Back pain seems to be a right of passage into adulthood these days. Whether acute or chronic, almost everyone will experience back pain in their lifetime, ranging from slightly irritating to completely debilitating. 

The following article explains some of the most common back issues, their identifying features, and how chiropractic medicine can help to resolve them. This is a general guideline to help you in your quest for effective treatment, but we highly recommend that you seek a professional opinion to diagnose these issues properly.


The anatomy of the back consists of many different structures that work together to support your body. Understanding the different parts of the back is essential to locating and addressing the source of the pain. 

The spine is the foundation of the back, made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. Cushion-like pads called intervertebral discs sit between each vertebra. Ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, while tendons connect the surrounding muscles to the bone. Damage to any of these structures can lead to pain, discomfort, and in severe cases, immobility. 

The four regions of the spine where you may experience pain include:

  • The cervical spine (neck)
  • Thoracic spine (upper/middle back)
  • Lumbar spine (lower back)
  • The sacrum/coccyx (tailbone)


Mechanical or structural problems with the spine, inflammatory conditions, and other medical conditions can cause back pain. 


When the spongy center of the discs in between your vertebrae pushes through a tear in the outer, rubbery part of the disc, it causes bulging or herniation. While a surprisingly common issue, the intensity of pain depends on the position of the herniation. Some people feel no pain at all; however, if the damaged disc irritates a surrounding nerve, pain in the buttocks, legs, or back can be severe and even affect your ability to walk. 

When left untreated, bulging discs usually develop over time and affect multiple discs causing other degeneration-related issues, like lumbar stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).

Working with a chiropractor in Willowbrook can help you determine the extent of the issue and a course of action to relieve pain and prevent worsening of the herniation.


A subluxation, also known as a vertebral subluxation complex, is a misalignment of the spine that places excessive pressure on the spinal nerves causing severe back pain. Spinal dislocation can be quite painful and, if left untreated, can lead to degenerative processes in the surrounding areas. 

Subluxations can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Trauma/injury
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Improper lifting
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Emotional stress

Subluxations are one of the most commonly overlooked contributors to back pain. Our chiropractors are trained to identify and realign subluxations using non-invasive adjustment techniques to improve and promote wellness.


Another common cause of back pain is repeated heavy lifting or sudden awkward movements that put a strain on back muscles and spinal ligaments. Constant strains like this can lead to weak tendons and muscle spasms. These can be extremely painful and are often accompanied by swelling and bruising of the surrounding area. Back sprains typically cause spine alignment changes and respond well to chiropractic realignments.


While you may think of stress as something that only impacts your mental health, chronic stress can also wreak havoc on your physical health. When you are feeling stressed or anxious, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline, causing an involuntary tightening of your muscles, often in the neck, shoulders, and spine. 

Prolonged tension in these areas can lead to back pain and, in severe cases, may lead to Myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic disorder in which pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the area and seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively by motions used in jobs, hobbies, or stress-related muscle tension.

Chiropractors have the knowledge and tools to relieve stress from trigger points and to deal with underlying nervous system imbalances that may keep your body locked in patterns of stress and pain.


Several other factors, such as obesity, arthritis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections, have been shown to cause lower back pain. Many of these issues are tied to spinal misalignments and respond well to chiropractic adjustments.

Our trained Willowbrook chiropractors can identify these issues and offer support in creating the appropriate course of treatment. If you have questions about how our Complete Health Chiropractic team can help you tackle your back pain, please schedule a consultation today.


What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve results from a vertebra of the spine putting pressure on a nerve or set of nerves. Nerve compression often occurs when the nerve is pressed between tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and bones. Continuous compression may prevent the nerves from adequately sending signals causing several sensations, including pain.

How do I know if I have a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve can be incredibly painful, but the first step to relief is making sure nerve compression is really to blame. Sometimes pain is the only symptom of a pinched nerve, or you may have other symptoms without pain. Some of the more common signs of compressed nerves include:

  • Localized pain at the site of the pinched nerve
  • Numbness or weakness in the body
  • Pain traveling along the path of the nerve, such as sciatica 
  • “Pins and needles” or a burning sensation

Early diagnosis is vital to prevent further damage or complications, so we encourage patients experiencing these symptoms to make an appointment with Dr. Menton to determine the presence of a pinched nerve.

The primary method of diagnosing a pinched nerve is an in-depth physical exam. Dr. Menton will check for numbness in your arm or hand, perform an X-ray to diagnose any underlying causes, and determine whether a pinched nerve is present. 

Will a pinched nerve get better on its own?

No. The majority of pinched nerves won’t heal on their own. Because pinched nerves are often the result of vertebrae misalignments, the nerve will continue to be compressed by surrounding bones and ligaments, leading to further irritation. 

If nerve compression persists, the protective barrier around the nerve may break down, allowing fluid build-up, which may cause swelling, pressure, and scarring. 

Addressing your pinched nerve with the help of a healthcare professional is the most effective way to minimize pain and potentially reverse the damage.

How can a chiropractor treat a pinched nerve?

Treatment for a pinched nerve varies depending on the severity and cause of the nerve compression. Courses of treatment may include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Splinting
  • Ice
  • Massage
  • Exercise
  • Rest

Will physical therapy fix a pinched nerve?

Physical therapy is a great preventative measure for pinched nerves. However, PT is only effective after the dislocated vertebrae causing the compression are put back in position through a chiropractic realignment. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles around the injured area to prevent repeat injuries and works best in tandem with chiropractic care. Patients can talk to Dr. Menton about the potential benefits of physical therapy.

How quickly can a patient get relief from a pinched nerve?

The speed at which someone will recover from a pinched nerve depends on the severity of the injury and medical history of the individual. A patient may need several adjustments and treatments for complete relief. Following Dr. Menton’s recommended adjustment schedule will help restore function and optimally reduce pain. Patients may need to spend several weeks getting regular adjustments before they experience complete pain relief, but consistent treatments will ensure the best result for your recovery plan. 

To learn more about pinched nerve treatment and chiropractic care for compressed nerves, contact Complete Health Chiropractic.


9:00am – 6:00pm

1:00pm – 6:00pm

9:00am – 6:00pm

1:00pm – 6:00pm


9:00am – 12:00pm

Complete Health Chiropractic
54 63rd Street #14
Willowbrook, IL 60527
(630) 920-1097