One of the top complaints of those who seek chiropractic care is lower back pain.
With over 65 million Americans experiencing back pain at least once in their lifetimes, this is a common and widespread issue. In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for all physician visits in the U.S. Back pain can be muscular, spinal, within your joints, or even discogenic (within your discs).
Lower back pain can result from many things, but some of the most common are:
- Occupational hazards
- Bad posture
- Sports injuries
- Car accidents
- Spinal issues and misalignment
- Spinal degeneration from age
- Chronic health conditions
- Pulled or strained muscles
- Improperly healed injuries
When lower back pain hits, it can be difficult to continue with your daily routine. Whether mild or severe, short term or ongoing, lower back pain can impair your regular activities and cause you to feel fatigued and frustrated. If not treated in a timely manner, lower back pain can become more serve and develop permanent complications.
As a result, many people turn to pain medications to deal with their back pain, which only masks back pain symptoms and provides only temporary relief. These medications also often have a long list of dangerous, and potentially life-threatening side effects along with a risk of dependency and addiction.
For patients with chronic low back pain, The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that physicians and patients initially select non-drug therapy, such as exercise, motor control exercise, and spinal manipulation.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
The good news is that there is an alternative to medication to treat your pain. The next time you experience pain or issues with your back, consider chiropractic care for lower back pain.
Chiropractic care is a health care profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. It is a cost-effective, and non-invasive treatment that has benefitted millions of people suffering from back pain and other conditions.
Most chiropractors go through four years of training at accredited institutions where they learn theory and knowledge in the classroom and then gain hands-on experience in clinics. Additionally, many chiropractors participate in a two or three-year residency in order to specialize in a certain practice area. This specialization may be a specific area or system of the body, or even another practice, such as physical therapy. Chiropractors are required to have a license in order to practice, and many attend lectures or conferences to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques in order to better help their patients.
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal and soft tissue manipulation and adjustments to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, which enables the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Proper musculoskeletal alignment – especially of the spine – is key to maintaining optimal health.
In fact, studies have shown that chiropractic care combined with standard medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone. Additionally, those that seek chiropractic care for their pain are less likely to require surgery.
What To Expect From Your Treatment
Chiropractors use manual therapy to restore normal movement to your spinal joints. Back-pain specialists perform physio therapeutic healing of the spine to reduce your pain, restore normal movement and improve the overall alignment of the spine (postural correction).
Chiropractic care for lower back pain recovery will typically have four parts: a consultation, patient history, physical examination, and treatment suggestion. A chiropractor may also suggest laboratory analysis and X-ray examinations be performed to confirm a diagnosis.
Initial Consultation. The first information you provide will give your chiropractor an idea of what issues you are having with lower back pain and help them prepare for your visit. This can be done by setting up an appointment at a local chiropractor’s office or clinic or giving them a call to discuss treatment. Many chiropractors are completely covered by your health insurance, meaning there is little to no cost to you–depending on your injury and suggested treatment.
Patient Case History. Your chiropractor will then ask about your lower back pain, your daily routine and lifestyle, and family history and background in order to get to the bottom of what may be causing your pain, in addition to any additional stressors that could be making the pain worse or inhibiting your recovery.
Physical Examination. The Chiropractor will perform a physical examination to determine which areas are in pain and if this is related to your musculoskeletal, spinal, or nervous system. This may include assessing your lower back for pain at different pressure points, in different movements, or with special tools.
Treatment Options. Once you have thoroughly explained your lower back pain and your chiropractor has had the chance to examine the area, they will likely discuss possible treatment options with you. This may be as simple as a same day adjustment or as rigorous as ongoing chiropractic care and physical therapy. Throughout treatment your chiropractor will check up on your condition and set follow up visits to ensure you are progressing towards recovery.
Chiropractic Treatment And Recovery
In addition to manual therapy, adjustments, and corrections, chiropractors use several other tools to treat patients who choose chiropractic care for lower back pain. These can include traction devices, electrical stimulation, instruction in corrective exercises and stretches, physical therapy, bracing, and nutrition and supplement counseling, among others.
The most common therapies used to complement chiropractic care are:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Tailored exercises
- Massage therapy
- Dietary management
If there is something that you are curious about trying or that your chiropractor specializes in to treat back pain, be sure to talk to them about it to get an idea of what treatment will be like, what efforts you will need to make, and the possible outcome. Your chiropractor might suggest a mix of exercises along with manual therapy to treat your lower back pain, but since each patient and case is unique, it’s important to get a professional consultation before trying anything out.
It’s crucial to maintain consistency and to ensure each of your treatment sessions progressively builds on the progress of your previous visit. This may mean that you need to set consistent appointments and stick to a regular schedule in order to see progress from chiropractic care for lower back pain. Lower back pain management often requires multiple chiropractor visits over a long period to provide the best pain therapy and relief.
For chiropractic care for lower back pain, contact the experts at phyxMe Physical Therapy via online form or call 703-245-0931 to speak with our helpful staff and make an appointment for a free consultation.