About a third of people who need chiropractic care seek relief from back pain. This type of pain comes intwo forms: acute and chronic. Acute back pain typically happens suddenly, lasts 6 weeks or less and often clears up on its own. Chronic back pain, on the other hand, is particularly debilitating and can limit overall movement and mobility.
The treatment for chronic back pain depends entirely on the type of doctor treating a patient. Traditional treatments include medication, physical therapy, surgery and/or steroid injections. Although these methods provide symptomatic relief, they do NOT address the root cause of the
pain. In many cases, these treatments are also painful and expensive.
Chiropractic, in turn, treats the underlying cause of a patient’s discomfort. This is because chiropractors base their practice on the idea that, in many cases, a misaligned vertebrae causes the pain. This misalignment creates many additional health problems, like headaches, body pains and impaired joint mobility. As a result, chiropractic treatments aim to restore vertebral alignment. This not only returns the spine to its natural health, but also restores all body parts served by the spinal nerves.
Unlike most doctors, chiropractors believe in the body’s natural ability to heal itself. They mostly avoid medications and surgery, which makes it unique from many other medical practices. As an example of these treatment differences, surgeons will remove a herniated disk from the spine in order to relieve pressure on the nerves, while chiropractors use non-invasive spinal manipulation to achieve the same result.
Your chiropractor will select the spinal manipulation method based the vertebral misalignments found in your body. One method consists of applying quick, sudden force to the appropriate vertebrae to restore motion of the join. Another common method is the flexion-distraction technique. This treatment involves a special table that stretches the spine. It is particularly effective for treating disc injuries that have led to long-term back pain.
Chronic back pain will probably also require additional treatments such as massage, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy. A good chiropractor will work with other health professionals as needed to ensure you get the best possible treatment for your pain. He or she will also look at the entire picture of your life, including your diet, health habits, medical history, family history, and other conditions you may have. This approach is holistic and has a better chance of eliminating the root cause of your chronic back pain than traditional treatments that only work on the symptoms.