How we treat and correct

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints we see in our office.  In fact, up to 80% of all people will have low back pain at some point in their life.  There is no denying, low back pain is very prevalent today.

A female Calgary Chiropractic Doctor adjusting a patient on a table.

All people at this clinic genuinely care, well run clinic, comprehensive treatment plans, Kale is well educated – healthy, skilled and athletic himself, trained in upper cervical treatments, well designed clinic with a natural structural flow, in house gym for rehab, serves water, beautiful place, nice waiting area with educational screen, video courses/lectures for patients, in house x-ray, easy access, community conscious and follow thru with action, long time competent manager – Rene, initial visit is affordable, staff operate as a team and are outgoing with a positive attitude. I can refer friends to Natural Way with confidence, knowing they will be cared for and treated with class and skill

~Maria V. 

How we care for our patients

Calgary Chiropractic Health Care

Chiropractors are experts and locating and correcting subluxations.  Subluxations are misalignments in the spine that interfere with proper nerve function.  These misalignments interfere with the communication between the brain and the body, ultimately resulting in dysfunction and pain.  The goal of correcting subluxations is to take pressure off the nerves to allow your body to function properly and provide natural pain relief.  

Think about a car going out of alignment.  As soon as the wheel alignment is off, the car can’t drive properly, things start to wear and tear, and the driver has a more difficult, not to mention expensive, time driving.  Subluxations are very important to correct.  Each vertebra in our spine is meant to move freely from the one above and below, it’s meant to be in the correct structure so there’s no pressure on the nerve itself.  We are most vulnerable at our joint spacings, so when our spine falls out of alignment it begins to wear and tear increasing the likelihood of disease, dysfunction, and pain.

How we care for spinal issues

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

At Natural Way Chiropractic, new patients always start with a comprehensive consultation with one of our amazing doctors.  We’ll go through your complete health history, talking about the physical traumas that you’ve endured throughout your life that, over time, caused the accumulation of stress in your body.  From there we’ll take you through a series of functional, orthopedic, and neurological tests to get to the root of what is causing your pain so that we can create an effective plan to alleviate your low back pain.  We also have on-site X-rays if needed, to get the clearest picture possible of each patient’s unique health situation.  

Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan

Based on your functional movement assessment, we will work with our athletic therapist to customize an exercise plan that will address muscle weaknesses and imbalances.  We will help you in the office as well as provide options to build a plan for you to carry out at home, including touch base points with our therapist along the way.  

Our core muscles are critical when it comes to low back pain because they support and stabilize all our movements.  If a muscle is working too much it will tighten up and can pull the spine out of alignment.  A muscle that is weak and not pulling its weight will cause the surrounding muscles to compensate and overwork themselves.  Addressing these imbalances will help relieve muscle tension, restore range of motion, and alleviate pain. 

Spinal Decompression in Calgary, Alberta

When the body is out of alignment, it’s important not to neglect the discs.  Dehydrated, damaged, and malnourished discs can shrink or bulge, putting pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord and interfering with nervous system function.  Spinal decompression is an incredibly valuable therapy to relieve pressure on the discs allowing both the discs and the nerves to heal.  Through decompression water and nutrients flood the disc improving their health and the negative pressure can actually restore bulged discs to their proper place.  It is an incredible adjunct to chiropractic adjustments and a custom exercise plan. 

Low Back Pain Care

Natural Way Chiropractors

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints we see in our office.  In fact, up to 80% of all people will have low back pain at some point in their life.  There is no denying, low back pain is very prevalent today. Low back pain can come from several sources – muscle strains, ligament sprains, disc protrusion, poor posture, or other alignment issues.  It is critical to figure out the origins of the pain and correct those issues so that you don’t just get better quicker but you solve the problem in the long term.  

Common Spinal Issues

Spinal discs sit in between each vertebra to create a nice, big, open space for the nerve to emerge from the spinal cord.  Discs also create shock absorption through the body.  As we get older and accumulate injuries, our discs begin to wear down and dehydrate.  Disc space starts to shrink more and more especially in the low back because of the amount of stress the low back is under on a daily basis.  

You can think of a disc as a jelly doughnut – a fibrous exterior with a gelatinous interior.  The exterior fibers begin to wear down under stress and can begin to tear causing the gelatinous nucleus to protrude through and irritate nerves.  

Nerves are like the wiring in our house, they make everything turn on and function properly.  Wiring doesn’t stay in one place, however, it travels throughout the house from a singular source.  A problem in the wiring will affect where that wire goes.  That’s why you can start to have pain down the back of the glute, into the knee, and all the way down into the foot.  In addition to pain, nerve irritation can result in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and the feeling that your leg is “going to sleep”.

Bulged discs can worsen into herniated discs.  We have a lot of stress in our lives, emotional stress, but also car accidents, falls, sports injuries, etc.  When the fibers of the disc complete tear, that gives space for the jelly portion inside to come through the wall of the disc completely.  This irritation causes a more intense pain that can bring you to your knees.  The conventional medical approach for a herniated disc is surgery if it doesn’t start to improve, which is why as soon as you feel that pain coming on, and it starts moving, you need to take control and have a chiropractor address it.  The longer a herniated disc remains unaddressed the harder it becomes to fix, requiring more invasive care.  

This age-related condition occurs when discs start to shrink in size leading to a bone-on-bone situation.  Obesity, smoking, and age are all risk factors that spur degenerative disc disease, putting stress on the discs and encroaching on the nerve.  Instead of having a nice, big, open space for the nerve to leave the spinal cord and innervate the body, that opening is tiny and constricting on nerve function.  That pressure on the nerve affects function and the body sends out a warning signal in the form of pain.  Degenerative disc disease is not correctable, but through chiropractic care we can slow down the progression and manage it so that more invasive remedies, like surgery, are not needed. 

Spinal stenosis is the shrinking of the canal where the nerve lives.  This puts pressure on the nerve and also extends to pressure on the spinal cord.  Spinal stenosis can be observed when you are standing and walking.  Sometimes sitting down or lying flat on your back can help alleviate the pain.  This nerve irritation can cause pain in the area of compression, but that pain can also travel and cause numbness or weakness.  In serious cases, it can cause your legs to give out from under you and affect bladder and bowel function.  This is a red flag and requires an emergency room visit immediately.

Muscle strain causes dull, achy pain that gets worse with movement.  It’s often localized to the low back, the pain won’t radiate down into the legs.  Muscle strain is caused by quick movements or repetitive motion which causes stress over time.  Poor posture is another primary cause of muscle strain.  As we slouch, our muscles are pulled in ways that they’re not meant to be pulled, as well as when we have a weak core muscle, it causes some other muscles to work more which can cause that strain. 

Usually, muscle strains resolve through rest, but it is something that we want to fix early.  We’ll often see patients strain a muscle and start to feel good a couple of days later, so they go to make a move but their body isn’t quite healed and the pain quickly returns.  Muscle strain can also be a sign that something bigger is occurring, which is why it is important to get looked at immediately so it can be diagnosed and cared for properly.  

Our sacroiliac joint is where the sacrum (the tailbone) meets the pelvis (the hip bones)  It is the cause of 15 to 30% of low back pain. 

The sacroiliac joint is designed to absorb shock between the upper and lower parts of the body.  One leg is slightly longer or shorter can create instability that causes issues with the SI joint.  Pregnancy is another cause of sacroiliac pain as the baby grows and the mother’s body prepares for the birthing process.  Sitting all day can put pressure on the hip bones as well creating unnatural pressure that can push the joint out of alignment.  

Hypomobility, a lack of movement or stuck joint, and hypermobility, a joint stuck somewhere else causing the SI joint to compensate and move more than it should, can increase the wear and tear on the joint causing SI joint pain.  The purpose of chiropractic is to get those joints moving properly, working as they should, to restore muscle and nerve function as well as alleviate pain.   

Where the vertebrae meet the one above and below are the facet joints.  Each of these joints contains a bit of cartilage that aids in the shock absorption process.  These joints can also fall out of alignment, accelerating wear and tear and increasing inflammation in the body.  Bending backward in extension or standing for long periods can irritate and inflame these joints.  If you’ve been standing for an hour and feel like you need to move around, that may be your irritated facet joints talking to you.

Subluxations are misalignments in the spine and it is a chiropractor’s job to locate and correct them so that the body can be restored to proper alignment and a clear and optimally functioning nervous system.  When a joint falls out of alignment, or is subluxated, it puts pressure on the nerves and causes dysfunction in the part of the body that nerve serves.  Our nerves are predominantly responsible for how our body functions, only a small portion of nerve function is responsible for transmitting pain.  This pain is a warning signal from our body that there is a problem.  This means that sometimes our bodies can be out of alignment and we don’t even know it.  

Subluxation is a physical, biomechanical problem.  That means there is no amount of painkillers or stretching that can resolve the misalignment.  A biomechanical problem needs a biomechanical solution.  Specific chiropractic adjustments are the best tool chiropractors have to correct subluxation, restore the body to optimal function, and allow the body to heal. 

Learn More About Spinal Issues

Natural Way Chiropractic - Doctor Patricia

Natural Way Chiropractic

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to relieve my lower back pain in Calgary, Alberta?

The first step to relieving lower back pain is figuring out the root cause of the pain.  Chiropractors specialize in low back pain, discovering the root cause so they can create a care plan that will effectively and efficiently correct the problem and provide long-lasting low back pain relief.  

How do I tell if my lower back pain is muscle or disc-related?

When low back pain is the result of a muscle issue the pain will be very local.  It could come on quite quickly and build over time.  If low back pain is the result of a disc issue the pain is going to travel.  It may start to go down into the glutes, the back of the thigh, and maybe all the way into the foot.  Spinal disc-related low back pain often involves numbness, tingling, and weakness.  

What does a slipped disc feel like?

A slipped disc manifests in debilitating pain, where a cough, sneeze, or laugh may buckle you to your knees.  There will often be some neurological involvement as well like numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.  

Why won't my lower back pain go away?

When you are dealing with low back pain that comes and goes, and you choose to mask the pain with stretching or over-the-counter medications, those are simply bandaids, you’re not getting to the actual problem.  When you get to the actual problem and correct the issue, the pain will go away.  There may be instances where the pain returns because that underlying issue has relapsed, but getting to the root cause of the problem will provide long-term low back pain relief. 

Can a chiropractor in Calgary, Alberta help with low back pain?

At Natural Way Chiropractic, lower back pain is one of the most common things that bring patients into our office.  We have a long history of getting to the root cause of low back pain so that we can fix it for the long term and they can get back to living their lives.