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What a Chiropractor Can Do for Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain

Published Date: 
April 10, 2017
An Elderly Man Suffers from Chronic Low Back Pain.

Back pain is one of the most common health problems with 8 out of 10 people complaining about it at some point in their lives. Oftentimes, back pain goes away after a few days but others are not as fortunate as theirs could last for months or even years. Furthermore, low back pain has two types, acute and chronic back pain. Learn more about these two and what a chiropractor can do to treat both.

Kinds of Low Back Pain

Acute Low Back Pain

You can get acute low back pain mostly due to unfortunate circumstances such as a car accident or sports injury. Acute pain has a protective function for the body in order to prevent further damage. The brain tells the body to stop whatever you're doing as it's harming you already. Medication may relieve acute low back pain but not all the time.

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic pain, on the contrary, does not have this warning function as it isn't usually caused by existing tissue damage. In fact, most chronic pain conditions have undetermined causes. At times though, chronic back pain may be due to degenerative disc disease, isthmic spondylolisthesis, or congenital spondylolisthesis. If the doctors have determined the source of the pain as fixable by surgery, it might be the last resort to ending chronic pain.

What a Chiropractor Can Do for Acute and Chronic Back Pain

A chiropractor may recommend spinal manipulation, especially for acute low back pain that has lasted for more than 4 weeks. If the patient prefers a gentler and continuous method, chiropractic therapy may include spinal mobilizations. Furthermore, a chiropractor may recommend back exercises apart from diet and lifestyle changes to improve recuperation from personal injuries.

Many cases of chronic back pain do not respond to opioid drugs which is why non-drug treatments may be effective. For chronic low back pain, a chiropractor can either perform a spinal manipulation or mobilization. However, psychological and social elements may influence chronic back pain too. These are factors that a chiropractor cannot address, which means that chronic pain might not be fully treated. At the most, if other factors affect the pain, a chiropractor can at least reduce the tenderness and improve your back’s range of motion.

The difference between chronic and acute back pain mostly lies between how long a patient will experience pain. Either way, a chiropractor will determine how best to reduce pain and inflammation using applicable procedures. For any kind of back pain, try visiting a chiropractor who can offer alternative, non-drug treatment options.


“Acute Back Pain vs. Chronic Back Pain Video,”

“Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and neck pain: a systematic review and best evidence synthesis,”

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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