Most people have heard of chiropractors and know them as providers of alternative or complementary treatments that differ from conventional medicine. Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive form of treatment that can address many problems that affect the musculoskeletal system, which is our bones, muscles, and connective tissues. The process involves a variety of techniques, each of which is performed manually by your professional. Your chiropractor will be able to assess your condition in order to determine the cause of the problem and recommend the most effective chiropractic technique to treat it.
There are many different conditions that can be treated with chiropractic care. Neck and back pain are two of the most common reasons for patients to visit a chiropractor. What causes neck and back pain and how can a chiropractor help?
There is a wide range of different things that can cause neck pain. Some of the most common include:
Whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. It can also occur during a slip, trip, or fall.
Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis.
Slipped/herniated disc in the cervical spine.
Stress and tension.
Stress and neck pain often go hand in hand. This is because when we are stressed we tend to tense up, especially in our jaw. This can put pressure onto our neck muscles, causing them to contract and tighten which results in pain and stiffness. In some instances, this tension and the associated symptoms can extend into the shoulders, upper back, and arms.
Your chiropractor will assess your neck and back in order to determine the source of your pain. This may include asking you to rate your discomfort/pain, asking you questions about when the pain started and the effect it is having on your day to day life, and asking you to move around in specific ways so that they can observe any limitations that you may have.
Exactly which treatment you are given will depend on your individual circumstances, but it is likely that you will be recommended to undergo chiropractic neck adjustments. Also known as cervical manipulations, these are especially beneficial in helping to alleviate neck pain. These small adjustments are made in the same way as spinal adjustments, working to loosen up the joints of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and this can reduce the pain that is being caused by pinched nerves and muscle spasms. Patients who undergo neck adjustments usually find that within a few days, they notice an improvement in the mobility of their neck and are able to twist and tilt it more than before. A reduction in pain and stiffness should also be apparent. Further appointments will help to alleviate this entirely.
Back pain is extremely common, with experts estimating that 80% of people will experience it at some point in their lifetime. Back pain is also a leading cause of time off of work, accounting for more than 264 million lost days of work in a single year.
Back pain can be caused by a huge variety of different things and unfortunately, some patients will recover from their back pain without ever realizing what caused it. Some of the conditions that are most commonly linked to back pain include:
Slipped/herniated intervertebral discs.
Degenerative diseases such as degenerative disc disease and scoliosis.
The exact treatment you will be given will be largely based on what your chiropractor believes is the cause behind your back pain. However, most chiropractic treatments are based on the assumption that back pain is caused by some degree of misalignment in the spine, triggered by an underlying condition or injury. When the spine isn’t perfectly aligned, it places a great deal of pressure on our central nervous system, which is responsible for controlling all of our body functions. This means that with spinal misalignment, it is impossible for our bodies to work optimally. All of our systems and processes, from our immune system to our digestive system can all be adversely affected. The pressure can also compress nerves, causing discomfort and mobility problems.
The goal of chiropractic care for back pain is to realign the spine in order to reduce pressure on the nervous system, reduce inflammation, aid pain management and improve mobility and as such, enhance the patient’s quality of life. The main technique used is called spinal manipulation, which involves using short, sharp thrusts to realign the spine again. However, there is also a range of other techniques that may be recommended, and your chiropractor will discuss these with you when planning your chiropractic treatment program.
For more information about chiropractic care for neck and back pain, please contact our chiropractic clinic in Chicago, IL today.