The Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a very common complaint. Almost everyone gets low back pain at some time in their life and most people continue hurting or get often exacerbations. Chiropractic treatment, combined with some form of physical exercise, can be proved as the most effective solution to low back pain.
Are you sitting correctly?
Bad posture may lead to back pain. The Chiropractors that are members of the Hellenic Chiropractors’ Association are trained in examining body posture and can give you advise to improve your posture if you:
Repetitive daily activities such as bending, lifting and twisting may result in a “bad back”. That is why your chiropractor will want to know how you tackle these everyday movements and will intend to teach you the correct way. He/she will also ask about any major traumas to your back such as:
As you go through life, a slight loss of proper movement of the spinal joints can interfere with the healthy working of your spine, and the nerves that pass through it. This may cause pain. Chiropractic, unlike painkillers, treats the cause of pain, not just pain itself. Your chiropractor will aim to detect the specific mechanical disorder that caused pain and treat it. He will carry out a full analysis of spinal motion, will palpate the vertebrae and muscles of the involved area and will check whether any nerves are being pressed. He may take a look at your x-rays or any other imaging you may have and ask you questions about your activities, your posture and your lifestyle.
Chiropractic treatment involves some gentle and skillful corrections, done by hand, which are called adjustments. Adjustments aim to free stiff joints and remove pressure from spinal nerves. This form of treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort in the first treatments, during the acute phase when your back is still very sore.
Additionally, your chiropractor may need to do some muscle work, in order to relax any muscle contractions. He may recommend the use of ice or heat and may give you advice on the right activity. Recent research has shown that you should remain active – prolonged bed rest weakens bones and muscles and reduces your chances of a full recovery. You may be advised to take up some form of gentle exercise to maintain your joint flexibility and general state.
Do I Have a Disc Hernia?
Spinal discs are fibrous rings, containing a soft gel like “cushion”, between each of your vertebrae. Long-term damage of the discs may lead to a “rupture” of their nucleus in the area of passage of spinal nerves (disc herniation or prolapse). This may result in intense pain in your back or leg, called sciatica. There are various causes for low back pain and the presence of a disc problem could be related to it, but not always. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate the type of your problem and to locate the mechanical dysfunction that may lie behind your pain.
How long will chiropractic take to work
The recent European guidelines on the management of low back pain suggest the use of chiropractic manipulation, especially if carried out within the first six weeks. The longer you have been in pain, the longer it may take to improve with treatment. Your chiropractor will inform you of the possible recovery time and how to minimize the chances of the problem happening again. Early treatment is very important, but chiropractic is also effective in treating chronic pain.
Is chiropractic treatment possible after surgery?
Your chiropractor has the training and experience to treat each patient as an individual. You will receive appropriate care and manipulation for your specific condition, while areas not suitable for treatment will be carefully avoided. Many chiropractors are able to offer post-surgical exercise, advice and rehabilitation.
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(Permission granted from British Chiropractic Association, BCA)