It is well known that there are many chiropractic benefits for individuals that decide to pursue this treatment. Lots of different physical ailments and conditions within the musculoskeletal system can be treated with regular chiropractic appointments and adjustments. 

However, one of the most common things that we treat is lower back pain. This is largely because lower back pain is the most common type of pain reported by patients across the country. One study concluded that 25% of US adults admitted to suffering from this type of pain within the last three months. 

It is a significant issue, and one of the reasons people struggle with it is the lack of proper treatment they get. This is where chiropractic care comes into play. There’s a strong link between lower back pain and chiropractic, and this blog post will explain everything you need to know. You’ll see the benefits of this treatment method and why it is the best way to fight back pain and see long-term relief. 

What do we mean by lower back pain?

Naturally, the back is a large structure in our body composed of many muscles, bones, and joints. In general, back pain is extremely common, affecting over 65 million Americans every single year. However, where does the differentiating between back pain and lower back pain occur? 

Fundamentally, when we talk about this specific type of pain, we are referring to the lumbar spine. 

For those that don’t know, your spine is made up of three main sections: 

  • Cervical spine
  • Thoracic spine
  • Lumbar spine

It is composed of 24 small bones, known as the vertebrae. Each segment of the spine consists of a set number of vertebrae, which is usually how we differentiate them from one another. 

The cervical spine is the first 7 vertebrae, running from the base of your skill to the top of your back. It is commonly referred to as the neck. 

The thoracic spine is the largest segment, composed of 12 vertebrae that run from just below your neck to the bottom of your ribs. Most people will refer to this as your upper and mid back. 

Lastly, the lumbar spine is what makes up your lower back. It has the final 5 vertebrae and runs from just below your lowest rib to the top part of your buttocks. Here, it meets the sacrum, which forms part of the pelvis.  

Therefore, if you experience pain in this portion of your back, you will be classified as having lower back pain. 

What are the different types of lower back pain?

The lower back is a complex structure as the spine is made up of many tiny bones and other materials. At the same time, you have lots of different muscles that attach to the spine and provide protection for your organs in this region. 

As a result, you can suffer from many different types of pain here. The most common of which can usually be put in the following categories: 

  • Muscular pain – Tight and hyperactive lower back muscles are extremely prevalent nowadays. Experts put this down to poor posture in many young adults, creating an anterior pelvic tilt that forces the lower back into an excessive arch. Consequently, the aggressive arch forces the lower back muscles to fire on all cylinders, leading to muscle knots and spasms. You may also pull a muscle in your back, causing a lot of pain. 
  • Nerve pain – Often referred to as sciatica, nerve pain in the lower back stems from the sciatic nerve becoming trapped or irritated. It’s a common issue that can affect between 10-40% of the population. One of the most frequent causes of sciatica is a bulging disc in the spine that compresses the nerve and leads to shooting pain down the back of your leg. 
  • Joint pain – As mentioned, the lumbar spine is composed of 7 vertebrae, meaning there are many joints in this region. It is possible for the discs between these joints to bulge, slip, or wear down over time. Thus, you can suffer from back pain that originates in the spine itself. Stiffness in the joints can also cause pain and discomfort. 
  • Fractures – In some cases, you may fracture bones in your lower back that causes a lot of pain and take a long time to heal.

What is chiropractic care?

The technical definition of chiropractic care is that it is a treatment that involves a qualified practitioner using multiple methods to relieve problems with bones, muscles, and joints. 

If you have never been to a chiropractor before, you might not know what a typical treatment plan entails. Primarily, treatment will involve something called manual manipulation of the body/joints. This is often referred to by your chiropractor as an “adjustment”. You may feel a clicking, cracking, or popping sound when these adjustments are made, but it’s completely safe and normal. This is simply the sound of air, like when you crack your knuckles. 

The purpose of adjustments is to restore mobility and function to the joints, primarily the spine. It also aims to bring your joints and body back into their natural alignment. 

How can a chiropractor treat lower back pain?

What can chiropractic do for lower back pain specifically? 

To start, look back at the main types of LBP and what tends to cause them. For things like fractures or broken bones, chiropractic isn’t suitable. But, for all other types of pain, it can be a fantastic treatment option. 

When you come to Desert Shadow Chiropractic for treatment, we operate on a three-phase basis. Each phase is dedicated to helping your LBP in a specific way. 

Phase 1: Relief care

Suffering from pain in your lower back can disrupt your daily routine and the things you do. You are constantly in pain and see very little relief when sitting down. Often, the only way to feel better is by lying down in a certain position. 

Chiropractic care can help you gain immediate relief from your pain. This usually results in multiple visits per week until the pain becomes more manageable. 

During this period, adjustments will be made to your spine – and other joints, such as your hips and shoulders – to reset everything into alignment. Doing this can relieve a lot of pressure and tension that’s happening throughout the spine, leading to a reduction in pain. For individuals with nerve pain, some regular adjustments can create more space in the vertebrae, preventing nerve compression and immediately reducing pain. 

Alongside the adjustments, other treatments are provided to ease tension in your muscles. This can include massage therapy and the use of other equipment to stimulate muscle relaxation and ease the pain. 

Phase 2: Corrective care

One of the things that separate chiropractic from other forms of health care is the continued treatment beyond a pain relief stage. If you were to see a sports therapist or massage therapist, you can get immediate relief from lower back pain. Massages and other treatments can ease your pain and help you feel a lot better. Thus, you assume that the problem has gone away and you can get on with your life. 

Chiropractors recognize that easing the symptoms is not the same as treating the problem. So, the corrective care phase is mightily important. Here, your adjustments and manipulations will decrease in frequency, often dropping to around once a week or once every few weeks. 

A key element of this phase is the introduction of exercises and stretches to help correct the problems associated with your LBP. Your chiropractor will provide you with a series of things to do at home that will accelerate your healing and directly target the cause of your back pain. 

For example, many individuals suffer from muscular LBP as a result of poor posture. It was mentioned earlier that the common cause of this is an anterior pelvic tilt, which puts added stress on the lumbar spine muscles. Here, a chiropractor will likely prescribe exercises such as strengthening the glute and abdominal muscles while stretching the hip flexors. Along with adjustments, this restores the proper alignment of your spine and helps you improve your posture, leading to long-term pain relief. 

The exact exercises you have to do will depend on your LBP – which is going to be diagnosed during your initial treatments. 

Phase 3: Wellness care

Throughout the second phase of treatment, your body will start to heal and your lower back will become less of a problem. Once you stop feeling pain or symptoms associated with your LBP, you move on to the wellness care phase. 

Again, this is a critical aspect of chiropractic as it targets long-term results. Here, your chiropractor will continue to advise you to follow a regular exercise routine that targets problems associated with your lower back issues. It’s important to keep up with this as regularly as possible to prevent further problems from arising. 

You will still be advised to come in for adjustments as well, but this will be very infrequent. Mostly, you will come to the clinic once every few months to adjust your spine, assess your condition, and receive any additional treatment if necessary. The constant maintenance will help to prevent flare-ups and allow you to live life to the fullest. 

The benefits of chiropractic for lower back pain

There are many advantages of choosing chiropractic treatment for lower back pain, particularly when compared to other treatment methods. Here are some of the key chiropractic benefits you are likely to see: 

Prolonged pain relief

Unlike other treatments, you will get prolonged pain relief from chiropractic. This is backed up by one study from 2018 that showed individuals that undertook chiropractic care experienced less pain intensity and required less pain medicine across the six-week trial. 

The nature of chiropractic means you are put on a long treatment plan that targets long-term results rather than short-term pain relief. Yes, the initial adjustments and treatments in the first phase do help you feel less pain right away. But, consistent appointments and adjustments further heal your body and provide long-term benefits. 

Treatment for sciatica

Sciatica is notoriously difficult to treat because it stems from a nerve problem. Massaging your back or performing exercises and stretches might not generate any positive results. Chiropractic care is a fantastic solution because it helps to re-mobilize your spine and put the vertebrae back into a more natural alignment. 

In turn, this opens up more space between each joint and can stop the discs from compressing or irritating the sciatic nerve. As such, it is one of the only ways to properly treat sciatica and prevent it from returning. 

Get to the root of your LBP

Chiropractors don’t just provide you with pain relief treatments. Part of the reason you see prolonged relief is that the treatment gets to the root of your problem. Your chiropractor will diagnose your lower back pain and provide a bespoke treatment plan designed to treat the causes. 

This means that you understand how to better manage your lower back pain even when your treatments become less frequent. You won’t have to spend money on massages every week; your body will be in a position to look after itself and you will have a treatment plan to constantly follow. 

Be treated by a highly trained and qualified professional

There are lots of professions out there that can treat lower back pain. In a lot of cases, you don’t require extensive training or qualifications to provide certain treatments. Anyone can become a massage therapist with an online qualification. 

Contrastingly, chiropractors have to undergo university education and additional training. This means you are guaranteed to be treated by someone that has trained for many years, ensuring they are an expert. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re in very safe hands when seeking out lower back pain treatment. 


To conclude, chiropractic is the best treatment method for lower back pain because it directly targets the causes and provides long-term benefits. If you are interested in learning more or would like to make an appointment with a chiropractor, please contact us today.