Lower Back Pain


Lower back pain is providing an increasing and very significant financial strain on Western society. Surgery, high tech scans, staggering hospital fees are straining not only health care, but society in general to the limits.

It is in this environment that chiropractic help has thrived, but chiropractic care too has become very costly. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. What can you do to help yourself?

A general pessimism purveys society, the patient and insurance companies. The employer too is feeling the pinch as more workers take extended time off for the care of lower back pain.

Medicine and chiropractic help alike would acknowledge that chronic disc disease is clinically challenging, even to the most experienced doctor; whilst under care, the unexpected can radically change the outcome of treatment. One sneeze, a long journey considered unavoidable to the funeral of a beloved, or even a stumble while taking a walk can all play havoc.


Notice the PL in the graphic above? The disc most commonly bulges in a Postero Lateral direction. This may be associated with the Sign of Pisa, a strange lean to the side, in the direction away from the pain. Postero Lateral disk herniation ...

However, the disc may also bulge in a postero medial direction. PM. Then you may find yourself leaning TOWARDS the painful side. Postero Medial disk herniation ...

Lower Back Pain

Patients regularly complain of losing control of their physical bodies and the challenge for the clinician is to motivate the patient to become actively involved in the treatment of their condition. Otherwise the cost of care can become horrific...

The economic burden of a disease is the sum of all costs associated with that condition which would not otherwise be incurred if that disease did not exist. It's not just the fee paid to the doctor. Far from it. Cost of low back pain ...

Other common causes of low back pain are the

Searching for something specific? Say, " slipped disk ". Just type it in here...

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From the Chiropractic Help coalface

Mrs S. consulted me yesterday, and my secretary was soon cursing. I started running late. Why?

Mrs S. is an elderly lady. She could barely walk two months ago when she first consulted me, so bad was the pain in her groin and her lumbar region. Actually sacro-iliac pain, but never mind.

'Doctor, I have to stop treatment, I'm afraid.'

'Oh, why?' That's me speaking.

'I just can't afford your fees any more.'

'I can understand. You're not the first. But how are you doing?'

'Oh, I am so much better. I can walk again, and I can sleep on that hip now. I really want to thank you. I don't want to appear ungrateful, but this will be my last consultation.'

The fact of the matter is that health care is expensive. And my fees are amongst the lowest in town. Mrs S and I came to a compromise. She is 1000% better, but I know if we completely stop treatment, it won't be too many months before she slowly slides back to where she was. As they say: Old age is a bugger, and then you die! However, when you consider the alternative...

Will she will do her exercises faithfully? I think so. You can download them here: CHIROPRACTIC TIPS ... I hope she'll come every two months for a maintenance treatment. This is our standpoint at Chiropractic Help. The alternative is a greater likelihood of relapse.


Numerous studies related to LBP suggest that the greatest savings from a society's perspective may be obtained by an early return to work, in order to minimise loss of productivity.

Further studies at Chiropractic Help point out that overall this is also to the patient’s benefit, and not only the employer and the health insurer.

Furthermore, exercise, rehabilitation and fear avoidance training are all considered vital in achieving a good end result in the care of the patient suffering from lower back pain.

See our lower back core exercise programme.

Lumbar Spondylosis casefile

Large "arthritic-looking" osteophytes (spurs) appear ugly, but are usually asymptomatic and "an incidental finding". They have been there for years and certainly not the cause of the acute pain that began last month. Of no particular relevance. For the patient in pain, the rule is to look elsewhere for the source of pain as in this Lumbar spondylosis CaseFile.

Rehabilitation and Lower Back Pain.

Do you want to garden again? Accept the discipline of rehab, or suffer more episodes of severe lower back pain.

Having spent seven years practising in the Netherlands, who could not be stirred by the Impressionists. This oil painting, The Sower, by Vincent can be seen in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Six hours to blow during a stopover at Schiphol? Make sure you get to there.

Take the train into the city, and then it's an easy tram ride. Check first whether you need a Schengen visa.


It was not only the art, but the Dutch people who made such an impression on me during those seven years. Here you can enjoy 25 odd anecdotes from the Chiropractic Coalface whilst I was in Holland. Never will I forget the woman with very acute lower back pain who arrived, supported by a man I presumed was her husband. No, not Jan I, but Jan II. Priest in my Bed ...

Stones my Clog


Low back pain patients gave an interesting insight in research done in Norway. Over 82% of patients with LBP are more than satisfied in the short term with chiropractic management.

However, in the long term, this percentage dropped indicating that more emphasis should be placed by chiropractors into rehabilitation and continuing care to prevent re-occurrence of lumbago. (JMPT 28) Hence Chiropractic Help.


Lower Back Pain and Leg Pain are often also associated with pregnancy. There are very many potential causes, with enormous economic consequences, associated with lower back pain and leg pain during pregnancy ...

Chiropractic Research is unequivocal. Manual treatment + spinal stabilization exercises + home exercises combined are of far greater and longer lasting benefit; better than any one of the three on their own.

Follow the links from Maignes Syndrome CaseFile and you'll get some core exercises that you can do at home to help with your lower back pain.

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A regular walk is probably one of the most significant things that will improve a low back condition. Many sufferers find that a slow walk, like shopping, is hell, but a relatively faster walk is far less tiring and painful.

Once over the acute phase of Lower Back Pain, a regular walk can make a huge difference. For more about how far, and how fast to walk, first take the KASCH PULSE RECOVERY TEST ...

Of course, walking is also the most important prevention of osteoporosis. Causes of osteoporosis ...

Why all the emphasis on rehab?

A Swiss and Dutch research programme has shown that function centred rehabilitation is more effective than pain medication in the treatment of lower back pain. It gets patients back to work much faster.

However, in both programmes, around 50% of the patients ended up after three years being permanently disabled.

In Chiropractic, we combine the benefits of manipulation with function centred training exercises to get you over lower lumbar back pain and/or leg pain sciatica and back on your feet as soon as possible.

This emphasis is to prevent chronic back pain ... few things are more debilitating. An ounce of prevention...


Chiropractors are not in principle against lower back surgery, in the right circumstances: unremitting LEG PAIN that has not responded to conservative care.However the results are so unpredictable especially in smokers, the obese and diabetics.Did you know that Medicine's own research reveals that less than 50% of lumbar fusions have a satisfactory outcome... Go from LOWER BACK PAIN to LOWER BACK SURGERY ...

Maigne's syndrome

A not-uncommon, and less well understood cause of lower back pain is the Maignes Syndrome ...


Have A Question about your lower back?


I receive many questions about Chiropractic. It might be help with a spinal condition, but it might also be from a person who can't walk after a hip operation, or some such thing.

I will do that by answering your questions personally, but it will be converted to a Web Page so others can benefit from your questions. Omit your name if you like.

However, do understand that, in the main, I'm going to be directing you, should it be pertinent, to a Chiropractor in your neck of the woods. I'll respond to all reasonable inquiries, but please be specific, and give as much detail as you can.

Stop! Are you about to write on a not so smartphone? Don't. The chances are good you are wasting your time and won't get a reply.

Google has taken a very strong stand against webpages with poor grammar. Please don't use capitals, dots, hyphens and brackets. Don't write from your smartphone because I simply don't have the time to correct your grammar, and won't answer.

There is no charge for this service, however if you find my answer useful, you might like to consider purchasing my latest book, Stones in my Clog. Gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a Chiropractor. It's only $2.99. http://www.bernard-preston.com/Stones-in-my-Clog.html

Pose Me A Question! Pretty please, in decent grammar and spelling.

I will never give or sell your email address to anyone.

Do understand that lower back pain is extremely complex, so I can only give general guidelines. There's no substitute for a careful thorough chiropractic examination.

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.



Bending and twisting


Short leg?

Lower back and leg pain

Lumbar facet syndrome

Slipped disc

Sacro-Iliac Joint



Questions from readers