Treatment Of A Low Back (Lumbar) Instability

1. What Is Low Back (Lumbar) Instability?

As sports chiropractors in Dee Why we see a large portion of patients with low back pain. One diagnosis or an underlying cause of back pain can be lumbar instability. Lumbar instability can be described as dysfunction in one or more of the stabilising subsystems leading to an increase in the neutral zone. This increase in neutral zone can then cause segmental instability and results in mechanical low back pain. As the vertebral segments move abnormally beyond the neutral zone there is a resulting disruption of joints, disc, ligaments and over-activation of global muscles. As lumbar instability cascades and worsens, further injuries may occur such as spondylolithesis, retrolithesis and anterolithesis.

2. What Are Some Common Names For Low Back (Lumbar) Instability?

The most common names we use at our chiropractic clinic on Sydney’s northern beaches are spinal instability, clinical instability, segmental instability, functional instability, spondylolithesis, retrolithesis and anterolithesis.

3. What Symptoms Should I Have If I Have Low Back (Lumbar) Instability?

Patients who present themselves to our Chiropractors in the Northern Beaches and are diagnosed with lumbar instability will usually complain of low back pain, their back ‘giving out’, catching or locking, pain with transitional movements or sustained posture and recurrent or chronic back pain. As evidence based chiropractors we utilise further orthopaedic testing and subsequently there may be further neurological deficits, pain on motion palpation, Gower’s sign, shaking, catching or juddering during range of motion testing and weakness of the patients core.

4. What Are The Best Treatment Options For Low Back (Lumbar) Instability?

Treatment for lumbar instability needs to consider the three subsystems and treatment techniques need to be applied within each one to maximise outcomes:
i) Passive subsystem: injury to bony joints and ligaments; treatment needs to focus on mobility and proprioception using mobilisations, soft tissue work and control exercises.
ii) Neural subsystem: nerves, receptors and cortical control mechanisms such as muscle onset timing, muscle recruitment patterns; treatment may include nerve stretches, functional movement exercises, and techniques to inhibit over-active agonist muscles.
iii) Active subsystem: muscles (specifically trunk muscles); treatment needs to focus on control and hypertrophy of all core, trunk and pelvic muscles to enhance the stabilising forces to the spine.
At Sydney Sports Chiropractor Dee Why the best conservative treatment for lumbar instability includes chiropractic mobilisations, soft tissue work, nerve stretches and specific exercises to enhance movement patterns and to stabilise and strengthen the lumbopelvic girdle.

5. How Will A Sports Chiropractic Treatment Approach Help Me Recover From Low Back (Lumbar) Instability?

At Sydney Sports Chiropractor Dee Why we use treatments based on the very latest research so you can be assured you are getting the very best in evidence based chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatment for lumbar instability may include:
Chiropractic mobilisations to the lumbar spine
Chiropractic muscle treatments including deep tissue massage and dynamic muscle releases
Dynamic nerve stretching of the sciatic nerve
Dry needling of the low back muscles
Specific rehabilitation exercises to enhance movement patterns and muscle recruitment
Strength and conditioning of the trunk and pelvis muscles
Sydney Sports Chiropractor prides itself on evidence-based chiropractic. We are located in Balmain and Dee Why Sydney. Call today for an appointment: Dee Why Chiropractic Clinic 02 8021 1172 and Balmain Chiropractic Clinic 02 8065 5896.