well as bending too far forward in your chair.
  • Lifting things improperly.
  • Falls and traumas including auto accidents.
  • Repetitive motion activities like gardening and weeding, shoveling, and sports activities.
  • Poor sleeping habits like sleeping on your belly or having an old unsupportive mattress.
back pain relief

You have five freely moveable joints in your lower back that connect to your tailbone and hip bones.  

All of these joints depend on each other to provide you the movement you have come to enjoy. If the spine is put under stress repetitively,  the joints of the spine often get stuck and stop moving properly.  

This lack of proper joint motion puts abnormal stress on the joints, discs, muscles and ligaments that keep the spine aligned and moving. The more time that goes by, the more the tissues breakdown and weaken the area.


Most Common Lower Back Conditions:

So with the spine not moving properly and the joints under prolonged stress, and you still wanting to be active, something has to give, and it is usually your back.  

The most common back problems we treat at our Raleigh, NC chiropractic clinic, include:

  • Strains to the supporting muscles or tendons of the back
  • Spains to the ligaments of the spine or sacroiliac joints 
  • Disc bulges 
  • Disc herniations 
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis of the lumbar joints due to prolonged stress
  • Spinal Stenosis or narrowing of the opening for the spinal cord or nerves.



Commonly asked question: I have pain in my back and down my leg, do I have a  bulged disc or a pinched nerve?

Pain down your leg, particularly below the knee, is called sciatica. Sciatic pain is caused when a bulging spinal disc, excess bone, or overgrown ligaments begin to pinch the nerves in your low back that travel down your buttocks and legs all the way to your feet. 

Having a pinched nerve from a bulging disc doesn’t mean that you are destined for surgery. In fact, the majority of people with disc issues and sciatica can get well-using chiropractic care.  

A recent study found that people with lumbar disc herniations had more relief (over 60%) with spinal adjustments than with spinal injections.

How we help you with your back pain

The first step in helping you with your back pain is to properly figure out what the problem is.  To do this we do the following:

  • We ask you detail questions about your current complaint
  • We ask questions about your current lifestyle and what you are asking your body to do
  • We do a Functional Movement Assessment to see how your spine is moving and what areas may not be functioning properly.
  • If indicated we will take X-Rays of your spine to check for alignment, arthritis or other complicating factors.


Next Steps:

The days of taking drugs and medications for back pain are over. Prescriptions are now rarely recommended as a first option because of their dangerous side effects and, frankly, lack of results. 

New research shows movement-based strategies like spinal adjustments, controlled exercise, and dynamic stretching are some of the most effective ways to relieve low back issues.  

The main goal of chiropractic care in our office is to restore normal movement to your spinal joints.  

Once we know where the problem is we improve your spinal motion in several ways including:

  • Spinal Adjustments using the safest most advanced instruments.  Chiropractic adjustments work on the specific joints of your spine that are “stuck” or restricted. This begins the process of improving your range of motion and often provides quick relief from pain.
  • Soft tissue mobilization to reduce muscle spasm that are restricting movement. Often we use an instrument called a percussor that creates a deep vibration to the muscle releasing adhesions and improving circulation through the muscle. 
  • Intersegmental traction to unlock tension around the spine.
  • Specific exercises designed to restore normal movement patterns.
  • Specific stretches to reduce muscle tension in the fixated regions.
  • Education on proper ergonomics to ensure you don’t keep doing the same damaging things to your spine over and over. 


So if you have lower back pain remember, you are not alone.  

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to restore normal motion to your back and fix the problem, not just covering up your symptoms with risky potentially addictive drugs, spinal injections or surgery.

Our practice is focused on helping you decrease pain, improve your mobility, and live a healthier life. The first step to feeling better is to give us a call and let us help you get back in motion.


“Dr. Ashforth has really helped me get my lower back to a place where I have limited to no pain. He cares about all of his patients and knows exactly what to look for every time you walk in the door.” – Will G.  Chapel Hill, NC

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