Updated: Jan 22
Around 85% of people will experience lower back pain that is bad enough to seek medical treatment at some point in their life. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The treatment of lower back pain can be difficult and some people end up dealing with the condition for many years. A chiropractor can help to relieve lower back pain and reduce your level of disability.
How is lower back pain treated?
The first line of treatment for lower back pain is usually conservative. What this means is that when you first get treated for lower back pain, it won't be using invasive measures such as spinal injections or surgery. Chiropractic care is one of the conservative treatment measures for lower back pain that have been recommended by the American College of Physicians.
How does a chiropractor treat lower back pain?
You may be referred to a chiropractor by your primary care physician or you may approach a chiropractor yourself. Either way, your first visit will be very similar to the first visit with a medical doctor. Your chiropractor will take a medical history, physically examine you, and often conduct tests such as X-rays or MRI scans.
Once they have diagnosed the location and cause of your lower back pain, they will develop a treatment plan to help reduce your pain and improve your mobility. This treatment plan can often include a variety of different treatment options.
Spinal manipulation is what chiropractors are most known for. With this treatment, your chiropractor will use their hands to make short sharp thrusts on the vertebrae of your back in order to help them back into their proper alignment.
With this treatment, your chiropractor will use their hands to make slower movements aimed at stretching the muscles in your spine in order to improve its range of motion.
Massage can bring immediate pain relief, reduce inflammation, relax your muscles, and improve blood flow to the area to promote healing. It can also help you to feel less stressed, which can reduce your overall muscle tension.
Traction or non-surgical spinal decompression
If your lower back pain is caused by a herniated disc, your chiropractor may be able to offer you traction or non-surgical spinal compression. Both of these options involve the use of a mechanical bed to gently stretch your spine, allowing the bulging disc material to move back into place and encouraging the flow of healing nutrients to the area.
Your chiropractor will often develop an at-home exercise plan for you to help strengthen and improve the flexibility of your spine. This can help to reduce your stiffness and pain between visits and reduce the chances of your back getting worse again.
Quite often, we don't realize how much our lifestyle impacts our bodies. Your chiropractor can help to identify any lifestyle issues that could be making your lower back pain worse, such as sitting or sleeping positions, nutrition, and posture, and can give you advice about how to improve them.
A chiropractor can offer conservative and effective treatment options to help relieve your lower back pain and reduce your disability. This can help you avoid the need for more invasive treatments, such as spinal injection or surgery, and reduce your need for painkillers.