Is Back Pain a Common Problem Today?
Yes, in fact back pain is the most common issue that people seek medical care for today. About 31 million people in the United States experience back pain today. Back pain can be treated very effectively with chiropractic methods, especially if people seek help early on. If back pain is not addressed, it can have long-term consequences, and may even lead to disability.
What Causes Back Pain?
In most cases, back pain occurs because of sudden injuries like an auto accident, strain like heavy lifting, or a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. While not as common, back pain may also be the result of congenital conditions like scoliosis. Other potential causes of back pain may include bad posture and obesity, as extra weight puts extreme pressure on the spine.
How Does the Chiropractor Evaluate Back Pain?
First, the patient will verbally describe their back pain and will use a simple diagram to point out the areas where it hurts. Using this as a guideline, the chiropractor will then do a gentle manual exam of the painful areas. The patient will be asked to describe the intensity of the pain and the specific kind of pain. X-rays are often used to help the chiropractor confirm the information gained during a physical exam. In some cases, particularly in cases of complex or severe back pain, other diagnostic tests like MRI or motion studies may be needed.
What is the Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain?
Back pain is treated in 3 basic phases. First is relief care. This includes relief of the symptoms like pain and movement restrictions through gentle hands-on spinal manipulation. Next, the chiropractor will do corrective care. This generally includes regular adjustments, even though the symptoms have largely been alleviated at this point. During corrective care, the adjustments are less frequent and may be supplemented by special exercises that can be done at home. Finally, wellness care includes healthy choices and routine adjustments to maintain the overall health of the whole musculoskeletal system.