Call or Text: 303-444-8707 | 2955 Baseline Road Boulder, Colorado 80303 | Email:

Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain

Of all the anatomical diagnoses we encounter, Disc Pathology is the most common. Many of you may be familiar with common terms:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD for short)
  • Bulging Disc
  • Herniated Discs
    • Also known as a “Slipped Disc”, however, we have no idea why since discs don’t slip around… 

Other diagnoses focus on the Joints in the spine:

  • Spondylosis: More commonly referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
  • Spondylolisthesis: Sliding of a vertebra on top of another
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac joint Pain (the SI joint) 

And others focusing on the Soft Tissue:

  • Lumbar Sprains/Strains:
  • Sciatica: nerve pain that radiates into the leg from nerve pressure up in the spine.
  • Back Spasms: Which isn’t a real anatomical diagnosis, since it is a symptom of potentially anything listed above

As with other body parts, none of these diagnoses tell us if they are the actual cause of your pain. Degenerative Disc Disease is a scary diagnosis, when in fact it’s a normal part of aging.  The incidence of a herniated disc is about 5 to 20 cases per 1000 adults annually and is most common in people in their third to the fifth decade of life, with a male to female ratio of 2:1 [6]. The prevalence of herniated discs in the lumbar spine the cause symptoms is 1-3 percent. This means that fully 97 percent of us have a herniated disc and feel just fine.

More often than not, spines learn to stabilize themselves incorrectly.  Many spines flatten or flex to stabilize, others arch or extend, and some rotate and either flex or extend. The way the spine moves is even dependent on how the hips move.  For example, if your hip is stiff, your back will take up slack for the hip and move more, causing undue stress on your spine. 

Finding these movement dysfunctions, and correcting them is the key returning to pain free motion. And that’s just what we aim to do here at ALTA.