If you have pain in your back that doesn’t seem to go away after a few weeks, it’s referred to as chronic back pain. This is not the same as acute back pain caused by an injury or activity that causes pain, but returns to feeling normal after a week or two. A lot of chronic back pain sufferers are told that surgery or cortisone shots are the long-term solution to relieve their pain.
Before you consult with a surgeon or a pain management specialist, talk to a chiropractor. There may be ways to treat your back pain without surgery, pain medications, or cortisone shots. Or, at the least, reduce the amount of medication you may need to function normally.
For some, surgery can’t be completely avoided. However, chiropractic care can sometimes delay the need for surgery while giving back pain relief.
The specific chiropractic back pain treatments that may help you depend on the cause of your pain. If you have seen a doctor for your back pain, bring any information you can about your diagnosis, including images, so that they can be reviewed and an assessment made on whether chiropractic care can help you.
Some common causes of chronic back pain that can be relieved for many patients using chiropractic care include:
The specific treatments that are right for you depend on the chronic back pain condition you’re experiencing. Here are some of the treatments we use at Village Chiropractic for chronic back pain patients.
Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a gentle form of traction that slowly stretches the spine, increasing the space between the vertebrae. At Village Chiropractic, we do this right in our office in a chair that will do all of the work. You only have to sit still for about 15-30 minutes. The decompression, over time, will help reduce pressure on the discs which can be a cause of back pain. It can also help reduce the bulge in a bulging disc by giving the fluid capsule an opportunity to retract back to where it belongs, before it herniates.
Manual spinal adjustments done by a chiropractor over a period of time can help with reducing pressure on vertebrae and giving you better alignment in your spine and neck. This can reduce pain – sometimes right away and sometimes over the course of several treatments. The chiropractor will apply pressure based on where you are experiencing pain. Chiropractic adjustment restores the energy flow through your spine to your body.
A chiropractor can give you a set of exercises that can help your specific problem. They will work with you on stretches to improve flexibility, core strengthening to take pressure off of your spine, and retraining your posture so that you are not aggravating things by slouching or other bad habits. As a note, bed rest is not recommended. Try to stay active to avoid becoming too stiff. However, if you feel sharp pain while doing any exercise, stop right away and talk to the chiropractor about it.
A massage given by a therapist who understands back pain can help with relaxing muscles in your back, neck, hips, and legs. By reducing the tightness in your muscles you’re able to gain more flexibility as you move around in your day to day activities. Typically a regular massage schedule is needed to help keep the muscles relaxed.
Your diet may be contributing to your back pain. While nutrition can't cure your back pain, a poor diet can certainly make it worse. Processed food and sugar can also promote inflammation, making pain worse. A diet will too much of these foods tends to cause weight gain. Carrying too much weight, especially around your midsection, puts more pressure on your spine.
Smoking has been known to contribute to degenerative disc disease, a very common cause of low back pain. If you smoke, you should quit. Talk to your doctor about techniques and medications that can help you quit.
For many patients, a combination of these treatments may be suggested over a period of time to help reduce your chronic back pain. To start the treatment planning process and to see what can be done to help you avoid back surgery, contact our office to .