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Low Back Pain Treatment Chiropractor Columbia MO Near Me

Low Back Pain Chiropractors in Columbia, MO

Natural Low Back Pain Treatment: A Columbia, MO Chiropractor’s Perspective

About 80% of the population will have low back pain at some point in their lives, and about 23% of those suffer from chronic, recurring low back pain. It is the most common reason for doctor visits in the US, affecting people of all ages, genders, and races. Low back pain significantly impacts a person’s quality of life, work productivity, and healthcare costs, so it is vital to take steps to prevent and manage low back pain BEFORE it becomes a problem.

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How Our Low Back Pain Care Plan Works

1. Assessment

We begin with a thorough examination of the patient’s spine alignment, gait, and posture. Evaluate range of motion, pain points, and potential contributing factors.

2. Manual Techniques

Utilize gentle manipulations to target affected lumbar structures, including fascia, joints, and muscles. Employ mobilization and soft tissue techniques to alleviate tension and improve circulation.

3. Exercise Plan

Design a tailored regimen focusing on stretching and strengthening the low back muscles and surrounding tissue. Emphasize gradual progression, providing exercises that enhance flexibility, stability, and overall  function.

Why is low back pain so common?

Low back pain is so common because many complex and multifactorial causes contribute to the development of low back pain, such as a combination of lifestyle factors, individual factors, and medical conditions. The most common causes are:

  • Sedentary lifestyle: Many people spend long hours sitting in front of a computer or at a desk with their shoulders rounded forward and their heads looking down. Maintaining this poor posture for hours a day for months to years can weaken the muscles that support the spine and lead to back pain.
  • Lack of exercise: Motion is the lotion of your spine! Regular, mindful movement helps to keep your joints lubricated and happy. A lack of exercise and physical activity can lead to weak muscles and poor flexibility.
  • Injuries: Injuries, such as strains and sprains of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments), make movements like bending, lifting, and twisting become very painful.
  • Aging: We expect a certain amount of wear and tear as we age. The discs in our spines start to dry out and become brittle, and our ability to heal drastically slows down, making it more difficult to recover from everyday bumps and bruises.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as arthritis or herniated discs, can cause lower back pain.
  • Genetics: While genetics is not necessarily a “cause” for low back pain, some individuals may be more susceptible due to certain genetic factors, which should be considered when constructing a treatment approach.

Our muscles, ligaments, joints, and discs all play a role in causing and preventing low back pain. The lower back muscles are essential in supporting the spine and allowing movement. When these muscles are weak or strained, they can contribute to lower back pain. Ligaments – the tough, fibrous tissues that connect bones to each other – can stretch and tear, causing low back pain. The joints of the lower back, including the facet joints and sacroiliac joint, can become inflamed or irritated, causing pain in the lower back. The spongy cushions between the vertebrae of the spine, known as spinal discs, absorb shock and allow for movement. When a disc herniates or bulges, it can press on the nerves in the lower back, causing pain. In many cases, lower back pain is a combination of these factors. For example, a strain in the lower back muscles can lead to inflammation in the facet joints and contribute to pain.

Why is it essential to treat lower back pain quickly?

Treating lower back pain quickly is crucial for several reasons. Prompt treatment can provide much-needed acute pain relief. Acute low back pain can be intense and debilitating, hindering daily activities and affecting your quality of life. By seeking treatment early, individuals can alleviate pain and discomfort, allowing them to regain functionality and resume normal activities in a timely manner.

Promptly addressing acute low back pain can also help prevent the progression to chronic pain, making it more challenging to manage and treat effectively. Chronic pain can profoundly impact physical and mental well-being, leading to decreased mobility, increased dependence on medications, and reduced overall quality of life.

To alleviate pain, prevent the development of chronic pain, and restore functionality improving overall quality of life, it is essential to treat low back pain right away. Seeking chiropractic care early allows for timely diagnosis, targeted treatment plans, and provides the best chance for successful pain management and recovery.

How does untreated low back pain affect the body?

Long-term low back pain can have various adverse effects on the body. When left untreated, acute low back pain can persist and become a chronic condition that becomes more challenging to manage and treat effectively. Chronic pain can significantly impact a person’s daily life, leading to decreased mobility, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and reduced overall quality of life.

Untreated low back pain can also result in functional limitations and reduced mobility. The pain and discomfort can restrict movement and make it challenging to perform activities of daily living, leading to a decline in functional mobility over time.

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Kathy Lee
Kathy Lee
I fell on the ice. They got me in right away and also scheduled me for a follow up the next day. Now, I hit that ground hard when I fell, but I am still amazed at the speed and quality of my recovery after their careful care, evaluation and guidance.
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Leslie Garcia
Love getting adjusted and Dr Squires is amazing! All the doctors are great. I highly recommend coming here.
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Jan Ritter
Love this place. They keep me healthy and pain-free.
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Connie Coil
I have been going to Family First Chiropractic for approximately 12 years. They have helped me through numerous issues and I will continue to use them for my chiropractic care.
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Julie Borders
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Maria Trevor
Maria Trevor
I have been seeing Dr.Kelli for 11 years. Great help in alleviating pain and setting my back and neck straight. I see her monthly as part of my wellness routine, but I started with her due to back pain in late pregnancy. She has been absolutely wonderful over all these years!
Autumn Eads
Autumn Eads
My first appointment as a patient was amazing! Doctors are very thorough and strive to make everyone as comfortable and informed as possible. I’ve enjoyed my time working with these people.
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How We Treat Low Back Pain in Columbia, MO

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

A comprehensive chiropractic exam is essential for diagnosing and treating conditions related to the spine and musculoskeletal system. A thorough exam begins with a detailed patient history. Your doctor will listen carefully to your concerns and symptoms to gain a deeper understanding of your condition and specific needs. During the exam, your doctor will perform various functional, orthopedic, and neurological tests designed to identify areas of weakness or dysfunction. Once the chiropractor identifies the root cause of your issue, they will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue. This may involve a combination of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, neuromuscular re-education, and exercises to improve strength and mobility. By taking a holistic approach to patient care and focusing on the root cause of the problem, chiropractors can help patients achieve long-lasting relief from their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

Specific Chiropractic Care in Columbia, MO

A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine that causes pressure and interference on the nervous system resulting in pain and dysfunction. Subluxations can occur due to trauma, poor posture, or repetitive stress. When the nervous system is under excessive pressure, it can impact the function of joints, muscles, organs, and tissues throughout the body. Chiropractors identify and correct subluxations by restoring proper nerve function, allowing the body to heal and function at its best. Chiropractors use various techniques to correct subluxations, including spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and exercises to improve strength and mobility.

Motion Study X-rays

The lumbar spine, or the low back region of the spine, supports our core, keeps us upright, and allows for a wide range of motion. Normal lumbar spine movement involves a complex interplay between bones, muscles, and ligaments. The spine is designed to move smoothly and efficiently, with each vertebra sliding and rotating in coordination with the adjacent vertebrae. Normal lumbar spine range of motion allows for pain-free movements of the spine and hips and is essential for maintaining proper posture and overall spinal health.

In our office, we may use motion study X-rays may to evaluate the normal movement of the lumbar spine. While typical X-rays show what the spine looks like while standing still, motion X-rays assess how a patient moves their lower back from side to side, allowing the doctor to assess the alignment and functionality of the vertebrae. By identifying areas of restricted movement, we will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the root cause of the problem and restore motion to the low back using a combination of adjustments, soft tissue therapy, exercises, and other modalities designed to promote healing.

Low Back Pain Home Care

While your body is healing, there are several things you can do at home to manage low back pain that complement your treatments in the office.

  • Rest and gentle movements help to improve blood flow, promote flexibility, and reduce muscle tension.
  • Make sure to use proper posture and body mechanics to reduce further strain on the lower back.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity as it can aggravate the pain making it harder to recover in the long run.
  • Cold therapy (i.e., ice packs) can provide temporary pain relief by reducing inflammation in the immediate area of pain.
  • Taking a 20 minute, hot Epsom salt bath can be a soothing and relaxing way to relieve aches and pains in the lower back. The magnesium in Epsom salt helps to relax muscles and reduce inflammation.

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550 Grn Mdws Rd #101, Columbia, MO 65201

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Common Causes of Low Back Pain

Herniated Lumbar Discs

As the disc’s outer ring weakens, the gel-like substance will begin to bulge out through the weakened areas of the disc. However, if you continue to add pressure to a disc bulge, the disc’s outer ring will rupture, allowing the gel-like inside of the disc to leave the disc entirely, known as a disc herniation. This causes pressure on nearby spinal nerves. The most common nerve affected in the low back is the sciatic nerve. The compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve is called sciatica. It can cause sharp/shooting pain to the buttocks and down the back of the leg. The muscles in the low back may go into a spasm to “protect” and “stabilize” the spine, but these spasms usually worsen the pain in the long run.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)

About 15-30% of low back pain cases are related to the sacroiliac (SI) joint. The SI joint is the triangular bone at the base of the spine that connects to the bones of the pelvis and is responsible for transferring forces between the upper and lower body. Because we need this joint to be very stable and strong, it has limited mobility when compared to other joints in the body. Still, the small movement in these joints is crucial for proper biomechanics and to absorb shock.

The SI joint is an integral part of the body’s structural integrity and plays a role in maintaining balance and stability during movement. Like any joint, it can be subject to dysfunction or pain due to various factors such as leg length discrepancy, trauma, degeneration, and even pregnancy. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can show up as either HYPOmobility, where the joint becomes too rigid and lacks normal movement, or HYPERmobility, where the joint becomes excessively loose and unstable, both of which can lead to low back pain.

Bulged Lumbar Discs

Five bones make up the lumbar spine, and in between each of the bones lives a disc. The discs act as cushions to help protect the bones of the spine. These discs are made up of two main parts: the outer ring called the annulus fibrosus (like the crust of a doughnut) and the inner gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus (like the jelly filling).

Over time the discs can change due to age and lifestyle. The fibers in the outer ring can start to weaken and develop tiny tears from the everyday stresses and strains put on the spine. As the outer ring weakens, it becomes less effective at containing the jelly insides and starts to become dehydrated, making it less squishy and not-so-good at cushioning our bones. In this weakened state, the nucleus pulposus can shift or bulge through the tears in the outer ring, putting pressure on nearby nerves. These bulges cause low back pain or radiating pain down into the legs and feet.


Subluxation refers to a misalignment or restriction of the bones in the spine and acting as a roadblock and interfering with proper nervous system function. Subluxations can lead to a variety of health issues, including musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Chiropractors specialize in identifying areas of subluxation through examination, health history, and radiographic imaging when necessary. Applying specific chiropractic adjustments can correct subluxations and restore the body’s natural healing abilities.

Muscle Strain

Muscles in the low back can be over-stretched or torn due to excessive or sudden activity, causing muscle strain. Pain from a muscle strain can be either broad or localized, and depending on the severity of the injury it is accompanied by stiffness, tenderness, and a limited range of motion. Although muscle strains in the lower back usually resolve independently with time, it is important to address them early to promote healing and prevent the pain from becoming chronic.

Lower Back Pain, Disc Herniations, and Jelly Donuts

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I be worried about lower back pain?

You should be concerned about lower back pain if it is severe, persistent, or worsens over time. Additionally, there is concern if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as numbness or weakness in the legs.

What can I do to relieve my lower back pain?

To relieve lower back pain, you can try several self-care measures. These include applying ice or heat to the affected area, practicing gentle stretching and exercises that promote flexibility and strength, maintaining good posture, using proper body mechanics during activities, and avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity or sitting. When home remedies don’t resolve lower back pain, it’s time to get checked by a chiropractor.

How should I sleep with lower back pain?

Getting sufficient rest is the most important thing. Experiment with different positions to find what provides the most comfort for your specific condition. A good place to start is to lay on your back with a pillow under your knees and use a small pillow or a rolled-up towel under your neck with nothing propping up your head. The goal is to have your neck in a neutral position, keeping as much pressure off your spine as possible.

Why won’t my lower back pain go away?

There can be several reasons why lower back pain may not go away. It could be due to an underlying condition that requires specific treatment, inadequate or inappropriate management of the pain, poor posture or body mechanics, chronic inflammation, or ongoing mechanical stress on the back. It is recommended to consult with a chiropractor for a thorough evaluation to determine the cause and develop an effective treatment plan.

How can you tell if your spine is out of alignment?

Signs that may indicate spinal misalignment include uneven shoulder or hip levels, visible curvature or asymmetry of the spine, changes in posture or gait, limited range of motion, or persistent pain and discomfort. However, determining if your spine is out of alignment requires a professional evaluation. To know for sure, consult a chiropractor to assess your spine and provide appropriate recommendations for further evaluation and treatment.

Content Written by Dr. Kelli Winarski | DC, Pediatrics and Pregnancy Certified, ART (Active Release Techniques) Full Body Certified, NBCE, National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Part I-IV & Physical Therapy
Content Reviewed by Dr. Collin Zeugin | DC, NBCE, National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Part I-IV & Physical Therapy

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New Patient Special

Claim our new patient special where the first visit fees ($49) are covered by our clinic and donated to local charities. Your first visit includes x-rays (if medically necessary), a neurological exam, and a complete consultation.

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