Chiropractors use practical spinal manipulation and other treatment alternatives, the presumption being that correct alignment of the musculoskeletal structure of your body, especially the spine, will allow your body to get well on its own without medication or surgery. Manipulation is applied to recover the movement of joints constrained by tissue damage resulting from a traumatic incident like a fall, or continuous stress such as that caused by sitting without proper back support.
A majority of back pain victims who seek alternative treatment for the pain go for chiropractic treatment. Nearly twenty-two million Americans seek help from chiropractors each year.
According to Dr. Gregory, DC, CCEP, ANF: chiropractors are committed to the non-surgical treatment of problems in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractors focus distinctively on spinal manipulation and treatment of neighboring structures.
According to studies, most of the manual therapies used by chiropractors are normally successful for lower back pain, lumbar herniated discs, neck pain, radiculopathy, and other conditions.
When individuals suffering from long-term low back pain are attended to by chiropractors, the long-term result is improved by getting maintenance spinal manipulation following the first thorough manipulative therapy.
Back pain types
There are a number of back pain types, although the leading forms are chronic (long-term) low back pain and acute (short-term) low back pain.
Acute low-back pain
Individuals suffering from this type of back pain usually get well by themselves, by staying active and through self-care. You can opt for non-medicine therapies like chiropractic manipulation if your acute low-back pain goes on for more than four weeks.
Chronic low-back pain
Prolonged used of pain relievers normally does not prove effective in people suffering from chronic lower back pain. But they can benefit from natural therapies like spinal manipulation. Chronic lower back pain may be a result of social and psychological factors. The majority of patients suffering from this type of back pain are not easily freed from pain so treatment should be directed at minimizing pain and improving movement and the ability to function.
Chiropractic center focus
Chiropractic normally engages in lower back pain treatment via manual therapy:
- Manual manipulation and spinal manipulation: This form of manipulation involves a short lever arm thrust of high velocity that is done to irregular vertebra, aiming to enhance functionality, minimize irritability of the nerves, and recover movement in the back. It is also referred as chiropractic adjustment.
- Mobilization: This refers to manipulation of a low velocity by stretching and mobilization of joints and muscles, aiming to increase movement in those locations.
Setting goals for the treatment plan of chiropractic therapy is determined by the pain of the patient, activity intolerance, and disability problems.
Prevention of chronicity is consistent in the treatment of low back pain. To accomplish this, active care, that is, care undertaken by the patient such as activity modification, exercise, and ergonomic modifications, is emphasized.
Disorders treated through chiropractic
Chiropractors use different non-surgical treatments to cure individuals who have certain forms of:
- Neck pain
- Leg pain or low back pain
- Frequent strains
- Pain from arthritis
- Sports injuries
- Injuries from vehicular accidents
While mainly centering on treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, chiropractors are not confined to complications of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system.
When necessary, chiropractors will refer the individuals they are treating to medical practitioners for lower back pain treatment. Most chiropractors collaborate with other spine specialists or have a local network to which they refer their patients.
The first chiropractic evaluation of back pain will normally have three aspects: consultation, case history, and physical evaluation. An X-ray or laboratory analysis may be conducted.
- Consultation: This is when you meet the chiropractor and give a short explanation of your back pain, covering the following:
- Frequency and duration of your symptoms
- Symptoms description, such as whether you feel throbbing or burning
- Areas where you feel pain
- What worsens the pain, like lifting objects or standing
- What eases the pain, like stretching or sitting
- Case history: The chiropractor will look for the type of back pain and areas of complaint by asking questions about your:
- Eating habits
- Family history
- Psychosocial history
- History of other treatments
- Occupational history
- Physical evaluation: The chiropractor may use different methods, including motion and static palpation techniques to identify spinal sections that are hypo-mobile or stuck, to determine the spinal sections that need chiropractic care. The results of the evaluations will determine if additional tests will be conducted for diagnosis. These additional tests include:
- An X-ray to look for subluxations
- A tool that detects the skin temperature in the paraspinal area to look for spinal segments that have significant variations in temperature and therefore need manipulation.
Majority of chiropractors use a holistic, biomechanical technique in the treatment of the entire bipedal structure, in an effort to balance the structure upward from the feet.
The following are the methods chiropractors are trained in for studying lower back pain:
- Management and evaluation services. Chiropractors study how to examine the bones, joints, spine tendons and muscles, extremities, the head, and other parts of the body with the goal of identifying any asymmetry, misalignment, defect, tenderness, or other irregularities.
- Neurological and other leading physical evaluation procedures. Chiropractors are taught how to conduct different neurological tests, like tests for motor strength, tension, coordination, pathological and deep tendon reflexes, and many more, and are trained in conducting cardiovascular, orthopedic, and many other examinations.
- Specialized assessment. Chiropractors are skilled in assessing the range of mobility, muscle strength, stability, and muscle tone of the lower back, aside from other lower back assessments.
- Diagnostic studies: Chiropractors are taught how to use diagnostic tools and studies like laboratory diagnostics, X-rays, and neurodiagnostics.
The chiropractor uses a "triage" concept in diagnosing lower back pain. This concept divides low back injuries into these three categories:
- Potentially severe: Included in this category are infection, burns or open wounds, tumors, problems in artificial joint implants, cauda equina (a rare but major neurological problem), hemophilia (continuous bleeding), joint infection, and pacemaker problems.
- Nerve complication: This is where the nerve root in your lower back is compressed or pinched, resulting in radiculopathy. Normal causes of this condition include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and lumbar herniated disc.
- Non-specific: This is mechanical back pain found in the lumbar spine. This is the most common type of lower back pain and involves pain with no identifiable source.
If you are diagnosed with potentially severe injuries, the chiropractor will refer you to a medical specialist for them and if necessary, a surgeon. The chiropractor can also co-manage your condition with other specialists for back pain.
In addition to chiropractic care, you need to incorporate other healthy lifestyle habits and options, to ensure your nervous system stays at high levels of performance. This will involve making time to exercise, sticking to a nutritious diet, stretching regularly, and working on maintaining good posture. This holistic approach enables you to remain healthy since it enhances your entire physiology by clearing the communication passages of your body.
Another way to maintain your overall health is by utilizing chiropractic care as a preventive health care measure. Even if you have no pressing back problems, you should regularly visit a chiropractor to prevent problems before they appear. Since chiropractic treatment is low-risk and does not involve any addictive medicines, you can make going to a chiropractor a normal routine like going to a masseuse or the gym.