Back Pain

Are you needlessly suffering with Back Pain in Chapel Hill or the surrounding Raleigh-Durham area?

Research shows that the majority of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life. Upper, middle, and low back pain can be a nuisance and keep you from doing the activities that you love. In fact, back pain has grown to be the #1 cause of disability in the United States.

We can help. Dr. Cosmas Leigh at Leigh Brain & Spine can determine what is causing your back pain, how to treat and get rid of it and then how it can be prevented in the future.

What Causes Back Pain?

It is estimated that 31 Million Americans suffer from low back pain at any given moment. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work. Most of the cases of back pain are not caused by a major organic problems like arthritis, fracture or cancer but are caused by less serious and preventable mechanical conditions from improper or overuse. Americans spend an astonishing $50 billion dollars a year on back pain.

Your back is a very complicated structure with many parts working together in concert: tendons, ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones have to work together for your back to perform and feel well. If any part of the equation becomes irritated or damaged problems can arise and pain is felt as a symptom of the underlying problem occurring. Perhaps a car accident or work injury occurred and you know exactly when the problem began. Many times it is minor, but repetitive, stress that causes the most damage. This can make it impossible for you to recall when the pain started or what caused it. Sometimes your back pain is not caused by the musculature at all. It can be a symptom of obesity, gastrointestinal problems, urinary tract infections, spinal stenosis, or osteo-arthritis. It is important to seek out a doctor or back pain specialist with advanced credentials and experience such as at Leigh Brain & Spine in order to take all health variables into account.

Through comprehensive assessment at Leigh Brain & Spine, Dr. Leigh can determine what the back problem is and how to fix it preventing serious lifelong conditions that are avoidable.

Back Pain is a common, painful condition affecting the lower portion of the spine.

Back Pain Facts:

According to Google and the Mayo Clinic, Back Pain is “Very common” In fact more than 3 million US cases per year. An injury causes low back pain to a muscle (strain) or ligament (sprain). Common causes include improper lifting, poor posture, lack of regular exercise, fracture, ruptured disk, or arthritis. Often, the only symptom is pain in the lower back. Chiropractic treatment, Physical therapy, and pain relievers can help. A few cases may require surgery, but we recommend exhausting all other treatment options before considering surgery.

Usually self-diagnosable, back pain is still recommended to have a chiropractic visit with our office to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Often, the only symptom is pain in the lower back. People may experience:

  • Pain areas: in the back, muscles and bones, hip, or leg
  • Sensory: leg numbness or pins and needles
  • Also common: back joint dysfunction or muscle spasms

Back Pain Therapies

Joint manipulation

Stretching a joint past its current restricted range of motion to restore movement and reduce pain.


Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and improve physical function.

Chiropractic Treatment

Restores spine to optimal function and improves blood flow. Hands-on adjustment of the spine, called spinal manipulation, is the basis of chiropractic care and can often reduce or eliminate back pain.

Spinal Decompression

Relaxes tense muscles.

Spine Conditions

Chiropractors FAQ

Do Chiropractors adjust all patients the same way?

No. The chiropractor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. In fact, there are many different chiropractic techniques and the chiropractor will decide which is best for each patient. The recommendations made by a chiropractor are based upon years of training and experience. Each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.

Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?

Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This too common occurrence is known as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Chiropractors may help prevent repeated back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is initially utilized back surgery can often be avoided in the first place. Some chiropractors specialize in serving those people who have had previous back surgeries and are still in pain. Spinal Decompression Therapy can be the most effective course of treatment for such a person.

Can I adjust myself?

No. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs.

Can I tell if my spine is out of alignment?

Not always. A misalignment is like a dental cavity–you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why periodic spinal checkups are so important. Although it may be possible to know you have a misalignment, it is rarely possible to be sure you don’t. Regular spinal checkups are always a good idea, and they promote good health from the inside out.

FREE Information on Chiropractic Care.

Find out how a Chiropractor can help you. Just enter your best email now

Chiropractic Care

About Dr. Cosmas Leigh

Chiropractic Physician

Dr. Cosmas Leigh, D.C. is a pioneer in Spinal Decompression to treat spinal stenosis, herniated discs, bulging discs, and disc degeneration. Dr. Leigh was the first in his region to include the state-of-the-art DRX 9000c Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression system to his practice to reduce pain and restore function for people of all ages.