Chiropractic: Spinal Manipulation for Lower Back Pain
People who suffer from lower back pain may want to try chiropractic care. This natural method of healthcare focuses on the spine and associated nerves and muscles. A chiropractor is a medical practitioner who has spent years learning about the human body as well as how to perform specific spinal manipulations to help relieve symptoms. Lower back pain is one condition that chiropractic is effective for.
Causes of lower back pain
Lower back pain results from a variety of things. Jobs that involve physical movement such as lifting, bending and twisting of the spine as well as those that involve excessive sitting can lead to discomfort or pain of the low back. Other causes include slip-and-fall accidents, car crashes, pregnancy and sports. People who experience pain in the low back may have one of numerous injuries:
- Soft tissue – Damage to a ligament or muscle can cause pain.
- Joint subluxation – When a joint in the spine is misaligned, this puts pressure on the nerves in the area.
- Disc issue – This could be a disc bulge, herniation or degenerative disc disease.
- Sciatica – When something puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, this can cause pain in the low back and down through the leg.
Chiropractic care may be able to help treat any of these injuries to help relieve or reduce the pain.
When someone goes to a chiropractic office for low back pain, there are numerous things a chiropractor will check.
During the initial assessment, the healthcare provider finds out as much as possible about the patient’s health and lifestyle. A detailed health history is taken, and the chiropractor asks many questions about the current injury and symptoms. Next, a thorough exam is conducted, sometimes using balance measures, diagnostic tools, neurological tests and postural screens. Next, some chiropractors may take X-rays to see what the condition of the spine is like.
Diagnosis and prognosis
Based on the assessment, the chiropractor comes up with a diagnosis and lets the patient know what to expect in terms of treatment. The length of time and frequency of visits varies based on factors such as specific injury, how long it has been there and the patient’s age and lifestyle.
Most visits include adjustments, or manipulations, of the spine. To start the healing process, the chiropractor must realign the areas that are out of place. This restores function to the nerves and helps reduce muscle spasms and guarding.
Many patients with back pain may also benefit from a variety of therapies to support the spinal adjustments. Some chiropractors may have the patient go through a series of spinal decompression sessions, which use traction to relieve pressure on the discs in the lower back. Other therapies include cryotherapy and laser therapy.
Movement can help some people with lower back pain, so a chiropractor may recommend rehab exercises for the patient to perform either in the office or at home. The chiropractor may also refer patients who need additional muscle work to a massage therapist.
Chiropractic can help many people who have low back pain. Using spinal manipulation and other therapies, a chiropractor can help treat a variety of injuries.
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