Chiropractic Care: How Chiropractors Treat Back Pain and Neck Pain

One of the most devastating and common ailments that people face is back pain. Chiropractic treatment is the preferred alternative among people seeking pain relief options. Every year, about 22 million Americans visit chiropractors.

Chiropractic care for back pain is not only important for prevention but also as a key treatment for various conditions. Chiropractic methods have been proven to be effective when it comes to pain reduction among those suffering from back pain. Incorporating this belief into treatment while paying special attention to the spine, chiropractic care could be effective in managing pain in those suffering from back pain using various methods to achieve the goal.

What is Chiropractic?

Hands-on manipulation of the spine along with other treatments are the methods chiropractors typically use. The theory is that proper alignment of the musculoskeletal structure of the body, especially the spine, can help the body heal itself without the need for medication or surgery.

The mobility to the joints restricted by tissues injury as a result of repetitive stress like sitting without proper support for the back or a traumatic event like falling can be restored through manipulation.

Chiropractic is mostly used to provide pain relief for bones, joints, muscles, and even connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Sometimes it is used in combination with conventional medical treatment.

Why Should You Visit a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

Over-the-counter pain medication is what most people used to deal with their back pain. However, there are other ways of dealing with the pain that can be equally effective such as chiropractic care.

One of the safest and most effective back pain treatment methods is chiropractic care. The American Chiropractic Association states that chiropractors treat back pain along with various other health conditions such as headaches, neck pain, and joint, ligament, and muscle injuries and disorders. Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training for the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal problems.

If you are suffering from back pain but have never visited a chiropractor, here is what you should expect, steps to finding a chiropractor near you, and the commonest chiropractic treatment methods.

How Does Chiropractic Treatment Work?

Chiropractic treatments typically focus on manipulation and alignment of the spine to stimulate the self-healing abilities of the body and aid the management of pain, Spinal realignment is believed to lower pressure on the central nervous system. Lower back pain and headaches are some of the commonest conditions that chiropractors treat.

The initial visit to a chiropractor will probably be an evaluation, not unlike what you are used to when you visit a doctor’s office. The chiropractor (or his/her assistant) will ask you to describe the symptoms you are experiencing and may subsequently order X-rays and tests that could help him or her understand your condition better. A treatment plan will then be developed. The management of pain might require multiple visits over a longer period to offer the best pain therapy.

Treatment plans may involve one or several manual adjustments whereby the chiropractor uses controlled, sudden force to manipulate the joints and improve quality and range of motion. Chiropractors may also include rehabilitation/exercise and nutritional counseling into the treatment plan. Chiropractic care aims to restore the function and prevent injuries in addition to offering pain relief for the back pain. Manipulation of the spine is usually the most effective if it is used in combination with traditional therapies for the treatment of back pain. The approaches include:

A chiropractor for treating back pain can perform chiropractic adjustments using various tools including:

  • Impulse Adjusting Instrument: It is an instrument for providing a light but insistent tap to the tense or misaligned area.
  • Roller Tables: Rolling functionality is sometimes built into traction tables, but those are stand-alone pieces of equipment. The roller table resembles a massage table but with in-built rollers. The patient lies face up and the rollers move up and down the spine.
  • Activator Adjusting Instrument: It is a handheld device that uses gentle force to restore motion to a particular section of the spine. It is a gentler alternative to the direct thrust approach. 
  • Heat Lamps: Chiropractors regularly use infrared heat lamps for warming and loosening muscles that might make it hard to make spinal adjustments.
  • Traction Tables: A traction table resembles a large massage table but can be automated. Traction refers to the act of pulling on a particular part of the body for the purpose of realigning it. Traction tables help to create space in the spine. 

Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Care

Manipulation of the spine and chiropractic care is generally regarded as a safe and effective treatment option for acute low back pain, a type of sudden injury resulting from either getting tackled or moving furniture. Acute back pain is more common compared to chronic pain and typically lasts no more than 6 weeks and usually gets better on its own. Research proves that chiropractic care can be helpful in the treatment of headaches and neck pain. Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis may also respond to the moderate pressure that deep tissue massage practitioners and chiropractors.

Soreness at the adjustment site is the most notable risk of chiropractic care. Chiropractic care rarely leads to nerve compression or disc herniation. However, it can lead to stroke in extremely rare cases. Chiropractic care might not necessarily be the ideal choice of alternative pain therapy for the people suffering from spinal cancer, suffering from severe osteoporosis, or those with an unstable spine or even an increased risk of stroke.

Chiropractic care is considered very low risk when compared to other pain control methods such as interventional procedures, surgery, or medication. Chiropractic care is a pain management method that does not involve drugs, which makes it safe to use while taking medications. It is important to do this as long as the chiropractor is aware of the medications you are taking. If you are not too sure about whether chiropractic care is safe for you, it is important to consult a chiropractor or physician to discuss your concerns.

How to Find a Chiropractor Near Me?

Chiropractors are required to undergo 4 years of training in accredited institutions. They receive classroom training on theory and knowledge and thereafter acquire hands-on training in clinics. Chiropractors also participate in 2 or 3 year residencies to specialize in particular practice areas. Licenses are required for chiropractors to practice.

If you are thinking about adopting chiropractic care in your pain management, you should:

  • Ask your physical therapist, physician, or other medical professionals for recommendations to good chiropractor for back pain.
  • You should consider letting your physician know in advance particularly if you are suffering from any medical conditions before going for your initial chiropractic adjustment.
  • You are free to shop around until you find a chiropractor you like and who is convenient for you to visit. Management of pain requires an ongoing relationship to make a good match.
  • Enquire from the chiropractors you are considering about their areas of specialization, certification, and training.
  • You are free to search an online database such as the one from the American Chiropractic Association to find a licensed chiropractor close to you.
  • You need to find out whether chiropractic care under your health insurance program. While many do, you might require a referral from your primary care physician.

It is important to call and chat with chiropractor concerning any medical concerns, conditions, or questions before you go in for adjustments. If you are nervous, you should let the chiropractor know and he or she should be ready to discuss your concerns. If a certain adjustment method causes discomfort or makes you uncomfortable, you need to speak up. Spinal manipulation therapy techniques are over 100, so the chiropractor should be aware of other ways of accomplishing the same goals without making you feel uncomfortable.


Treatment is on the basis of accurate diagnosis of your back pain. Chiropractors need to be adequately informed about your medical history, including current medications, lifestyle factors, surgical/traumatic history, and ongoing medical conditions. While rare, cases have been reported where treatment worsened slipped or herniated discs, or neck manipulation caused injuries of the spinal cord. To be safe, it is important to check with your physician to ensure that your condition benefits from pain relief alternatives including chiropractic care. If you have seen a chiropractor but your back pain still is not improving or is worsening, you might have to visit your primary care physician or a specialist.

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