Back pain is the number one cause of disability in America, with over 80 percent of Americans reporting back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain is responsible for over $50M in medical costs and over $100M in lost wages and curtailed productivity. Chiropractors help those suffering back pain regain some measure if not all of their former spinal health. They do this through several types of treatment.
There’s nothing like relaxing in a tub of hot water and feeling the warmth seep into your tense muscles. It’s getting oxygenated blood to the muscles which nourishes them and heals damaged muscle fibers. The heat sends signals to the brain that there’s no pain here, so turn off your pain sensors. It’s an inexpensive treatment that doesn’t hurt.
While it’s not heat per se, it also helps tight, knotted muscles to relax. This sends a signal to the brain not to listen to pain sensors. It’s a TENS machine, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It sends a small electrical impulse into the muscles of the painful area. The muscles are electrically massaged, so to speak, and the pain is over. This isn’t expensive, either and it is a good DIY home remedy.
Through trauma, overexertion, or a sporting or car accident injury, the bones in the spine come out of perfect alignment. This causes the ligaments, tendons, and muscles surrounding and supporting the spine to tighten up which causes pain. A chiropractor will position the patient on a table, apply pressure to the area in question, and the bones will fall back into perfect alignment.
Spinal adjustments tend to take time and multiple visits to a chiropractor. You might require a couple of treatments before the pain disappears for good, but disappear it will eventually disappear.
Chiropractors are trained to know where the trigger points are in the musculature. Massaging them with fingers or with chiropractic equipment like deep tissue massage tools does as great a job as heat for getting rid of knotted, tight muscles. Also of benefit to the muscles is increased blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, resulting in less pain.
Massages may also take multiple visits to see any kind of results, but this is something that will not only make you feel better in the short term, but you will feel better overall in the long term as well.
Chemical Pain Relievers
There’s something to be said for chemical pain relief. Steroids like Predisone, for example, do an excellent job of reducing inflammation. Inflammation is rushed from the immune system to the site of an injury to protect it from further damage. However, the inflammation adds substantially to the pain. It’s a vicious circle, and anti-inflammatories break the circle.
Your chiropractor will work with your primary care physician to determine what type of chemical medications will best work with his treatments for your pain relief. You might only need an ibuprofen-like prescription, or your primary care doctor could go full-on with the steroids. Either way, your doctor will work with you to make sure that you get pain relief to help you feel better overall.
Since the body performs most of its movements from the lower back area (bending, twisting to see behind you, reaching with the vacuum, putting away groceries,) it just makes sense to allow chiropractic to work for you. It’s certainly the most direct method of repairing the problem and without side effects and most importantly, providing pain relief. Just be sure to do your homework so you know what your options are and find the treatment that is best for you.