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Low Back Pain Treatment in Bradenton, FL

Low back pain is by far one of the most debilitating conditions plaguing society. Statistically, up to 80% of people will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. One of the reasons is because your low back and pelvis are the foundation for your general stability during activity and nearly any movement. Often times initial injuries to this region of the spine are one of what will be many as people find themselves in a vicious, repetitive cycle of pain stating their back keeps “giving out” or “blowing out”.

Intervention of this condition is critical as the problem tends to keep getting worse over time. Each event can seem to last longer, hurt worse, and even start causing issues in other areas of the spine as the body attempts to compensate. The longer these issues are not addressed the more negative compensation patterns your nervous system will create as your posture begins to contort away from normal. These types of distortions can begin to add abnormal stress loads to certain regions of the spine that can cause it to break down and degenerate. We see evidence of this on X-rays in the form of arthritis, such as bone spurs and disc degeneration.

$49 New Patient Low Back Pain Health Screening

$49 for a complete chiropractic health screening including a consultation, exam, X-rays if necessary, a report of findings, and a plan of action.

How Our Low Back Pain Care Plan Works

Get To The Bottom Of The Problem

In addition to an extremely thorough history of your condition, our state-of-the-art spinal analysis software and comprehensive functional assessments will highlight the hidden issues attributing to your pain.

Receive A Customized Program Specific To Your Condition

Based on your history, the shape of your spine, and your examination performance, a treatment program will be customized by a chiropractor to address your specific condition to ensure the best results possible.

Get Back To Doing The Things You Love

As your trusted chiropractor, our goal is not just to get you out of pain but to help you get your life back. Whether it’s playing with your kids or crushing a volleyball we want you to live a full and healthy life again! You deserve nothing less.

How We Treat Back Pain in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

At Next Level Chiropractic, every patient presenting with back pain will have the chance to meet with Dr. Merriman one-on-one so he can collect an extremely thorough history of your condition. He’ll ask a variety of questions aimed at finding the true source of your condition, often it is something you may not have even been aware of!

Your examination will include:

  • Specific orthopedic tests that help to indicate the specific anatomical structures involved in your condition
  • A functional assessment to screen for certain areas of muscular instability that might be compromising your spine during certain activities
  • A postural assessment utilizing state-of-the-art digital software to measure the abnormalities in your stance that can increase the amount of stress on your body over time
  • Neurological tests to locate specific nerves that might be compressed or damaged by the joints in your spine
  • Range of motion tests to determine if your spinal column is functioning the way it should

The information gathered in this examination is integral to getting to the root cause of your back pain and creating a strategy for care that will provide you with low back pain relief.

Digital X-rays

We utilize a brand new digital X-ray system that produces high-quality images necessary for diagnostic purposes. This allows us to screen for any fractures, instability, areas of joint degeneration, dislocation, or pathology from a disease or illness. It also allows us to identify areas of joint dysfunction which are called subluxations. Subluxations are the primary condition treated by chiropractors.

Scientific literature indicates there are three primary curvatures in the human spine necessary for optimal function. These curvatures allow for the stress of gravity, which we experience every day, to be distributed over the spine appropriately. This is crucial for everyday living whether it’s unloading the dishwasher or dunking a basketball and landing back on the court. Abnormalities in these curvatures can lead to excessive wear and tear and potential injury. We utilize a state-of-the-art spinal analysis software that measures the curvature of the spine, relative to normal, providing incredibly accurate measurements that allow us to not only identify abnormalities but also to track progress over time as we correct them.

The entire spine has 24 vertebrae and over 90 joints, it is a complex system that can experience a tremendous variety of issues. In order to rule out medical emergencies, establish safety, and truly identify the problem, X-rays are highly recommended.

Specific Chiropractic Care in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL

A subluxation is a joint or series of joints within the spine that are either stuck or out of alignment causing significant stress on the nervous system. This stress manifests not only as pain and injury but also as a decrease in overall health and well-being.

The spine houses your spinal cord which is a collection of nerve tracts that descends from your brain and is distributed OUT THROUGH YOUR SPINE to every cell, tissue, joint, and organ in your body. In order for your brain to communicate with your vital organs, there needs to be no interference with the nerves along the way. Our job as chiropractors is to remove any areas of this interference within the spine so that your body can heal and function to its highest potential.

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Common Causes of Low Back Pain in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL

Degenerative Disc Disease

In between every vertebra in the spine should be a nice thick disc made of tough fibers called the Annulus Fibrosis. Inside these discs is a jelly-like substance called the Nucleus Pulposus. These discs have several purposes, one is to allow movement between each vertebra and another is to act as a shock absorber during daily activity. The height of the disc plays a crucial role in the size of the openings in between the spinal joints where the nerves exit the spine. These holes are called the Intervertebral Foramen, and the bigger the better.

Due to abnormal stress loads, injury, and a lack of proper spinal motion spinal discs begin to dehydrate and lose their height. Accumulatively these discs make up 25% of the total height of the spine. As this process continues and the discs become thinner and thinner people can literally become shorter and shorter. As the vertebrae get closer together the body responds by growing bone spurs around the edges of the vertebral endplates in an attempt to stabilize the involved segments. This poses a real problem for the diameter of the intervertebral foramen. As that hole narrows the exiting spinal nerve is pinched in the process.

Given enough time, a pinched nerve will begin to atrophy, a.k.a. shrink. This significantly reduces its capacity for transmission of nerve impulses consequently decreasing things like deep tendon reflexes, the ability to walk, the ability to feel, etc. This type of nerve damage causes numbness in the legs and feet. Some of these issues can become surgical cases as bone literally has to be removed to reduce the impinged nerve. However, if caught early enough this type of degeneration can be slowed down with a corrective chiropractic care plan.


The nerves that exit the lumbar region of the spine not only supply the organs of the reproductive and digestion systems but come together to form a garden-hose size nerve called the Sciatic nerve. It runs all the way down through the buttock, the back of the leg, into the foot, and clear up to the big toe! Irritation and pressure on this nerve can result in not only agonizing pain but also disability as some lose function of their foot. This condition is called “Drop Foot” due to the inability to lift the front part of your foot up while walking. People with this condition tend to swing their leg out in front of them during their walking gate and many times end up using a cane.

Bulging/Herniated Disc

In between the 24 vertebrae of the spine are thick discs made up of a tough fibrous outer ring (Annulus Fibrosis) and a jelly-like substance (Nucleus Pulposus) in the center. These discs act as shock absorbers, allow intervertebral movement, and create space between each vertebra (Intervertebral Foramen) for the spinal nerves to exit. Many times due to abnormally high-stress loads, poor biomechanics, and inadequate core strength a tear can develop in the tough ring of fiber and create a fissure. The jelly substance will then travel the path of least resistance through that fissure and bulge out into the spinal canal creating a “Bulged Disc”. A herniated disc is when the jelly material completely penetrates the fibrous region of the disc and seeps out into the spinal canal.

This bulged disc can place pressure on the spinal nerves exiting the spinal cord and cause severe pain and radiation down the leg. Many patients refer to it as a “burning” or “hot” pain. Not all bulged discs cause nerve impingement or leg pain, however, the injury to the disc itself during the injury can be enough to debilitate someone as inflammation sets in and the disc begins to swell. These scenarios can make it extremely difficult to sit down, bend forward, put socks and shoes on, walk, sleep, or even think clearly for several days or weeks. Studies have shown these injuries can inhibit certain paraspinal muscles along the spine required for stability leading to future occurrences as that region of the spine is now vulnerable to injury.

Facet Joint Dysfunction (Facet Syndrome)

On the backsides of the vertebrae in the spine are a series of spinal joints called “facets”. They are small flat areas of articulation, and the direction and angle of these facets determine the range of motion that region of the spine has. These joints are referred to as “synovial joints”, meaning they are freely moving and have a lubricating sac between them. In fact, the audible”cracking” sound occasionally heard during an adjustment is the release of negative pressure from those joints and the accumulation of gases in the fluid of that sac. This phenomenon is referred to as Tribonucleation.

These facet joints can become inflamed with repetitive extension movements of the lumbar spine like bending backward. When the lumbar spine goes into extension these facet joints close together and become irritated, sometimes the lubricated sac can even become pinched creating an incredibly sharp pain. The good news is that this condition responds excellently to chiropractic care because these joints are opened up with a chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment literally gaps the joint reducing the friction caused by a build-up of pressure from tight muscles and poor biomechanics.


Spondylolisthesis is a forward shifting of the spinal column over the top of a vertebra below. It actually occurs as a result of a fracture within a vertebra. Specifically, a fracture of a structure called the Pars Interarticularis, causing what is known as a pars defect. There are multiple types of this condition defined by their origin which include traumatic, degenerative, dysplastic (congenital), and isthmic spondylolisthesis which develops typically between the ages of 5-7 years old. This injury is also common among student high dive athletes and gymnasts. The fracture typically happens during a hyper-extension of the lumbar spine, a severe backward bending action.

Many people are actually unaware they have this condition until the shifting begins to advance into further stages. This forward shifting has five different grades of severity with five being the worst. As the spinal column shifts forward significant back pain can ensue. This condition is frequently caught on X-ray and it is important to be aware that specific lifestyle modifications can help manage it.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Dysfunction)

There are two SI joints formed between the sacrum and the ilium. The sacrum is the triangle wedge-shaped bone in between your two hip bones. This is a complicated joint as it is partially mobile and partially not. According to the scientific literature, only 1-3mm of movement occurs in the joint however it is a very common pain generator. Pain can be caused by both a lack of motion as well as too much motion. Inflammation of this joint known as sacroiliitis can cause severe sharp pain on one or both of the bony prominences in your lower back that are off to each side. This joint irritation is common among pregnant women due to the hormone relaxin which causes the ligaments of the pelvis to become lax as the women’s body prepares for child delivery. Specific chiropractic adjustments and exercises can be extremely helpful in achieving relief from this condition and improving the journey through pregnancy in general.

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8199 Tourist Center Dr, Bradenton, FL 34201

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Frequently Asked Questions About Low Back Pain

What can I do to relieve my low back pain in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL?

The best thing to do is schedule an appointment here at Next Level Chiropractic for your initial consultation and exam so that we can work together and find the right solution to your problem.

When should you see a chiropractor for back pain?

The sooner the better. Lower back pain can have many causes including very serious ones that need to be identified as soon as possible.

Can I crack my own back?

As chiropractors, we are trained to identify specific joints in the spine that need to be adjusted and are able to apply that specific adjustment. attempting to manipulate your own spine can potentially result in injury and is not recommended.

Why is my back pain worse when I’m sitting?

Sitting increases the stress on the low back and can make it feel worse if there is already damage. Correcting that area of the spine with chiropractic care can eliminate the discomfort felt when sitting.

How long does it take for back pain to get better?

Every situation can be different and there are many variables such as age, the condition of the spine, and the length of the condition. However, many people respond very quickly to chiropractic care reporting significant relief in only a few adjustments. It is crucial to understand, however, that just because the pain is less does not mean the healing process is over.

$49 New Patient Low Back Pain Health Screening

$49 for a complete chiropractic health screening including a consultation, exam, X-rays if necessary, a report of findings, and a plan of action.

Schedule Your Appointment Today
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