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Chiropractic Care for Back Pain Relief

Published Date: 
July 21, 2022
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A man is laying on a chiropractic table getting an adjustment for back pain.

Tired of dealing with lower back pain? Chiropractors can provide effective treatments in alleviating back pain by providing a natural, non-invasive solution. 

Chiropractic Care: A Natural and Effective Solution to Relieve and Manage Back Pain

At some point in your life, you will experience back pain. Slight pain may not be a cause for alarm. However, if you experience chronic and sharp back pain, you need to know what your options are. Chiropractic care for back pain offers a minimally invasive and effective solution to relieve and manage back pain.

When it comes to surprises, we believe there's a time and place, like a movie cliff-hanger or a birthday party, but certainly not on health issues. We have compiled a research-led chiropractic care remedy for back pain. Here's all you need to know about chiropractic care for back pain.

Why You Should See a Chiropractor for Back Pain

Your back is perfectly engineered to support your body weight and allow spinal mobility. Therefore, when you experience back pain, you will need a single, non-addictive treatment. Chiropractic care for back pain presents a non-addictive, non-invasive treatment that's cost-effective, too.

According to the WHO, Americans spend an estimated $200 billion a year to treat low back pain. The benefits of chiropractic back care transcend the economic debate. A 2018 JAMA Network study enrolled 750 active service members who complained of back pain. Half of the cohorts were put on routine care plans involving pain-relieving medication and physical therapy, while the rest were on chiropractic care.

After six weeks, the chiropractic care patients reported higher satisfaction with their treatment and far less pain intensity. Wouldn't you want chiropractic care for back pain if such benefits are within reach?

How Chiropractors Diagnose Back Pain

Chiropractors and certified osteopathic physicians administer physical, neurological, and static palpation to monitor your movement and touch. The chiropractor will evaluate how you walk and your spinal alignment. The chiropractor may also recommend imaging scans such as X-rays to check your spinal alignment. Bloodwork can be part of your test if you have underlying conditions that are a red flag.

The specialist will select you for chiropractic care if you meet the conditions treatable by chiropractic care. Otherwise, the specialist will recommend you to a spine surgeon for surgery or administer medication for subtle back pain causatives.

Accurate diagnosis is pivotal to an effective treatment plan. We highly advise seeking chiropractic services at facilities approved by the American Association of Chiropractors.

What Do Chiropractic Treatments for Back Pain Involve?

Chiropractic treatment for back pain involves a combination of targeted approaches to specific joints and areas you experience back pain. The core treatments for chiropractic treatment are:

Spinal Manipulation (Manual Therapy)

Spinal manipulation is a high-velocity lever arm thrust using hands or a device to the joint eliciting back pain. The thrust moves the joint outside the normal range of movement. The force depends on the intent of the treatment. Generally, spinal manipulation improves joint functionality, reduces nerve irritability, and restores the range of motion in the back.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Soft tissue therapy involves a range of repeated strokes targeting the soft tissue over the joint's range of motion. It can be instrument-assisted or manual. Trigger point stimulation is a common procedure for soft tissue therapy.

Are There Risks or Pain Associated with Spinal Manipulation?

A man points to where his back hurts, during a chiropractic exam.

Spinal manipulation is generally safe and provides effective treatment to back pain, especially in the early stages. Risks associated with spinal manipulation include muscle soreness, which eases after 24 hours.

Extreme side effects of spinal manipulation are exacerbated in cancer patients, inflammatory arthritis, osteoporosis, and individuals who take blood-thinning medications. Contact your practitioner to understand if the risks will threaten your unique health state.

Suffice it to say, it gets worse before it gets better for chiropractic treatments. However, expert chiropractors minimize the pain using gentle pressure and thrusts on your first time visit before your body can gradually adjust.

Common Causes of Back Pain Chiropractors Can Treat

Chiropractic care can’t treat all causes of back pain. Chiropractic care for back pain treats the following causes:

Pain Caused by Hard Tissue

Hard tissue develops after a trapped scar in the tissue via underusing or overusing your muscles. Through chiropractic treatments, you get increased pliability that reduces stress on the pain points. Usually, for hard tissue treatment, the chiropractor will use specialized devices.

Pain Caused by Soft Tissue

Soft tissue pain occurs when a tumor swells and presses on the nerves. The nerves are usually trapped by the spine, making the pain even worse. Soft tissue therapy is particularly valuable for treating pain caused by soft tissue.

Pinched Nerves

Pinched or trapped nerves do not always need surgery. Chiropractic treatments decompress the spine, the No. 1 culprit for pinching nerves. If you feel sharp back pain shooting down to your leg, you have pinched nerves.

Sciatica

Symptoms of sciatic nerve damage are usually lower back pain and leg pain. Sciatica causes sharpshooting pain or recurrent dull pain. Chiropractic care pops the sciatic nerve providing relief in four visits or less.

Scoliosis

A chiropractor specializing in scoliosis adjusts the to ease the pain. The chiropractor will employ a blend of adjustments and pressure decreases to realign the muscles and bones.

Lumbago

Chiropractic care for lumbago or lower back pain involves spinal adjustments to correct posture and realign the ligaments, muscles, and bones to alleviate lower back pain. If you find a good chiropractor, you may see a resolution in three-to-four weeks.

Slipped or Herniated Disc

A slipped or herniated disc is one of the culprits of back pain. With other conservative treatment methods, chiropractic care provides the decompression needed to allow the disc to slip back into place. It is important to understand the difference between a slipped disc and a herniated disc.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Prescription drugs sometimes aggravate osteoarthritis of the spine or DDD. Chiropractic Care involves spinal adjustments that avert the adverse side effects of other treatment methods for DDD.

Back Sprain Injuries

Back sprains happen when the ligaments tear. Chiropractic care provides non-invasive treatment through realigning the ligaments.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal exerts pressure on the spine and can cause herniated discs or back pain. Chiropractic care improves the spinal column flow and relieves pressure, treating back pain.

How Chiropractic Adjustments Help with Back Pain

Chiropractic adjustments target your spine to improve spinal health, increase joint mobility, and reduce inflammation. Through the different types of treatment, chiropractors can treat your back pain.

Types of Chiropractic Treatments for Back Pain

The following types are common chiropractic treatment approaches for relieving back pain. The chiropractor may use a combination of instruments or hands for efficacious treatment.

Table Adjustments

Table adjustments are ideal for unlocking your spine and improving joint mobility. This form of spinal manipulation requires special skills and equipment.

A chiropractor puts you on a table with a drop piece and administers a thrust to your spine. The drop piece drops as they administer thrust, ensuring it spreads out evenly in your spine. The major merit of table adjustment is no back twisting is necessary.

Lumbar Roll

A chiropractor applies thrust to the lower back area while you lie on your side, making it ideal for treating lower back pain.

Flexion-Distraction Technique

The technique is a non-thrust spinal manipulation method that involves flexing the spine on the problematic area. The chiropractor lies you down on a specially designed table and moves the disc away from the nerve in a gentle pumping rhythm.

Flexion-distraction technique is ideal for patients with disc injuries or lower back pain.

Manual Joint Stretching and Resistance

Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques break up tense muscles. The stretching and resistance movement is what gives the technique its name.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy involves soft tissue massage or applying ischemic pressure to release knots in muscles at a point.

Toggle Drop

Toggle drop is a technique that involves a fast thrust on your vertebral joints. The chiropractor crosses their hands and firmly presses the problematic area. Here’s more on toggle drop.

Pelvic Blocking

Pelvic blocking separated the nerves from the discs. The method is ideal for damaged discs. It involves a chiropractor putting cushions on both sides of the pelvis and allows gravity to separate the discs and the nerves.

Release Work

Chiropractic release work gently separates the vertebral column, allowing the spine to flow freely. Release work involves gentle pressure rather than thrust.

Why Chiropractic Care is Preferred Over Other Forms of Treatment for Back Pain

A man is getting back pain relief from chiropractic treatment.

Medications and over-the-counter pain-relieving drugs only numb the effect but do not treat the cause. Even worse, our bodies naturally develop immunity to drugs. You may need a higher dosage or stronger medication to relieve back pain. Invasive treatments such as surgery are costly but offer long-term solutions.

Chiropractic care for back pain is a pocket-friendly long-term treatment that’s non-invasive. Chiropractic insurances are now mainstream, and you shouldn't worry about breaking the bank for chiropractic care.

Even better, chiropractic care treats your whole body. People use chiropractic treatments to manage back pain and improve mind-body wellness. Chiropractic treatments roll many benefits into a singular treatment, so clients love chiropractic care for back pain.

What Should I Expect on My First Visit to The Chiropractor?

The first visit to a chiropractor doesn't require special preparation. The chiropractor will read your medical history and administer diagnostic tests such as monitoring your motion and assessing your medical and physical concerns for the back pain.

After the physician accurately diagnoses the source of the back pain, they will tailor a treatment plan from the above treatment methods. A chiropractor may employ more than one method depending on the pain intensity.

It is best during your first visit to have candid conversations with the chiropractor. Air out underlying medical issues and concerns, if any. Certified chiropractors are always happy to clarify before beginning the treatment.

How Many Chiropractic Treatments Will I Need to Manage Back Pain Effectively?

There is no cookie-cutter approach to chiropractic care for back pain. Every back pain has unique causes and, therefore, a unique treatment plan. You may need one-to-two visits a week for mild back pain.

However, you may need to see the chiropractor daily in advanced back pain. Generally, you will see a resolution within six weeks of treatment and can restrict your appointments to periodically or twice a month. The chiropractor will determine how many visits they judge are enough to treat your back pain.

Complications in treatment, new medical information, occupation, and physical exertion limits all come into play when deciding if you need to step up or down your chiropractic treatment frequency.

Final Words

Chiropractic treatment is your best friend for non-invasive back pain treatment. The method confers benefits that transcend alleviating back pain, including managing headaches and improving spinal health.

The onus is on you to find a certified chiropractor who will tailor a treatment plan to treat your back pain. You may not always be eligible for chiropractic care. Consult your health practitioner to learn more about your eligibility.

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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