Most people looking for relief from back pain caused by muscle strains, sports injuries, headaches, and accidents choose chiropractic treatment. Seeing a chiropractor can also be the best option when it comes to treating lower back pain effectively.
What is Chiropractic Care for Back Pain?
A chiropractor, a doctor who provides chiropractic care, diagnoses and treats health conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles, and nerves of the body using hands-on manipulation or other treatment methods. Spinal manipulation or hands-on adjustment of the spine helps the body speed up the healing process without medication or invasive measures.
Manipulation restores mobility to joints constrained by tissue injury caused by repetitive stress, falling or traumatic event. Chiropractic care provides relief to affected bones, muscles, and connective tissues, such as tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.
Based on the needs of an individual, a chiropractor starts off with less-invasive methods before applying more aggressive therapies.
Process of Chiropractic Care
Your chiropractor will first ask about your health history, including your current health conditions, past illnesses, sleep habits, mental stresses, medications you are taking, and lifestyle. He or she may perform laboratory or imaging tests to determine the underlying cause of your condition. The chiropractor makes sure that you understand everything to help you learn about the process before the treatment begins.
- The most common treatment is called adjustment, which is manipulation done by hands. This method realigns the bones of your spine to improve the quality and range of motion within the affected areas.
- Your chiropractor may also perform other treatments to alleviate pain on other tissues, such as massage.
- Many chiropractors include exercises and nutritional counseling into the chiropractic care plan.
In most cases, more than one session is needed to treat the problem effectively. Your chiropractor may recommend two to three sessions per week, which would last about 20 minutes each. As your body improves, your treatments will reduce to once per week. Additional procedures may be required if you have other health issues.
You will not feel any pain from manipulation, but you may feel stiff, tired, and a little achy for a few days as your body adjusts to the new alignment. Your chiropractor will measure the results of the treatments using some of these methods:
- Pain diagram that allows the patient to describe the pain and its location
- Numeric pain scale
- Testing functional capacity, such as flexibility, endurance, strength, and lifting ability
Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Care for Back Pain
Chiropractic care and spinal manipulation are safe for treating subacute back pain (ache that has been present for three months or less) and neck pain. Chiropractic is also useful in headaches and may help in alleviating the symptoms of fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.
Chiropractic treatment should not be used in cases of severe arthritis, joint or bone infections, severe osteoporosis, bone tumors or bone fractures. Very rarely, neck manipulation may damage blood vessels in the area or result in strokes. However, the screening process during your first visit will determine if you might be at risk for these issues.