Chiropractic Treatment of the Lumbosacral Joint

The sacrum is the large bone at the lower end of your spine. Shaped like a triangle and formed from 5 fused segments, the sacrum is responsible for connecting your spine to your pelvis and the lower half of your body. The sacrum is connected to your hipbones at the sacroiliac joint – and to your lumbar spine by the lumbosacral joint.

The lumbosacral joint (between the L5 and S1 vertebrae) is responsible for a lot of the body’s mobility, and is thus vulnerable to injury during activity. Aging can also cause painful conditions to develop in the lumbosacral joint. Common disorders of the lumbosacral joint include disc herniation, spondyloisthesis and osteoaFrthritis.

Chiropractic is a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) that is popularly used to treat back pain, including disorders of the lumbosacral joint.

Chiropractic History and Theory

Chiropractic was invented in the 1890s by an alternative medical practitioner named D.D. Palmer, and was expanded in the early 1900s by D.D.’s son, B.J. Palmer. The original philosophy of chiropractic taught that the body has an innate intelligence, and that spinal disorders interfered with general health by disturbing that intelligence via the central nervous system. The founders of chiropractic developed manual spinal manipulation techniques (called “adjustments”) to try to restore alignment to vertebrae and the surrounding joints, thereby restoring the body’s natural intelligence and resolving health issues of all kinds.

While some chiropractors still practice according to this theory, most modern chiropractic practitioners combine the practices of chiropractic adjustments with other forms of alternative medicine and a more mainstream medical philosophy. Most medical professionals recommend the use of chiropractic to augment, not replace, traditional medical care.

Chiropractic Diagnosis and Treatment Techniques

Chiropractic techniques can vary widely between patients due to the uniqueness of each patient’s body and condition. However, the process will likely follow a set pattern consisting of:

  • An initial consultation. During this meeting, the chiropractor will collect a full medical history and perform an examination. When looking for problems with the lumbosacral joint, the chiropractor may have the patient attempt straight leg raises to try to determine if there is sacrum is restricted or tender.
  • Testing. The chiropractor will form a hypothesis based on the patient’s history and the findings from the examination. He or she may then order tests such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans to test this hypothesis and solidify a diagnosis.
  • Diagnosis and treatment plan. Once the tests have either supported or disproved the chiropractor’s initial findings, he or she will make a diagnosis and treatment plan designed to relieve the patient’s symptoms.
  • Treatment. Treatment usually takes place over a number of sessions, and may include adjustments, hot and cold therapy, traction, ultrasound, and physical therapy exercises. Due to the holistic approach most chiropractors use, there may elements of lifestyle coaching involved as well.

Remember that chiropractic treatment cannot “fix” degenerative disc disease, arthritis of the spine, or other spinal conditions; the best outcome you can expect from chiropractic treatment is temporary pain relief. Also keep in mind that chiropractic care is not appropriate for everyone. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning chiropractic care, or any other alternative therapy.

If conservative treatment options like chiropractic do not resolve your back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute for information on how our revolutionary outpatient procedures can help you rediscover your life without back pain.