Advice on Back Pain

Advice on Back Pain

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, they use their 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.

Are you sitting comfortably?

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

42% of the population are suffering from back pain or discomfort
BCA consumer research 2007

Treating the cause, 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. Sciatica, for example, is leg pain 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?

Probably. 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.

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Original Content © British Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved.
No part of this document may be reproduced without permission. 2008
59 Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7SN 0118 950 5950 www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk