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Low Back Pain

As an adult, you probably have experienced low back pain, in fact the AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) states that 75-85% of adults will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime.  As you may know, low back pain can greatly affect your life and make daily activities very difficult. Before we dive into how to treat low back pain, let’s take a look at why you may be dealing with low back pain in the first place.


Because the low back is a main area of stabilization, support and rotation, many different factors can contribute to pain felt there. Some of the causes include strained muscles, sprained ligaments, nerve irritation, degeneration, overuse, intervertebral disc injury, spinal stenosis, scoliosis as well as an acute injury.

Overuse/acute injury is a very common cause of low back pain. A low back injury can occur by doing a lot of activity that our body isn’t prepared to do. This could be anything from repetitive lifting to being a weekend warrior.  Acute injuries can happen from activities you perform on a regular basis or an activity you have never done before.

As we age, our bodies slow down. The low back experiences a lot of wear and tear over the years which may result in damage.  One form of damage that can occur is in the form of disc degeneration (the wear and tear, shrinking, and collapse of intervertebral disc).  Another is spinal stenosis (narrowing of the space around the spinal cord).

When an intervertebral disc (the shock absorbers of the spine) is damaged the result can be a stretching known as an intervertebral disc bulge or a rupturing known as an intervertebral disc herniation.

Scoliosis may also be a cause of low back pain.  Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine.  A scoliosis can cause your back to be off balance and become strained, thereby causing pain and stiffness.


Low back pain symptoms can vary greatly from person to person in nature, frequency and intensity and are often different depending upon the cause. Your pain may be dull or sharp. It may constant or intermittent.  It may get worse with standing, sitting, bending, or walking. Pain may even extend into your buttock or down your leg.

Symptoms can vary a lot from person to person. Getting an examination with Dr. Boroditsky is the best way to assess what treatment plan is best for you.


Prior to starting any type of treatment, it is always advisable to first see an appropriately trained spine specialist to develop an appropriate treatment program for your specific condition and medical history.

The main goals for managing back pain in the lumbar spine (lower back) usually include:

  • Providing enough pain relief to be able to actively participate with physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Preventing further injury or stress to the spine through improved ergonomics and posture
  • Maintaining an ability to function enough at home and at work

Non-Surgical Back Pain Treatments

There are a wide variety of non-surgical options for back pain treatment of the lumbar spine. The more common treatment approaches include:

Pain medication. Typical pain medications used to treat the lower back pain include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, oral steroids, narcotic drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. Each type of medication has strengths, limitations, and risks, and the patient’s particular problem in the lower back and overall health will determine which pain reliever, if any, is indicated.

Heat or ice. Application of a cold pack or heating pad can help relieve low back pain. Some people find that alternating between the two works best.
Manual manipulation. This treatment maybe applied by a Dr. Boroditsky! He can improve your pain by manually and gently  manipulating the vertebrae away from the nerve, reducing pressure. This will greatly improve your pain.  Manipulations also increase flexibility, improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension.
Therapeutic massage. Massage therapy is thought to improve blood flow, reducing muscle stiffness, and decrease stiffness.
Exercise. A program of back exercises and physical therapy will usually include a combination of strengthening, stretching, and low-impact aerobic exercise.
Call 763.390.1323 today to schedule an appointment, we can help with your low back pain!

What is Pronation?

When a foot is severely “pronated,” it means its arches have fallen and the foot is flat. Flat feet are less shock-absorbent, and make for a less stable “base” for everything above—the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons of the entire body. They can also:

  • Shift the entire body out of alignment
  • Cause aches and pains in the feet, knees, hips, neck and/or spine
  • Lead to injury and problems like shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis
  • Women with flat feet are 50% more likely than those without to have low back pain
  • Up to 1/3 of people suffer from flat feet


Causes of Pronation

The connective tissue, called the plantar fascia, on the underside of the foot is critical to maintaining the foot’s healthy arched shape. Injury and certain health conditions can cause the fascia to stretch out and flatten, but so can everyday, ongoing stressors like walking and standing. Once the fascia stretches out, it is unable to “spring back.” With the foot structure flattened, the body’s very foundation is in trouble.


  • Extremity adjusting to ensure proper positioning of bones and joints
  • Functional orthotics in every pair of shoes for pronation control, support and comfort
  • Rolling feet on a tennis ball to help soften foot musculature and connective tissue

Low-Intensity Laser Therapy

Low-intensity laser treatment (LILT) is a revolutionary treatment for chronic pain and injuries, harnessing the focused power of light to accelerate the healing of damaged tissues deep inside the body. When the light comes into contact with damaged cells, the cells react by regenerating, reviving and healing.

Laser therapy effectively repairs the underlying damage that causes pain instead of masking the symptoms. By healing the actual damage, patients are liberated from long-term painkiller usage and can return to an active lifestyle faster — often without surgical intervention. This makes it an incredibly cost-effective and efficient form of health care that is also:

  • Non-invasive and non-toxic
  • Comfortable and provides natural pain relief
  • Free of side effects

The process of using light to generate healing, growth and metabolism is nothing new — plants do it every day to create energy from sunlight. Today, scientists know that infrared laser light can have the same effect to injured human tissues.

The specific wavelength of light used during low-intensity laser therapy penetrates into the body’s tissues without generating heat. It does, however, activate the metabolism inside damaged cells. Light-sensitive molecules inside of a cell’s mitochondria spur the production of several substances responsible for regeneration, healing and metabolism including: adenosine triphosphate (ATP), several proteins, and ribonucleic acid (RNA). The light also reduces inflammation, boosts circulation and improves the cell’s ability to use oxygen and nutrients to repair itself.

While all of this is happening inside the body, the patient is lying or sitting comfortably in one of our relaxing treatment rooms while we gently rub the smooth infrared-emitting light probe over the affected area.

Because laser therapy acts by healing and regenerating tissues inside the body without any invasive procedures or drug therapies, it can successfully treat a wide variety of injuries and conditions including:

  • Sprains and Strains — Injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments respond very well to laser therapy. It stimulates endorphin release (your body’s own painkillers) and repairs overworked, overstretched and torn tissues.
  • Fractures — Hairline stress fractures in the bone mend more quickly with laser stimulation.
  • Facet Joint Syndrome — If the cartilage cushioning the spinal facet joints deteriorates, vertebrae grate against one another and can pinch nerves. Combining LILT and chiropractic care has been very successful at relieving the resulting back pain and improving spinal flexibility and mobility.
  • Bulging and Herniated Discs — Laser therapy can also help repair and regenerate damaged intervertebral discs to alleviate back pain and pain that radiates into the arms and legs. Laser therapy and chiropractic care are an effective combination for treating injured discs.
  • Bruises — Laser therapy stimulates the dilation of smaller blood vessels surrounding the bruise, helping to usher fluids and swelling effectively from the bruised area to accelerate healing.


Intersegmental Traction

Interseg-what??! You may know this better as “The Roller Bed”. The bed provides a therapy called intersegmental traction. You may have been on this bed many times, but wonder, what exactly does this do, and how is it beneficial? Today, we aim to answer all of those questions.

Intersegmental traction is an effective chiropractic therapy that induces passive motion into the spine for the purpose of stretching spinal joints and increasing mobility. Intersegmental traction helps to gently and effectively reestablish normal range of motion to your spine. It also facilitates muscle relaxation to significantly reduce muscle spasms. Whether you’re a professional athlete, runner, or just someone who often exercises, the stress and trauma to your spine can be debilitating-especially with age and wear and tear.

At Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, intersegmental traction is delivered through the use of a traction table. You lay down on the table (on your back) and there are rollers just underneath the surface of the table. These rollers can be adjusted depending on your chiropractic condition and weight to gently and specifically elongate and stretch your spinal joints and muscles. This helps to reduce muscle spasms and increases your range of motion for your spinal joints (each vertebrae). When your muscles become more relaxed and vertebrae begin to move normally, your vertebral discs now have their normal space and can return to their normal position and functioning. This also helps to prevent abnormal wear and tear on the vertebral discs and prevents further injury and reduces the arthritis process.

Intersegmental traction is non-invasive and painless. Many of our chiropractic patients find this form of chiropractic care to be relaxing. The gentle rolling action is restful, exercising the spine without effort.

What are the advantages of intersegmental traction chiropractic therapy

  • Increases mobility and stretches ligaments and muscles
  • Reduces muscle spasms and spinal subluxations
  • Increases blood flow and oxygen to discs, ligaments and muscles, thereby improving balance, strength and mobility.

Intersegmental traction is a particularly effective chiropractic therapy when used in conjunction with chiropractic manipulative therapy, as done at Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation!

Electrical Stimulation

As a patient, you may have had Inferential Therapy (also known as Electrical Stimulation) before some of your adjustments. You may be thinking “What??” Let me explain a little better. Electrical Stimulation at Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is usually done before a treatment at our office. This is when you are taken back to lay face down on a table and cool pads are put on your back. Then we turn on the machine, so that the pads feel like they are making your muscles twitch. Sound familiar? Today, you get to learn more about how exactly that machine works, and why it is an effective treatment!

Electric stimulation therapy is a therapeutic treatment that applies electrical stimulation in treating muscle spasms and pain. It can help prevent atrophy and build strength in patients with injuries. It is also helpful in keeping muscles active especially after any type spinal cord injury or strokes.

Electric stimulation works by mimicking the natural way by which the body exercises its muscles. The electrodes attached to the skin deliver impulses that make the muscles contract. It is beneficial in increasing the patient’s range of motion and improves the circulation of the body. It is used in treating conditions like sprains, arthritis, back pain scoliosis and sciatica.

TENS is commonly used to help with chronic pain. The general type of electric stimulation is used for healing wounds and alleviating pain. For the convenience of the patient, a portable TENS unit can be prescribed by the doctor or a physical therapist for the patient to use at home.

Interferential current (IFC) is another form of TENS. It is used by physical therapists and chiropractors for the purpose of decreasing inflammation and swelling of affected tissues. This treatment has also shown positive effects in improving symptoms of asthma and in reducing back pain.

Galvanic stimulation is also another application of electric stimulation. This involves applying pulsed electric current on affected body tissues in stimulating muscle contraction. It differs with TENS and IFC in its use of direct current rather than alternating current. The positive pad acts to decrease circulation of the target area and reduce swelling. The negative pad increases the distribution of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the injured area thus increasing the speed of the healing process.

Administration of electric stimulation should exclude patients with pacemakers or those who have certain kinds of skin disease. Pregnant women should also avoid this treatment.

In using electric stimulation, chiropractors seek to improve quality of life for patients when the traditional treatment plans are not working, or as a great addition to any treatment to get quicker results.