Will Chiropractic Help My Low Back Pain
Many people suffer from lower back pain. In fact, it is estimated that 8 in 10 Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Low back pain is one of the most common reason someone calls out of work and goes to the doctor. Low back pain varies for everyone; it can burn and radiate down the leg, it can be sharp and stabbing or it may be a dull localized ache. Low back pain can come on suddenly from an accident or it may persist and linger over time. If it lingers for longer than 12 weeks, it is considered chronic low back pain. There are many causes of low back pain, some more serious than others. The most common cause of low back pain is usually due to something being misaligned causing the parts of the back (spine, muscles, discs and nerves) to not fit and move together. Pain tends to occur last and go away first so it is always best to identify the cause of your lower back pain.
If the most common cause of lower back pain is mechanical, will chiropractic help it?
What is chiropractic?
Before I can answer that question, I first must define what chiropractic is. Chiropractic is a branch of alternative health care that uses the body to heal the body, without drugs or surgery. It does that by detecting and correcting spinal misalignments or subluxations. Subluxations create imbalances in the nervous system that, not only cause pain and dysfunction, but impedes nerve energy from flowing back and forth from the brain to our organs and extremities. Removing these imbalances allows the inner wisdom within the body, or the innate intelligence, to heal the body.
What causes subluxations?
There are three major causes of subluxations; physical, chemical and emotional. Physically we get subluxations from major or minor traumas, but because nerve communication is a two way street, we can also get subluxations from chemical and emotional stresses. Some examples include; poor diet, environmental toxins, over the counter medicines/prescriptions, digestive issues, poor posture, and chronic stress. (Do not stop taking any prescription medicine without consulting your doctor).
Indications for Chiropractic:
Some indications for chiropractic include but not limited to: preventative healthcare, limping, pain with performing activities of daily living, leg pain, stiffness or spasm, arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) diagnoses, performance enhancement, disc disorders or degeneration, injury (chronic or acute), postural changes, biomechanics disadvantages or handicaps, and palliative care.
Goals of Chiropractic:
Identify subluxations and neurologic imbalances, restore spinal biomechanics and normal neurologic function. Other goals include reducing pain and inflammation, restoring homeostasis and balance to the nervous system, and improving range of motion.
Benefits of chiropractic
Enhances flexibility and increases ranges of motion.
Stimulates circulation, releases endorphins.
Restores proper joint alignment and function.
Helps prevent soft tissue sprain/strain due to repetitive training or exercise.
Decreases pain by reducing joint misalignment and muscle torque.
Increases nervous system function by removing nerve interference caused by spinal misalignment.
Improves the function of the all other systems; immune, digestive, circulatory, endocrine.
Speeds healing by reducing disruption in Central Nervous System (CNS) function.
Slows the progression of degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Allows for symmetrical balanced growth and development.
Increases quality of life.
Chiropractic research is extremely important and can be traced back to 1975. It continues today with a more recent study showing improved blood flow to the brain with a healthy neck curve and head posture (Katz et.al) Some of my favorite studies are from the 1990’s which is when I discovered chiropractic. One is known as the Rand study (1991). The Rand study was the first independent study on chiropractic for low back pain that was financed by the government. It found that “not only is chiropractic appropriate for certain low back conditions, but that there are more randomized control trials supporting chiropractic validity than medicine.” In 1993 a report commissioned by the Ministry of Health in Canada found that “Spinal Manipulation Therapy (SMT) performed by chiropractors was safer and more effective than medical treatments for low back pain.” This was followed up shortly later (1994) with a powerful endorsement for SMT by a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. They said that between SMT and pain medications, “only SMT offers both symptomatic and functional improvement. SMT should be first therapy in treating low back pain because it is therapeutically superior to medical treatment.” These studies helped validate chiropractic care and SMT for low back pain.
How to find a qualified chiropractor
The best way to find a good chiropractor is to ask questions. Ask your friends and loved ones if they have someone they would recommend. Or check out reviews online and call several offices asking about the doctor’s education and training. At your first visit, make sure you tell them about your health history, medical conditions and any prescriptions you may be taking. Some people get sore after their chiropractic treatments so please tell your chiropractor if that is happening to you.
As you can see chiropractic care can help with lower back pain! If you or someone you know is suffering with back pain, seek out chiropractic care today.