Chiropractic and Back Pain

Since chiropractic care centers on non-surgical treatment of the central nervous system and musculoskeletal systems, it’s widely renowned for treatment of back pain.  Although a care plan may be developed between several alternative medicine specialities, most often the treatment’s main focus is manual manipulation of the spine and treatment of localized areas.

Causes of Back Pain

In many cases there’s no outright diagnosis for many back pain complaints.  Natural stresses on the spine and surrounding tissues, and emotional stress can cause pain in some instances, and may not require treatment for them to subside naturally.  It’s important to understand that pain is the body’s response to a medical issue or trauma; in essence a warning system, not a diagnosis.  In some of these cases, there are medical conditions like the following:

  • Mechanical Issues- Misaligned vertebrae, degenerative disc disease, and wear of facet joints are common in this category.
  • Injuries- Sprains, which are tiny to serious tears in the ligaments, and fractures of the vertebrae often caused by aging and/or osteoporosis are causal effects of back pain, and can often lead to chronic pain.  Severe injuries from accidents and falls would also be classed here.
  • Disease or acquired conditions- This class includes but is not limited to scoliosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and others.

Causation of back pain is usually physical but stress and related illnesses such as insomnia and depression can intensify the symptoms and make them take longer to subside.

Chiropractic Examination for Back Pain

When you visit the chiropractor to plan a course of action to treat your back pain, you’ll be asked about your medical history and for detailed information regarding the pain and any diagnoses you may have received regarding case.  You’ll also be asked questions about what exacerbates the pain, what relieves it, and a physical exam will be done to determine affected areas.  Applied kinesiology will be used to determine how your body is functioning, and what areas would benefit most from treatment.

What Forms of Treatment Can I expect?

Chiropractic care encompasses several fields of alternative medicine.  Your treatment plan may include a comprehensive range of options, or may be limited only a few depending on the cause of your back pain.  Some of the options are listed here:

  • Manual manipulation- This is a very common treatment for back pain.  Also called a spinal adjustment, the focus is on correcting alignment in the spine, thereby reducing pressure on affected nerves, strain and tightening of affected muscular structures, and increasing range of motion in the affected area.
  • Acupuncture- This time honored pain treatment has been very successful in reducing pain and inflammation, and may be added to your care regimen.
  • Nutrition and exercise counseling- Guidance may be given towards proper nutrition that’s known to have positive effects on pain symptoms, and exercises which will strengthen the structures needed to support a healthy spine.
  • Physical therapy treatment tools- These may include traction, electro-stimulation, and ultrasound.
  • Hypnotherapy- Using the patient’s subconscious levels of thought of to “retrain” the body’s pain response

Chiropractic care for back pain encompasses a broad range of physical, mechanical, and mental treatments in order to be successful and have long lasting effects.  A care plan is as unique as the individual it’s meant to treat.