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What Is Lower Back Pain? Your Toronto Chiropractor Knows! Can chiropractic Help? Yes!

"What is Toronto lower back pain? How does chiropractic help?"

So much discussion about this question of back pain swirls as 80% of us in Toronto will have it in our lifetimes. Almost half of us have it right now! So what is lower back pain? Why does lower back pain come and go? Why is it so disabling? Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre knows lower back pain and knows that chiropractic has a solution. But first, what is it?


It's an irritated nerve due to mechanical irritation or chemical irritation. The irritation is brought about either

  • by compression on the nerve (the so called "pinched nerve" so many Toronto back pain sufferers relate to and hear so much about) or
  • by inflammation of the spinal nerve caused by chemicals produced when the intervertebral disc is damaged and/or degenerated.


So what causes mechanical nerve compression or a pinched nerve?

One, any change in the spine that narrows the spinal opening through which the nerve passes can cause a pinched or compressed nerve.

A disc herniation will bulge out of its space between two vertebral bones in the spine and press on a nerve to cause pain. This pain may radiate into the hip, thigh, leg, foot and even toes if there is sufficient pressure on the nerve.

degenerated disc in the lower backTwo, disc degeneration. This is the shrinking of the disc. The disc keeps the spinal bones apart and allows room for spinal nerves to pass through easily. If the disc degenerates, the narrowing of the disc space allows narrowing of the nerve opening, resulting in back pain and perhaps the lower extremity (leg, calf, foot, toes).

Three, arthritis. Of course, we have to consider the old friend arthritis. We Toronto friends and family talk about arthritis a lot. Arthritis is bone growth into the nerve opening that will compress or push on the nerve. Your Toronto chiropractor is the back pain specialist who knows arthritis’ ways!

And, lastly, ligament thickening. There are ligaments in the spine that, when under stress, can thicken to narrow the nerve opening and compress the nerves exiting from the spinal cord. Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre works to coax the irritating factors away from the nerves to relieve pain.

Mechanical irritation of the nerve is easy to appreciate as a cause of back pain and is the usual reason most Toronto back pain sufferers can easily understand as the cause of pain. It's easy to see on x-rays and MRIs, too. But then, there's chemical irritation causing back pain: not frequently seen on imaging but quite pain-producing.


So what is this chemical irritation caused by? Do many Toronto back pain patients have it? We find that many of Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre's own patients are not familiar with this cause of back pain, but it is very common, especially with aging persons.

the disc in the lower back 


the disc in the lower back viewed from the top down


The intervertebral disc, that pad of cartilage between two vertebrae or spinal bones, is normally a fluid-filled inside (called the nucleus pulposus) surrounded by a ligament-like structure (called the annulus fibrosus) that holds the fluid inside. Now, when the outer ligament-like annulus is torn, as occurs in motor vehicle accidents, lifting, bending, twisting, falling, etc., the inner fluid leaks into the outer disc fibers of the annulus fibrosus to create an inflammatory reaction.

leaking nuclear disc material into the surrounding fibers of the disc

This inflammation occurs because once the inner fluid of the disc leaks into the edge of the disc where it doesn't belong, it causes a chemical reaction that causes back pain.


inner nuclear material of the disc touches the spinal nerve to cause pain NOW if that leaking disc material from the inside of the disc leaks into the spinal canal behind the disc, it will then chemically irritate the nerve and result in back pain and probably leg pain as well. This chemical reaction is truly an immune reaction of our body rejecting the presence of this inner disc material outside of its normal confines within the disc. Having back pain and/or leg pain in Toronto is no fun!


Both the mechanically compressed nerve and the chemically inflamed nerve will produce back pain that can radiate into the hip, thigh, leg and foot. This is called sciatica. Toronto folks get help for this at Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre all the time.


The good news about all this back pain ... this nerve compression and inflammation can be healed through various modes of chiropractic care, the first line of which is spinal manipulation to remove compression of the nerve and absorb the chemical irritation. Certainly, contact Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre before resorting to back surgery...or after Toronto back surgery if your pain continues.

Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre trusts that this supplies an understandable overview of why we humans get back pain and leg pain (and even neck and arm pain). At least we trust this is enough of an overview to assure you that Yorkville Chiropractic and Wellness Centre fully understands back pain and is here to help you.

Contact us today.

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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."