If recent back pain has you feeling sore and fatigued, you’re far from alone. Research suggests that around 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, either chronic or acute.
When back pain begins to interfere with your daily activities, you may feel frustrated and lost. Unlike other parts of the body, your back can be difficult to rest, and it can be hard to understand which home remedies work to help the pain.
As you go through your options, you may find yourself wondering: “Can a chiropractor help with back pain?”
If you don’t know much about chiropractic care, the idea of visiting these specialists for your pain may seem daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at what chiropractors can do to address your sore back.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Back Pain?
The simple answer to this question is yes.
Chiropractors can help with both upper back pain and lower back pain, as well as pain that extends into the neck. To treat this pain, chiropractors use spinal manipulation, a hands-on treatment that helps to realign the spine. This can help the body to heal itself without invasive treatments or medications.
During an initial visit, your chiropractor will discuss the source of your acute or chronic back pain with you. They’ll also discuss your medical history and perform a physical evaluation. This may require you to move into certain positions as well as hands-on manipulation.
During treatment, your chiropractor may use their hands as well as tools—such as special chairs or instruments. They will then place a controlled force onto your spine. This can help your spine slide back toward the correct alignment, offering initial pain relief.
What Kinds of Back Conditions Can a Chiropractor Treat?
Chiropractors can help treat a wide range of conditions that involve the spine. As stated above, this includes the lumbar (low back), thoracic (upper back), and cervical regions of the spine (neck).
Their adjustments can help with things like back sprains and strains, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs. They can also help with conditions like spinal osteoarthritis.
Simple X-rays and other imaging can help a chiropractor get a closer look at the intricacies of your spine for treatment. If you already have had X-rays, MRIs, or other testing done, be sure to bring the images with you during your initial visit.
When Should You See a Chiropractor?
You should visit a chiropractor for acute back pain after an injury or accident, such as after you’ve twisted or thrown out your back while playing sports or lifting a heavy object. You can also visit them for help with chronic back pain that’s lasted for weeks or months, such as after an increased workload’s had you hunched over your computer more than usual. In addition to pain, chiropractors can often help deal with stiffness or a narrow range of motion.
It’s important to note, however, that a chiropractor can’t always address the root cause of your pain, depending on your condition.
In some cases, you should visit a doctor for immediate relief. If you suspect a fractured bone, for example, you’ll need to heal before a chiropractor can help. In addition, while a chiropractor can help ease pain from certain conditions, you may also need surgery in some cases to relieve your discomfort for good.
In addition, chiropractic care may not help get rid of your back pain for good if you don’t work to make lifestyle and health changes as well.
In the case of patients who suffer from chronic pain due to poor posture, chiropractic care won’t have a long-term effect unless you work to make your posture more ergonomic. In some cases, options like physical therapy or yoga can help you to strengthen the muscles of your back and core. This allows you to support the spinal alignment your chiropractor seeks to achieve.
Your chiropractor may be able to recommend adjustments to your seating and posture. They may also advise a special exercise regimen or other interventions to help supplement their treatment.
Will You Experience Pain Relief After Your Visit?
Spinal manipulation can offer temporary relief after your visit. During the adjustments, you might hear popping or cracking sounds. This comes from tiny bubbles of gas in your joints’ synovial fluid, and the movements can help give your joints extra space.
Some patients, but not all, experience soreness in the first 24 hours after the visit. Afterward, your joints will be closer to proper alignment, which can help relieve some of the stiffness in your muscles. Depending on the cause of your back pain, this may be all you need to start healing.
It’s important to keep in mind that your chiropractor can’t realign your entire spine in a single visit. Slow and steady adjustments help them keep from causing more pain by moving your spine too quickly.
Early on, your chiropractor may ask you to visit up to three times per week for adjustments, especially if your pain is severe. Once your spine begins to realign, you’ll need to visit less and less often as your pain resolves.
Work With Our Chiropractic Care Team
Now that you’ve stopped wondering, “Can a chiropractor help with back pain?” it’s time to find the right specialist for your needs.
When it comes to finding the right chiropractor, Boiling Springs patients can trust Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Spartanburg. Our corrective chiropractic care focuses on stabilizing the spine to address and prevent back pain in the long-term. To learn more about how we can help with your back pain, or to find out whether our care is right for you, contact us today.