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Chiropractic Care for Back Pain – Common Questions

Published Date: 
July 21, 2022
A man rests his hand on his lower back, due to back pain. An artists rendition of the spine is on top of the image, showing spinal misalignment that causes back pain.

Do you have any questions about how chiropractic care can help treat your back pain? Here are conclusive answers to commonly asked questions. 

Questions About Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective solutions for back pain. Do you understand how it works? What will a chiropractor do for low and middle back pain? Here are answers to these and other related questions of chiropractic care for back pain. Approximately 65 million Americans experience back pain, out of which 16 million (almost 10% of adults) report that the condition is chronic. Despite its frequency, the cause of the pain may be unclear. Doctors’ recommendations may vary and tend to prescribe standard care to eliminate the problem.

Standard care includes rest, heat, stretching, exercise/physio, and time. Some may suggest going to a chiropractor.

Should I Go to a Chiropractor If I Have Back Pain?

Yes, you should visit a chiropractor if you have back pain, especially when looking for a non-invasive solution. Chiropractors can prescribe spinal manipulation, self-care activities, and therapeutic exercise to relieve the pain and enhance mobility.

Chiropractic care - like a chiropractic adjustment - relies on the idea that the body can heal itself if you encourage or induce it. These drug-free techniques can also improve the body's natural healing by realigning muscles and nerves and restoring regular blood flow.

Should I See a Chiropractor for Low Back Pain?

You can see a chiropractor for lower back pain. Low back pain can reduce and disappear without medical intervention if you take some time off from physical activities. Alternatively, you can visit a chiropractor for diagnosis and correction. Some people prefer surgeries and injections, but chiropractic treatment is the best solution.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

An image of the spine is transposed on top of a photograph of a man's back, to show how causes of back pain.

Lower back pain can arise from strains or injuries to the back muscles because of accidents, extreme physical activity, inflammations, or arthritis. They may also result from structural problems, such as disc injuries. Mild lower back pain can disappear if you rest or take a few days off physical activities. If the condition persists, visit a chiropractor.

Here are the top reasons for aching or sore backs:

  • Inflammation - The body's immune system often responds by causing inflammation around injuries. The swellings can hinder the regular flow of blood, water, and nutrients in the body, triggering discomfort and pain.
  • Muscle or tendon pulls - The overstretching of ligaments and muscles during accidents or physical activities like lifting heavy objects can also cause sore backs. Back pains from tendon or muscle pull often result in spasms and tightness.
  • Poor posture - Excess weight and poor posture, such as continuous bending, can exert extra pressure on your spine, forcing your back muscles to overwork, hence the discomfort.
  • Herniated discs - Accidents and extreme pressure can cause the discs separating your spine's bony vertebrae to fracture, bulge, or dislocate, resulting in back pains.
  • Arthritis - The chronic inflammation of body joints can cause stiffness and discomfort throughout your body, including the back.

What Will a Chiropractor Do for Middle Back Pain?

Chiropractors can use manual spinal adjustments, hot and cold therapy, and stretching to treat middle back pains. Manual adjustments of musculoskeletal structures restore normal blood, water, and nutrient flow, as well as eliminate extra pressure on nerves and tendons. 

Hot and cold therapy and stretches can enhance circulation and promote faster natural healing.

When Can a Chiropractor Help with Back Pain?

It's advisable to try chiropractic care for back pain before other techniques like surgeries and injections. Invasive solutions should be a last resort. However, if you wait too long, the pain may become too severe, and surgery may be the only viable solution. Sometimes, physicians can prescribe chiropractic care for faster recovery from surgery.

Do I Need Medical Referrals to See a Chiropractor?

No, you may not require medical referrals to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, so you can make a direct appointment without consulting your family physician. However, you should update your doctor after visiting the chiropractor to keep them aware of your health situation.

How Does a Chiropractor Help Back Pain?

Chiropractors offer drug-free, non-invasive relief for back pain through spinal adjustments, manual therapy, or stretches. These techniques realign musculoskeletal structures to restore the regular flow of blood, water, and nutrients, expediting natural healing.

What Does Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain Involve?

Chiropractic treatments typically involve using controlled, sudden force to manipulate joints, tendons, and other musculoskeletal structures. Several chiropractors often recommend exercise, rest, or nutritional adjustments to fasten healing. Chiropractic treatments are drug-free and non-invasive; they rely on the body's ability to heal itself.

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Really Work for Back Pain?

Yes, chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulations can relieve back pain. While experts are still researching chiropractic care, the solution is successful. Sometimes, it works even better than traditional methods, such as surgeries and drugs. Most physicians advise patients to try chiropractic adjustments before other invasive back pain solutions.

Can a Chiropractor Make Your Back Worse?

It's rare for chiropractors to worsen back pains. However, sometimes a chiropractic adjustment may lead to nerve pinches or worsening of disc herniation. Fortunately, these instances are rare, and the chiropractor can correct them with minimal effort.

Do I Become Reliant on Regular Spinal Adjustments?

No. Regular spinal adjustments encourage your body to heal naturally. They are not addictive. While you may sometimes find the feeling that comes after spinal adjustments interesting, this doesn't mean that your body becomes dependent on the adjustment. You can still function even if you skip your routine sessions.

Can I Delay Spinal Surgery with Chiropractic Treatment?

It's common for people to seek chiropractic treatment to delay back pain surgeries, and the approach is successful. The chiropractor can reduce the compression in the painful area by realigning the surrounding musculoskeletal structures, helping you strengthen your core muscles. 

This process also reduces inflammations that often cause stiffness and discomfort, eliminating the need for immediate surgery to relieve the pain.

What Kinds of Conditions do Chiropractors Treat?

Chiropractors often focus on spine-related conditions, such as lower back pains, neck pains, middle back pains, and upper back pains. Below is a list of some of the conditions chiropractors typically handle:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tension headache]
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Knee pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Disc issues
  • Muscle spasms

How Does Chiropractic Care Treat Back Pain from Sitting?

Chiropractors often use manual adjustments to treat back pains from sitting. This method involves realigning the spine and other musculoskeletal structures around the neck and back that may trigger such pains, relieving pressure from nerves and the vertebrae. 

The chiropractor may also recommend dietary supplements, exercise regimens, or rest to expedite healing.

What Are the Top Causes of Back Pain Injury?

There is a range of issues that cause back pain injuries. They can include injuries from overuse, work, repetitive movements, car accidents, arthritis, poor posture, sports injuries, and many more.

Do I Need a Medical Referral to be Seen by a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

No. Chiropractors fall under the category of a primary health practitioner. Appointments can be directly booked without the need for a referral. 

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Do I Need to Alleviate Back Pain?

A man getting a chiropractic adjustment for back pain.

There's no standard duration of how long you should see a doctor for back pain relief. The time depends on your pain's severity and the chiropractor's approach. Chiropractic care generally takes longer than other methods, but the healing effect is often long-lasting.

The chiropractor may estimate how long it will take your injuries to heal after assessing your situation, but you should be open to changes.

What Are the Risks of Chiropractic Care for Back Pain?

Chiropractic care is generally safer than other treatment options. It's non-invasive and doesn't have side effects of drugs. Manual adjustments may seem precarious, but they're safe. Ensure the chiropractor has the requisite certifications and understands the practice.

There you have it, 18 questions about chiropractic care for back pain and their answers. Did you find the article helpful? Let us know below.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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