If you suffer from lower back pain, it may seem like the only way to treat these painful symptoms is through either over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers or even prescription pain medicine. For some patients, however, regular chiropractic care is another treatment option that can be a game-changer.
What is Low Back Pain?
When it comes to back pain, there can be several different contributing factors. Normally if you’ve been experiencing acute back pain for up to anywhere between 6-8 weeks, it is generally a muscle sprain/strain situation. However, if your back pain has been lingering for longer than that, this leads us to believe that the cause of your back pain is something more severe. Here at Cornerstone, we commonly see patients come in with back pain due to misalignment of the vertebrae in the back. This can happen for many different reasons, ranging from severe traumas such as automobile accidents, to repetitive activities such as sitting at a computer several hours every day. All of these activities have the potential to shift the vertebrae out of place.
Unfortunately, the condition is relatively common, with 8% of all US adults (over 16 million people!) suffering from chronic (long-lasting) low back pain. And acute low back pain, which entails at least 3-4 months of shooting pain in your leg, can debilitate patients for weeks on end.
Given that the lower back is designed to support your entire torso in a strong yet flexible manner, it makes sense that it can be so prone to chronic pain. From nerve compression and poor posture to muscle spasms and degenerated discs, there are many potential causes for acute or chronic low-back pain.
How a Chiropractor Examines You for Lower Back Pain
You may be wondering what the first step is for a chiropractor to assist you with your level of pain. Just like any other type of doctor or member of the healthcare profession, the treatment process begins with a detailed physical examination.
This chiropractic exam includes reviewing your health history, an in depth consultation, and a detailed physical examination to determine what’s causing your pain.
While lower back pain doesn’t usually require diagnostic imaging, a chiropractic doctor may choose to order an x-ray if he or she feels that it is necessary to determine the cause of your back condition.
As your chiropractic therapy continues and after you have received several weeks of treatments, your chiropractor will likely provide a reexamination in order to make sure that the health care regimen has been effective in offering pain relief.
Our team is dedicated to helping you find a solution. Whether you’re dealing a simple sprain/strain or something more complex, we will help you find an answer to your problem.
What Chiropractic Methods Are Used To Treat Low Back Pain?
The most important technique in a chiropractor’s toolbox for treating lower back pain is spinal manipulation. This means using non-invasive movements, such as with a handheld medical instrument, in order to realign the spine.
Chiropractic adjustment of the spine can provide pain relief, greater flexibility, reduced muscle tightness, and superior long-term mobility that minimizes the chance of reinjury in the future. Research into the effects of chiropractic care is constantly ongoing; for example, a 2018 study reported by Harvard Medical School found that chiropractic treatment resulted in better pain relief and functionality outcomes for the studied group.
One of the benefits of spinal manipulation is that, unlike drug therapy, it is non-addictive, and unlike surgery, it is non-invasive. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce back pain and joint pain, and even reduce active inflammation that is caused by joint and spinal misalignment.
Apart from assisting low back pain by reaching an optimal alignment for your spine, chiropractors can also help your low back pain issue by providing medical advice. Chiropractors can offer personalized lifestyle, wellness, and self-care advice.
They can even create a customized exercise program to increase your range of motion and improve your ergonomics (i.e. how you move and position your body at work, at home, and everywhere else). These sorts of lifestyle adjustments, as well as education about appropriate exercises, stretches, and posture techniques to use, can set you up for lifelong health even apart from visiting the chiropractor.
How is Chiropractic Care Effective for Treating Low Back Pain?
Understandably, you want to know that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for your low back pain. As we mentioned above, recent research has identified chiropractic care as a promising treatment for people suffering from back pain.
That study found that the patients who underwent a combination of self-care, medication, and up to a dozen chiropractic sessions experienced superior pain reduction, better mobility, a need for smaller amounts of pain medicine, and a higher level of satisfaction in their treatment.
It’s especially encouraging to know that chiropractic treatment methods can reduce a patient’s need for pain medication, which can cause side effects or even lead to addiction.
By contrast, chiropractic care can provide improvements in pain levels without the risk of addiction or adverse effects from heavy medicine.
What Should I Expect at My First Chiropractor Visit?
At this point, you may be excited at the prospect of long-term low back pain relief and overall wellness while still feeling curious about your first chiropractic visit.
Fortunately, your chiropractic experience should be similar to a visit to any other health care provider. The chiropractor will discuss your pain intensity and other symptoms, determine your medical history, and perform any necessary exams or diagnostics before performing any care.
At this point, your chiropractor will have a better idea of the mechanical aspects of your pain (such as your spinal alignment, muscle tone, and overall mobility), as well as any medical issues from your past that may be contributing to your low back pain (such as previous injuries or lifestyle factors).
With that information in mind, your chiropractor can then discuss treatment options, such as spinal manipulation, as well as lifestyle changes you can make to improve your back condition.
Contact Cornerstone Chiropractic Today to Schedule an Appointment
If you’ve been struggling with acute and chronic low-back pain and are looking for gentle, non-invasive treatment, then Cornerstone Chiropractic is the chiropractor you’ve been searching for!
Our neurological-based chiropractic care focuses on your overall wellness. Give us a call or make an appointment online to start living pain-free!