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Total Body Health Gisborne’s take on low back pain and how our chiropractors may be able to help

The following is a little info on low back pain our Gisborne chiropractors have written for Gisborne and the Macedon Ranges community.

The low back pain epidemic

Do you know someone who has ever experienced lower back pain? There is a good chance you do, you have probably even experienced low back pain at some stage before yourself. Low back pain is so common that it is estimated that 74 to 85% of all people on this planet will experience low back pain at some stage in their lives (1). It is estimated that 7.5% of the population are suffering from lower back pain at any given time, that’s huge! (2)

Due to this enormous prevalence throughout the developed world, low back has been the leading cause of years lived with disability since 1990 (2). Approximately 70% of the years lost through disability were in the working class years aged 20 to 65, chances are if you’re reading this you likely fit in that bracket as well.

The problem with low back pain

There is a classification of low back pain title non-specific low back pain, NSLBP for short. This classification has arisen because in some cases of low back pain, there doesn’t seem to be any pathoanatomical cause. This basically means that they don’t really know what’s causing the pain because everything appears ‘fine’ on imaging such as MRI, ultrasound and x-ray. While the pain is very real, there is simply not a clear cut reason for the low back pain that can be seen on imaging. This strange occurrence actually makes up to 85 to 95% of all low back pain presentations to GPs, Chiropractors, surgeons and other specialists (2). To make matters worse, low pain doesn’t seem to go away. More than two thirds of people who suffer an episode of low back pain, will get another episode within the following 12 months (3).

What our team of Gisborne chiropractors can do to help

It is of our opinion that these low back pain episodes do not just randomly occur out of the blue, but that these episodes are showing up as the final straw that broke the camels back. While temporary solutions might be able to band-aid the problem make the pain disappear in the short term, without correctly identifying the source of the problem and addressing it in a functional and wholistic manner, we cannot expect to achieve long term solutions.

What on earth are we talking about?

As a part of our wholistic outlook, we like to look at patients functional patterns, and how each individual works biomechanically (how the individual components of your body coordinate to produce your movement). If there is an issue in a persons biomechanical functional patterns, it is likely that initially that individual will be okay - the human body is actually a robust machine and can tolerate some level of dysfunction. Although the body may be able to tolerate some dysfunction initially, under the surface this dysfunctional movement can cause micro-trauma/damage, and while these small amounts of damage will initially go unnoticed, if not corrected over time they accumulate, sometimes over years until finally, a noticeable pain. You can liken this to our camel, each micro-trauma/damage a straw added to its back, until we finally the straw the broke the camels back. At this stage many people will rack their brains, trying to uncover what movement/activity they did to provoke their low back pain, when the reality is that in most cases, the pain is multifactorial and did not just appear over night for no reason.

At total body health Gisborne our mission is to not only help people relieve their pain, but to address the original issue as well to help prevent reoccurrence. Ideally we would love to address the issue before pain even occurred in the first place. This is why our treatment sessions are a little longer than you might be used to, we need plenty of time to assess and then treat. For conditions such as low back pain our Gisborne Chiropractors take on a multimodal approach designed for each carefully examined individuals needs and goals.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to one of our Gisborne chiropractors to see if we can help you, please email Please be warned, our Chiropractors methods are notorious for involving homework ;)


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