What Can Chiropractic Help?

Back pain

Almost everyone gets back pain at some time, but staying active, with the help of chiropractic treatment, may well be the best solution.

Chiropractors treat problems with your joints, bones and muscles, and the effects they have on your nervous system. Working on all the joints of your body, concentrating particularly on the spine, we use our hands to make gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve the efficiency of your nervous system and release your body’s natural healing ability. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.

Poor posture may cause pain

Poor posture may lead to back pain. Your chiropractor at this clinic may advise you to make postural changes if you:

  • spend hours a day sitting at a desk, computer or in front of the TV
  • sleep in a bed that is too hard or soft
  • drive long distances in car, van or lorry
  • find yourself hunching your back and shoulders in stressful situations
  • Daily activities, such as bending, driving, lifting, twisting and repetitive movements may result in a ‘bad back’.

This is why your chiropractor will want to understand how you tackle these everyday movements. He/she will also ask about any major traumas to your back such as: car accidents, falls, sporting injuries, lifting heavy weights etc.

Treat the cause of back pain, not the symptoms

Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just the pain itself. The chiropractors at this clinic will carry out a full examination, and ask you questions about your pain, medical history and lifestyle, to try and discover the cause of your back pain and offer a diagnosis of your complaint.

Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) done by hand, to free stiff joints and remove spinal nerve irritation. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort if your back is very sore. Your chiropractor may recommend ice or heat treatment and specific exercises.

Is it a slipped/prolapsed disc?

Spinal discs are fibrous rings, containing a soft gel-like ‘cushion’, between each of your spinal bones (vertebrae). Discs cannot slip, because they are attached to the vertebrae, but the term ‘slipped disc’ can mean disc damage such as a bulge, a tear or rupture. The resulting pressure or irritation on the nerves that exit your spine can cause pain in your back, or ‘referred’ pain over an area, through which the nerves pass. Leg pain can be caused by nerve irritation or pressure in the lower spine. Your chiropractor will explain the cause of your pain. It may not be a ‘slipped disc’; many other problems have similar pain patterns.

How long will chiropractic take to work?

The scientific evidence and guidelines for medical practitioners state that spinal manipulation can help back pain, 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 advise you of your likely recovery time, and how to minimise the chances of the problem happening again. Early treatment is important, but chiropractors are also effective at treating long-standing or 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 treatment and adjustments 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.

Do I need an x-ray?

Probably not. Most back problems don’t show up on x-ray and are better diagnosed using a careful back examination and other tests such as muscle and nerve checks. Indeed, practitioners who advise routine x-rays, especially of the neck, upper back as well as the low back may be flouting accepted guidelines. For more information click here.

Causes of osteo-arthritis

Osteo-arthritis is thought to be caused by mechanical problems with the joints and surrounding muscles. Rather like a car with faulty suspension, the frame gets shaken about too much. All the usual suspects such as being overweight, having a poor diet and inadequate exercise play a part. Previous injury, like whiplash or previous low back strains may also make matters worse.

The first sign of arthritis in the spine is often seen in the discs. They crack, lose fluid and collapse putting more pressure on the back joints which then also wear out. The slippery lining of the back joint breaks down rather like the coating of an old non-stick pan. Inflammation sets in and pain soon follows.

Arthritis of the spine - severe. When the space between two adjacent vertebrae narrows, compression of a nerve root emerging from the spinal cord may result in radiculopathy (sensory and muscle system disturbances, such as severe pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, back or leg, accompanied by muscle weakness). Less commonly, direct pressure on the spinal cord (typically in the cervical spine) may result in widespread weakness, problems walking, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control. If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is called cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis in the low back.

Effective Treatment

Although there is no cure, the pain and stiffness of arthritis can respond well. Treatment is usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from your GP, chiropractic and physio, and lifestyle modifications. Surgery is rarely necessary. If you think you may have arthritis in the spine and would like a check-up then get in touch. 

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