Tel: (860) 482-5479459 Prospect St,Torrington, CT

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is the most common condition encountered in our office. A proper examination to include neurologic, orthopedic, and chiropractic assessment is necessary in order to define the source of the problem. For example, a lower back condition can be due to joint dysfunction, muscular spasm or imbalance, structural defects, disc bulges or herniations, nerve entrapment, or possibly even due to pain referred from some other adjacent region.
Sometimes other tests such as MRI or x-rays are needed to accurately define the diagnosis. Once the condition has been diagnosed, a plan of treatment is initiated to improve or resolve the condition. See the following links to read more:
Lower Back Pain includes:


Spinal and Foraminal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the central canal which needs to be a certain size for the spinal cord to traverse. Spinal stenosis can be congenital whereby the patient was born with a narrow canal to begin with, or it can be acquired through intrusions into the spinal canal such as ligamentous thickening, arthritic intrusion from bone spurs, or disc herniations. Foraminal stenosis describes narrowing of the passageways whereby nerves must pass through the spine from the spinal cord to go to the target organs or tissues. Once again, the foramen can be compromised by a variety of conditions such as synovial cysts, bone spurs from arthritis, or disc protrusions. This is a very common condition encountered by Dr. Downs in the course of day-to-day practice, and we have had nice success treating a variety of stenosis related conditions as they relate to low back pain and sciatica. Since from a medical perspective these conditions are often treated with injection and/or surgery, it is a worthy effort to address spinal and foraminal stenosis with chiropractic and other conservative based techniques.

Pelvic Pain
The pelvis is the foundation of the spine and is very much involved in transferring weight from the spine to the hips and therefore is essential in normal weight-bearing biomechanics. It is important to differentiate pelvic pain from structural sources such as that radiating from the lower back, sacroiliac joints, or hip joints versus pelvic pain that is referred from some other internal pelvic condition. For example, ovarian cysts, pregnancy, and inflammatory pelvic diseases can radiate pain throughout the pelvis and mimic a structural disorder. Once again, an experienced doctor with proper diagnostic testing protocols is an important ingredient for determining the source of pelvic pain, ordering whatever necessary tests there are to document its origin, and to outline an appropriate treatment plan to resolve the condition. Also important is the assessment of lower extremity function such as the condition of the arches of the feet, symmetry of leg lengths, and weight-bearing functions of the lower extremities as conditions further down in the extremities can also be linked to pelvic pain abnormalities.

Sacroiliitis implies some type of inflammatory condition involving the sacroiliac joints. The source of this problem can be arthritic, biomechanical, and even pain referred from other internal pelvic sources. Motion palpation techniques evaluating the movements of the innominate bones against the sacrum are often very useful to determine sacroiliac joint function, and sacroiliac abnormalities are very amenable to a variety of chiropractic techniques.

Failed Surgical Back Pain
With over 28 years of experience, Dr. Downs has seen a variety of patients who have already had one or more back surgeries to address their issues. Unfortunately, back surgery is not always 100% successful, and patients may continue to have ongoing issues in the site of surgery or in adjacent areas of surgery. In some cases, a patient may have had surgery 15 or 20 years ago and had good success for a period of time, and then the area starts to flare up once again. By doing the proper physical assessment, ordering the proper tests, and evaluating the response to conservative treatment protocols, we are usually able to determine what therapeutic options are available to the failed surgical back patient. Since the odds of success tend to go down with each subsequent surgery, trying to alleviate the problem with conservative management is our utmost priority. In some cases, just managing the pain is the best option and chiropractic can usually provide meaningful pain relief, which is often enough to be able to avoid future surgery.

Disc and Nerve Conditions
Disc herniations are one of the most common sources of low back and sciatic type pain. A disc herniation is a byproduct of injury or general wear and tear of the disc whereby the disc can protrude and trap surrounding nerve structures causing a “pinched nerve” type syndrome. Sciatica is often a byproduct of a disc herniation pressing against a nerve root. Disc herniations can run a large gamut from the mild to the severe, and in some cases may even require surgery. Dr. Downs has extensive experience in treating disc herniations and diagnosing their severity both with imaging such as MRI and with neurological assessment to determine how much the nerve may be impaired from a disc problem. The goal is, of course, to provide the patient with maximal improvement and a speedy recovery through chiropractic conservative techniques. In addition, by discussing the severity of disc problem and their manifestations upon your health, all other options of treatment will be reviewed so decisions can be made with regard to your personal circumstances. Segmental traction in the form of Cox Technique/Flexion Distraction is greatly utilized in the management of this type of condition, and we have pelvic traction in the form of an Anatomotor table that can provide long axis traction which has proven to be very useful in handling these types of conditions.

Pregnancy Related Pain
Since the pregnant patient cannot take medication, chiropractic becomes an essential option for managing structural pain associated with pregnancy. The structure of the pregnant patient goes through significant changes based upon the growth of the fetus and hormonal effects on the skeletal system, and resultantly, musculoskeletal complaints are common during pregnancy. Just the weight gain alone places extraordinary stress on the pelvic and sacroiliac joints and hips, but chiropractic can be very useful in getting the patient through the duration of pregnancy in a more pain free and functional manner. Very often, patients who have had successful chiropractic treatment during pregnancy have easier labor and delivery as well. Downs Chiropractic has had referrals from obstetricians on a number of occasions in an effort to help their patients get through the pregnancy in a more comfortable fashion.