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How Can A Chiropractor Help With Back Pain?

The latest data indicates that back pain affects 619 million people globally, ranking it as a leading disability cause worldwide.

Chiropractic care is particularly effective for lower back pain, and it’s gaining attention as a valuable alternative to traditional medical treatments, which often rely on medications, surgery, or steroid injections. 

Prolonged back pain can be a sign of damage to low motor neurons, highlighting the need for effective treatment options. A key study involving U.S. military personnel revealed that those who combined chiropractic care with standard medical treatments experienced more significant pain relief compared to those who only received medical care. This finding is crucial, considering lower back pain is a leading cause of disability in the military.

As the medical community seeks non-addictive pain management options in response to the opioid crisis, chiropractic care stands out. It offers a drug-free, surgery-free approach to pain relief, making it an appealing choice for those looking for alternatives to conventional medical interventions for back pain.

What Causes Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common condition with various causes. Some of the primary reasons include:

  • Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. Constant strain on your back can cause severe muscle spasms.
  • Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve, leading to back pain.
  • Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • A condition in which your spine curves to the side (scoliosis) can lead to back pain, but generally only if the scoliosis is severe.
  • Poor posture can contribute significantly to lower back pain, especially if you have a desk job or frequently use a computer.

Chiropractic Techniques for Pain Relief

Here are some common chiropractic techniques used specifically for back pain:

1. Spinal Manipulation (High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust)

The most well-known chiropractic technique involves a manual, quick force applied to a spinal joint to improve the range of motion and reduce nerve irritability, which can relieve back pain.

2. Spinal Mobilization (Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques)

For patients requiring a gentler approach, spinal mobilisation uses more moderate manipulative techniques without forceful thrusts. This is suitable for older patients with a sensitive spine or individuals with certain conditions like osteoporosis.

3. Flexion-Distraction Technique (Cox Technique)

Often used for disc injuries or sciatica, this technique involves a special table that stretches the spine. It is a gentle, non-thrusting type of spinal manipulation to help treat herniated discs and spinal stenosis.

4. Instrument-Assisted Manipulation

This uses a hand-held instrument to allow the chiropractor to apply force without thrusting into the spine. One common tool is the Activator Adjusting Instrument, which delivers a gentle impulse to the spine.

5. Specific Spinal Manipulation

This technique helps restore joint movement using a gentle thrusting technique. Chiropractors identify the restricted or abnormal joints and use this technique to increase movement and reduce pain.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

1. Pain Relief

Chiropractic adjustments can provide immediate relief for many types of back pain. These adjustments aim to realign the spine and other parts of the body, reducing pressure on the nervous system and alleviating pain.

2. Improved Mobility

Chiropractic care often helps in increasing flexibility and range of motion. This can particularly benefit those suffering from stiffness and restricted movement due to back pain.

3. Reduction in Long-Term Pain Medication Use

By addressing the root cause of back pain, chiropractic care can reduce the need for pain medications, many of which have side effects and can be addictive.

4. Enhanced Healing

Chiropractic treatments can speed up the healing process of the back by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation in the affected areas.

5. Preventative Care

Regular chiropractic adjustments can help prevent future back problems by maintaining spinal health and encouraging good posture, reducing the risk of recurring back pain.

Key Takeaways

Chiropractic care is a holistic, non-invasive option for back pain relief, focusing on spinal adjustments, manual therapies, and tailored exercises. It aims to reduce pain, improve function, and promote overall wellness, appealing to those seeking natural treatment methods.