Studies show that about 30 million people in the US suffer from lower back pain. Alarmingly, 80% of them are adults. The statistics are so serious in the sense that the American Chiropractic Association believes that it’s the primary cause of disability. If this is the trend in the US where medical technology is so advanced, you can imagine the statistics in less developed countries. The good thing is that most Americans are aware of the importance of seeking lower back pain relief. Collectively, they spend about $50 billion a year in diagnosis and therapies.
But still, there are those who are still hesitant about seeking treatment may be because they are not sure of the signs or because they don’t understand the severity of the condition. So, what are the signs of lower back pain that you should identify? For starters, it’s characterized by frequent unbearable pain along the lower part of your back just; as the name suggests. It’s also characterized by discomfort when sitting or standing for a long period. Additionally, look for signs like:
- Muscle stiffness around the lower back
- Body tenderness
- Difficulty in mobility
- Lower back numbness
In any case, you may be wondering what causes lower back pain. Actually, the reasons vary from individual to individual. The most notable ones are:
- Taking the wrong sleeping position
- Obesity and high levels of physical inactivity
- Pregnancy discomfort
- A sports injury to the lower back
- Anxiety disorders or depression
- Using non-supportive shoes
The good news is that a majority of these issues can be managed with chiropractic care. Wondering how this is possible? Here are 9 ways that chiropractic helps to manage the condition:
- Diagnostic Procedures
Considering that not all lower back pains have obvious causes, visual exams are not decisive in identifying the source of the problem. You need to get into the root of the issue. A chiropractor will help you with this. The expert includes ultrasounds, x-rays, lab exams, health history, and physical tests in the diagnosis so as to be able to unmask the root problem. This helps significantly after the treatment since you’ll be advised on how to prevent it. The diagnosis is done painlessly and thus you don’t have to worry about any kind of discomfort.
- Spinal Manipulation
The whole essence of seeing a chiropractor is to get relief from lower back pain. A chiropractor will take you through a non-surgical procedure known as Spinal Manipulation Therapy. A recent study shows that this therapy is just as effective as a combination of medical therapy and physical exercises when it comes to addressing lower back pain. Besides, chiropractors are trained and certified to gently manipulate and readjust the spine so as to treat subluxation (misalignments). The spinal misalignments are what contributes to lower back pain.
- Soft Tissue Therapy
When the underlying issue is not directly on the spine but its surrounding soft tissues, a chiropractor will resort to soft tissue therapy instead of spinal manipulation. The technique will help to relax the soft muscles of the lower back and to treat soreness. There are different techniques employed here such as Trigger Point Therapy and Manual Release Therapy.
- Massage Therapy
Chiropractors generally use massage therapy to give you fast relief from lower back pain. They employ different techniques such as Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) to ensure that blood flows smoothly and to improve the flexibility of the lower back muscles. The techniques also help to repair worn out tissues. In the long run, this facilitates a quick recovery, especially when the injury is sports related.
- Manual Therapy
In case it’s a joint that has an issue, probably not as mobile as it’s expected to be, a chiropractor will turn to manual therapy. The aim of this technique is to help you regain joint mobility in a painless way. In this case, the chiropractor will perform gentle joint manipulation maneuvers to try to help you regain joint flexibility and motion. Everything here is done manually.
- Nutritional Counseling
This is an added service that most chiropractors offer to encourage you to maintain a healthy diet back at home. Not only does this help to provide you with back pain relief but to also improve your spinal health. You may also be offered nutritional supplements in some places or be advised on the ones to buy.
- At-Home Exercise Therapy
A chiropractor doesn’t just stop after performing spinal adjustments, massage therapy, and soft tissue therapy on you. The expert advises you on exercises that you can do on your own at home. They include the butterfly pose, leg lifts, glutes stretch, and abdominal crunches. You’ll also be advised on how you can inculcate fun physical activities like swimming and walking into your daily routine. The idea is to try to make your spine as flexible as possible when you are at home so as to manage and prevent lower back pain.
- Lifestyle Advice
As seen, it’s at times difficult to identify the reason for the lower back pain, more so when there is no visible injury or disease. A chiropractor can help you live a healthy life after the necessary treatments so as to prevents its reoccurrence. You’ll be advised on the best routines to follow on a daily basis to ensure that your body is in good shape and your back is not overwhelmed. Other than offering you advise on nutrition and exercises, you’ll be advised on:
- what chores you can or you cannot do
- what posture you should take when sleeping
- what to do to improve spinal health
- Outcome Measurements
Lastly, a chiropractor is able to measure the results of a particular technique to see if it’s working or not. If it’s not, the expert will suggest a different approach. Some of the ways they measure chiropractic outcomes are:
- Rating the pain experienced by the patient on a numeric pain scale
- Determining the level of pain experienced by a patient by using pain diagrams
- Testing for functional abilities like lifting, muscular strength, and joint flexibility.
Looking at the role that chiropractic care plays in treating lower back pain, it’s time to take your health into your own hands. Contact Cool Springs Chiropractic today to schedule your appointment for safe, natural, and effective lower back pain relief.