Are you tired of constant back and neck pain? Is your day dominated by the need to take anti-inflammatory, or other pain-relieving drugs?
If you experience these, and other symptoms of back pain, you may want to consider the benefits of chiropractic.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to provide safe, proven methods of relieving back pain, including:
1. Pain from sports and automobile accidents
2. Chronic neck and upper back pain from prolonged standing / sitting
2. Pain and curvature of the spine (scoliosis)
4. Symptoms that occur from specific footwear (high heels, etc.)
As it turns out, healthcare providers have been using chiropractic methods to treat back pain for thousands of years.
In fact, archaeologists, historians, and medical experts have found evidence of spinal manipulation tracing back to 400 BCE.
For example, it’s well documented that Hippocrates, the father of Greek medicine, used manipulative techniques to treat back pain and scoliosis.
The ancient Egyptians, Mexican sabadors, Hawaiian lomi-lomis, and the bone setters of ancient Norway and Russia also practiced techniques similar to what chiropractors use today.
However, modern doctors of chiropractic typically use three broad techniques to help relieve back pain.
1. Spinal manipulation
2. Manual manipulation
3. Chiropractic Mobilization
Spinal manipulation typically refers to fast, short thrusts applied to misaligned vertebra of the spine. A doctor of chiropractic will typically use his or her hands, and other tools to physically adjust the spine to the desired position for proper alignment.
Manipulation of the spine is usually performed with a patient laying on his or her back, sides, or front on a specifically designed table.
Sometimes, the manipulation can be performed in other positions. Doctors of chiropractic work with patients to make them comfortable and informed when performing all types of spinal manipulation, including:
Toggle Drop – in this method, a chiropractor crosses his or her hands and presses firmly down on the patient’s spine. A quick thrust is used to adjust the spine and improve the vertebral mobility for the patient.
Lumbar Roll – here, the chiropractor asks the patient to lay upon his or her side, then applies a sharp, precise manipulative thrust to a region of the spine, returning an out of place vertebra to proper position.
Release Work – the chiropractor uses a gentle fingertip pressure to separate the vertebrae.
Table adjustments – Using a special table with mechanical sections that raise and lower, a chiropractor will apply a quick thrust at the same time that the section drops, thereby avoiding the regular physical stresses that can accompany other methods.
Instrument adjustments – this method utilizes a small, spring-loaded mechanical tool to deliver a very small, but concentrated force to misaligned vertebra.
Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) – when a patient experiences great or prolonged chronic pain, they may want to consider manipulation under anesthesia. This therapy is typically used to restore range of motion by breaking up a patient’s scar tissue with minimal pain.
The goal during every method spinal manipulation is to restore range of motion in the back, reduce pain and joint irritability, and promote full spinal and muscular alignment.
Spinal manipulation is typically very safe, and can provide both short term and long term palliative care for back pain that stems from misaligned vertebra in the spine.
When a doctor of chiropractic performs manual manipulation, her or she focuses on the alignment and proper positioning of bones and other connective tissues that trace directly to the spine.
Essentially, when doctors chiropractic perform these manipulations, they are working with the alignment of the spine to restore range of motion, provide pain relief, and promote alignment throughout the body.
Finally, chiropractic mobilization typically refers to the use of gentle, massage-like movements and stretching of the spine, back, neck, legs, and and other muscles with the goal of increasing range of motion in these areas. Chiropractic mobilization is usually used in combination with spinal and manual manipulation.
If a doctor of chiropractic prescribes chiropractic mobilization, he or she may physically help a patient stretch or massage “tight” areas that produce pain or experience reduced motion.
Oftentimes, a doctor of chiropractic will simply teach a patient these methods, and ask them to practice them on their own time.
As with most types of therapy, those who are interested in the benefits of chiropractic for back pain are encouraged to check with their healthcare provider first.
However, many patients who do choose chiropractic find that a combination of spinal manipulation, manual manipulation, and chiropractic mobilization help to reduce or eliminate the back pain they experience.
This article is written by Dr. Travis Cunningham, a Boise chiropractor specializing in chiropractic biophysics and traditional treatments for his patients in Idaho.
High quality back supports you can find at Scientific Bracing.
Reference: Dr. Darin Haworth DC, MS, CCSP.