Did you know that more than 31 million people in the United States alone have suffered from back pain at some point in their lives? Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability and can often be severe enough to prevent people from working.
Thankfully, there are many treatments that target back pain, such as chiropractic treatment. However, what can chiropractic treatment do that medication can’t? What does chiropractic treatment do exactly, and how does it work to soothe back and neck pain?
If you’re asking these questions, you’ve clicked on the right article. Here, we will be exploring the answers to these questions and more. If you suffer from temporary or chronic back pain and you want to know if chiropractic treatment can help, you can find your answers here.
First, let’s explore what exactly chiropractic treatment is and how it works on the body.
What Is Chiropractic Treatment
Professional chiropractors should perform chiropractic treatments. Professional chiropractors should have a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited college. They should also have a state license to practice chiropractic medicine.
It is important to always receive chiropractic treatments from a trained professional. Otherwise, the treatment, which usually has minimal side effects, could do more harm than good.
The most common conditions treated by chiropractors are back and neck pain. However, chiropractors can also treat leg pain caused by sciatica as well as headaches. Those who sustained sports injuries may find relief from chiropractic treatment benefits as well.
The job of a chiropractor is to target the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system by making adjustments to the body. By realigning the body through chiropractic treatment, pain and discomfort should improve.
One of the many chiropractic treatment advantages is that it works much differently than medication. Medication only masks feelings of pain and discomfort for a short time without fixing the root of the problem. On the other hand, chiropractic treatment aims to mend the source of the pain in a natural way.
Chiropractic treatment can be especially beneficial for those with spinal misalignments. These misalignments can include spondylosis, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, whiplash, back sprains, and herniated discs. By focusing on the treatment of these conditions, people can live a better quality of life.
So, what should you expect if you decide to visit a chiropractor?
Visiting a Chiropractor
Before treatment, a good chiropractor will first examine you. This examination is to understand which chiropractic techniques to use and which part of the spine to treat. The examination often starts with a consultation.
The consultation will involve you as the patient meeting with the chiropractor to discuss your back problems. This can involve discussing what kind of pain you are experiencing, where, and how often. It is also helpful to include details such as actions that make the pain better or worse.
For example, if your back pain is worse when you stand up rather than when you sit down, this bit of information can be of use to a chiropractor. After your consultation, your chiropractor should discuss your case history with you.
Your case history will involve details such as your family, your occupation, your diet, and others. These details are useful for several reasons.
For example, your occupation may involve lifting heavy equipment all day and maybe straining a particular part of your spine. On the other hand, you may have a family history of back problems such as scoliosis. By knowing these details, a chiropractor can fine-tune their treatment plan.
After the case history comes the physical examination. This includes the palpation of the spine to determine which areas to treat. In some cases, an X-ray can help to visualize the spine.
After this, your chiropractor will help you to diagnose your back pain.
Diagnosing Your Back Pain
Diagnosing your back pain with chiropractic treatment advice can be a big step in the treatment of your pain. Diagnosis can depend on a variety of factors, such as the severity of your pain and its cause.
Most people have the diagnosis of non-specific lumbar back pain. The lumbar spine is the section of your lower back just above the sacrum and is one of the most common areas for back pain. There is usually no identifiable cause for non-specific lumbar back pain.
Some back pain may have origins in nerve problems. These problems include herniated disks, pinched spinal nerves, sciatica, and spinal stenosis. If back pain originates from something serious such as a tumor or fracture, the chiropractor may instead transfer you to a spinal surgeon.
Back pain may also be diagnosed by how long the pain has persisted. Acute back pain is pain that has lasted less than 6 weeks. Chronic back pain is pain that has lasted more than for more than 12 weeks.
Back pain may also be recurrent, meaning it comes and goes. Back pain is then further divided according to the severity of the pain ranging from mild to severe.
After your back pain is properly diagnosed, you can move on to treatment.
Chiropractic adjustment is the procedure in which a chiropractor uses his or her hands to act upon the body, usually on the spine. This technique aims to stretch and flex the spinal joints to improve mobility and reduce pain. This technique is also known as spinal manipulation.
This treatment is used on areas of the spine that are not as mobile as they should be. Chiropractic adjustment is when a chiropractor puts sudden, high-velocity force on the spine. Often, a crack will be heard.
This crack is the release of gas from the spinal joint and relieves pressure in the spine. Following this release of pressure is the feeling of relaxation and relief from pain. You may feel discomfort during chiropractic adjustment but no pain.
Beyond chiropractic adjustment, however, are more specific techniques of chiropractic treatment. The Gonstead Adjustment is an example of a unique chiropractic technique. It is used when spinal discs are not aligned properly.
Rather than lying down, the Gonstead Adjustment is performed when the patient is sitting upright. It is generally a gentle treatment and can be used on the lower back or on the cervical spine of the neck.
The Activator Method is another technique and one that differs from others by the fact that a chiropractic tool is used instead of hands. This tool is spring-loaded and functions to suddenly impact the spine. It is similar to ordinary chiropractic adjustment but can be more accurate than hands due to the tool’s small size.
The Activator Method is also mild and can help ease lower back pain as well as headaches. Now that we’re familiar with different chiropractic techniques let’s explore the chiropractic treatment advantages in more detail.
Chiropractic Treatment Benefits
One of the best benefits of chiropractic treatment is that there is no downtime after treatment. This is great news if you have a busy life and don’t want to set aside time for recovery. As soon as your chiropractic treatment is finished, you can continue your day as usual.
Chiropractic treatment is a great idea if you want to rely less on pain-relieving medication. Chiropractors can help both relieve pain and treat the source of the problem naturally. Many see improvements in their back pain when going to the chiropractor as little as once a month.
In addition to back pain, headaches such as tensions headaches and migraines may be treated by a chiropractor. These headaches are often caused by tense muscles, poor blood flow, and misalignment in the cervical spine.
Chiropractic treatments can treat all three of these problems and ultimately relieve headaches. Chiropractic treatment can even help those who suffer from chronic migraines.
Another big advantage is that chiropractic treatments are often one of the most affordable options for treating back pain. Instead of taking handfuls of costly pain-relieving pills or scheduling spinal surgery, chiropractors can often treat your spinal pain in a much more affordable fashion.
Chiropractic treatment can even improve posture. In a world where many of us are hunched over our phones or computers for extended periods of time, this is great news.
After several chiropractic treatments, many can see significant improvements in their posture. These treatments can even protect against the development of hunchback posture.
Your Chiropractic Treatment Guide
You are now familiar with what chiropractic treatment is, its different techniques, how it works, and what it can treat. If you suffer from back pain and are looking for affordable, quick, and easy relief, a chiropractic adjustment may be what you need.
To learn more about chiropractic treatment and the other services we offer, contact us here.