Each year in the United States, 1 in 4 adult is experiences low back pain, a condition that can be frustrating and difficult to treat. Low back pain is the main reason why people seek chiropractic care. Research shows that chiropractic adjustment may offer mild to moderate relief from low back pain. In some studies, chiropractic adjustment proved to be as effective as other, more conventional treatments.
The goal of chiropractic adjustment is to relieve pain and improve your body’s physical function. A chiropractic doctor performs chiropractic adjustment; an osteopathic doctor or physical therapist may provide spinal manipulation.
Whom should I see concerning my back pain, a chiropractor or an orthopedist?
Patients often ask if they can or should be seen by a chiropractor for the treatment of back pain. There have been a number of studies that show effective treatment of back pain by chiropractors. However, a chiropractor should treat not all causes of back pain. There are some conditions that should be identified and treated by an M.D. rather than a chiropractor.
A chiropractor can effectively treat most cases of back pain. Chiropractors have been shown to be most effective at treating acute back pain. However, there are some conditions, potentially serious problems, which must be considered before initiating any treatment. Most of these conditions can be screened with a thorough history and physical examination.
Symptoms that raise concern include:
- Any problems controlling bowel or bladder function
- Numbness around the genitals
- Pain with fevers, chills, or sweats
- Pain that awakens you at night
Furthermore, an orthopedist rather than a Chiropractor best treat some symptoms. These include:
- Back pain with associated leg pain
- Numbness or tingling in the legs
- Weakness of the muscles of the legs
Tips for Back Pain Prevention:
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
- Maintain proper posture.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
- Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
- Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
- Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your workstation is ergonomically correct.
The basic concepts of chiropractic care are as follows:
- Chiropractic therapy is given with the goals of normalizing this relationship between structure and function, and assisting the body as it heals.
- The body’s structure (primarily that of the spine) and its function are closely related, and this relationship affects health
- The body has a powerful self-healing ability
Back Pain is the most common reason why people come to the chiropractor. Whether it is intense throbbing from a migraine or constantly aching joints from arthritis, we all want the pain to go away — and fast! Sometimes pain is a temporary condition that will go away on its own (like after a minor injury or after surgery). However, sometimes the pain is an indicator of something more serious, and it will not get better until it’s treated. It is important that you get it diagnosed correctly. A chiropractor will advise you on available treatment options for pain management because it is important that you receive all the information you need about potential treatments.