Advantages of Chiropractic Care for Low-Back Pain
By Emily Lindholm
Low-back pain is one of the top reasons people visit the doctor, being the fifth-most common reason for all physician visits in the United States. Low back pain can severely interfere with daily life activities, sometimes making it feel impossible to just put on your socks!
Although many people see their physicians first to address their low-back pain, a chiropractor may be a more helpful alternative unless the low-back pain is being caused by a medical reason such as:
- Compression fracture
- Neurological disorder
- Spinal stenosis
A chiropractor cannot diagnose all of the above conditions, but it is common for physicians to suggest seeing a chiropractor in conjunction with medical care because chiropractic care is designed to set the body up so that it can begin healing itself.
More commonly, low-back pain is caused by these conditions.
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle strains
- Nerve injuries
- Degenerative changes
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
Why See a Chiropractor?
Seeing a chiropractor, no matter how serious the condition, can provide a great amount of support for the healing process and help to reduce pain. A chiropractor performs spinal manipulations -- called the spinal adjustment -- that help to align the joints and reset the nervous system to relax. When the nervous system receives the message to relax, the healing process can take place more efficiently. Your chiropractor may also suggest doing exercises to strengthen the areas that support the low-back to help maintain the adjustments.
Exercises to Prevent Low-back Pain
There are plenty of exercises that can be done at home without the need for equipment that can help prevent low-back pain and even help with reducing low-back pain if it has become a problem. Gaining strength helps the functionality of our muscles and joints, preventing injury and strain.
Bridges are excellent exercises to do at any time of the day when you have the chance. Just grab a mat and lay flat on your back with your knees bent. Take a big inhale breath before starting. Then, on your exhale, press your feet into the mat as you hinge your hips up to the ceiling. Squeeze your gluteus muscles! Your glutes help support the low-back.
This is a simple exercise that can even be done while playing with your kids on the floor. Lie on your belly, either face down or have your head up by supporting it with your forearms. Separate your legs a little bit wider than hip-width. Bend your knees, flex your feet, and bring your heels together just above your buttocks. Then, use your gluteus muscles to squeeze your heels together. Hold for a long inhale breath, and then relax on the exhale. Repeat several times.
If you're having serious low-back pain, it is always wise to consult a physician. Seeing a chiropractor is a great first step; you'll be referred to a general physician if necessary. In combination with doing certain exercises at home, chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial for low-back prevention and help with pain reduction.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint in Fort Worth, Tex.