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Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain


Patients seeking treatment for back pain may want to consider conservative chiropractic care before opting for surgery. Chiropractic is a health care system that focuses on noninvasive and drug-free treatments of the musculoskeletal system and/or the nervous system. Generally, the chiropractic treatment for back pain focuses on spinal manipulation and the healing of surrounding structures.

Hands-On Treatment for Back Pain

A doctor of chiropractic typically treats the conditions that cause back and/or neck pain with “hands-on” chiropractic techniques, such as:

  • Spinal Manipulation and Adjustment: Generally, the chiropractor applies a high-velocity arm thrust to the affected vertebrae to restore mobility and improve functionality. Manipulation is a useful technique for restoring misaligned vertebrae back into their proper position. Adjustments are precise and specific corrections that are made either with an instrument or by hand.
  • Mobilization: In chiropractic terms, mobilization refers to low velocity manipulation of the spine. The muscles and vertebral joints are moved and stretched to increase their range of motion.

Additional Forms of Treatment for Back Pain

Aside from manual manipulation, most chiropractors offer a full range of health services and therapies, including:

  • Physical Therapy: Many chiropractic clinics provide access to physical therapy equipment such as ultrasound machines, TENS units, and traction machines that can helpful in treatment for back pain by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation.
  • Exercises: You chiropractor may prescribe stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercises to decrease pain while increasing strength and restoring your range of motion.
  • Ergonomics: If your chiropractor determines that your daily habits have a bearing on your back pain, he or she may recommend some procedures that you can employ at home or at work that will help in your treatment for back pain.
  • Pelvic Stabilization: Occasionally, back pain may be caused (or aggravated) by flat feet and/or subtalar instability (where one leg is shorter than the other). Your chiropractor may prescribe corrective arch supports or a small heel lift to address the problem and help stabilize your pelvis.
  • Patient Education: Your chiropractor may suggest a number of lifestyle modifications, such as self-care, diet, and stress management strategies as part of his or her treatment for back pain.

It’s important to remember that chiropractors don’t employ surgery or drugs in their treatment practices. Should your chiropractor determine that your treatment for back pain could best be handled by one of these methods, he or she will refer you to another doctor or specialist.

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