Do you suffer low back pain? If so you have a lot of company. One estimate is that 80% of people will suffer low back pain in their adult life.  At work, low back pain ranks second only to upper respiratory infections as a cause of missed work time. Low back pain counts as one of the major reasons for long term disability. And why so many people turn to drugs for their pain. Unfortunately most medical doctors don’t know how to help their patients with anything else but drugs.  But no drug improves how your back moves to keep the pain from coming back. No drug balances unbalanced muscles.

However many research studies over decades of studying this problem have determined the safest and most cost effective therapy for low back pain to be…

chiropractic adjustments! Chiropractic adjustments also called spinal manipulation of your stuck back joints actually restores your function as it relieves your pain, so your back works better as well as feels better. That is something that no drug can do.

So, what is a spinal adjustment?

When chiropractor checks your spine and finds some of the spinal joints not moving properly, they treat the problem with a spinal adjustment. There are different ways that chiropractors use to restore proper movement to a spinal joint. These are called techniques.

The technique chosen depends on the person’s health needs and challenges and what will help them most. Most people picture a person lying on their stomach or side and the chiropractor pushing on their back to free the stuck joint. However this is only one way to do it.

There are a variety of hand held devices that some chiropractors use to restore spinal motion. These may be used if the person is in great pain or is very frail or have difficulty lying down.  Dr. Ellen uses a hand held gentle device for these people. She can then move their joints with them sitting or standing up.

There are other techniques termed light force adjusting techniques. We use a couple of those at our office, mainly Logan Basic and SOT (Sacro Occipital Technique). These are very gentle and calming to the nervous system and allow us to safely treat very frail or injured individuals. These techniques use indirect pressures on ligaments or muscles around the spine to move stiff and stuck joints.

How does an improperly moving spinal joint cause back pain?

There are many ways that stuck spinal joints cause pain. Here are a few:

  1. A lot of nerves surround spinal joints. When the joint does not work properly, the nerves get irritated even if the bone does not press directly on the nerve. Nerves work best when all the joints are working properly.
  2. Many muscles attach to spinal joints. When the joint does not move correctly the muscles become tight, sore and painful because now they can’t work properly either. Knots and trigger points build up in the muscles increasing your back pain. The trigger points then won’t go away until they receive special work to release the surprisingly painful spot. Also, these trigger points can send pain all the way down your legs or arms fooling you into thinking you have a ‘slipped disc’.
  3. An improperly moving joint irritates surrounding tissues causing inflammation chemicals to build up. Inflammation causes swelling and pain.
  4. When one set of spinal joints does not move, the work of those joints get transferred to spinal joints above and below that level. The joints having to overwork now get irritated and hurt.
  5. When one set of spinal joints doesn’t move properly, the work of those joints gets transferred to spinal joints above and below that level. Because these joints are doing more work, they in turn become irritated and hurt.

Your Choice

Our complicated human bodies have many parts. Parts that are supposed to work together to keep you functioning without pain. But a stuck spinal joint or two can make problems so you feel miserable in a variety of ways. Yes, you can try taking pain killing drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs to block the pain. But that is all that drugs do, they just block the pain. (Imagine if you went to a dentist and all he did was give you a shot of novacaine to block the pain but he didn’t do the real work of making your teeth better.) Taking drugs for your back pain and not restoring the normal motion is like that because it doesn’t fix the real problem, it just fools you into not feeling the pain for a while.

So, why suffer? If you have back pain, don’t wait for it to become severe or more complicated to correct. We can help with a handy spinal adjustment to correct the cause of the problem. Call us at 978-535-6155 or contact us at

You can read more about research on this subject here: