Chiropractic Care & Lower Back Pain
I first saw a chiropractor several years ago when I was suffering from lower back pain. I worked a desk job in an office and rarely got up to walk around, and years of sitting at my desk with poor posture, finally caught up to me. After my very first adjustment, I went from feeling intense pain to feeling only a minor ache, and within a few treatments I no longer felt any lower back pain at all. I now see my chiropractor regularly for preventative care, and I’m happy to report that I still have the desk job - without the lower back pain.
If you’re suffering from acute or chronic back pain, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a chiropractor. That’s because chiropractors are health care professionals dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Compared to your conventional medical doctor, chiropractors are back pain specialists. Chiropractors place a unique focus on spinal manipulation to restore optimal health and wellbeing to the body.
Multiple studies have confirmed that the “hands on” techniques used by chiropractors are generally effective for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as dozens of other conditions. In fact, when patients with chronic lower-back pain are treated by chiropractors, their long-term outcome is better than simply life without lower back pain - the spinal manipulation often leads to other lasting benefits as well.
The heart of chiropractic treatment is manual therapy, including spinal manipulation and spinal mobilization. Spinal manipulation is a high-speed, short lever arm thrust that is applied to abnormal vertebra with the goal of improving function, reducing nerve irritation and restoring range of motion. It is commonly known as “chiropractic adjustment.” There is firm support in the scientific literature for chiropractic treatment of lower back pain. It is particularly indicated in the early treatment of lower back pain.
Spinal mobilization refers to low speed manipulation, movement and stretching of the muscles and joints, with the goal of increasing the range of motion within these areas. It is usually used when a patient does not want a spinal adjustment or has other health conditions, such as osteoporosis or obesity, that could make a spinal adjustment harder to perform correctly.
Goal setting for a chiropractic treatment plan is driven by the patient’s pain level and any disabilities, and their tolerance for activity. Usually a chiropractor will try to prevent chronicity by recommending patient-driven changes such as exercise, special stretches, or ergonomic modifications in the workplace or at home.