The management of chronic pain often involves more than one approach to treatment. While many patients experience some degree of relief from pain or anti-inflammatory drugs and go-to remedies like the application of heat or ice, there are times when the spine itself needs more direct attention. If you’ve reached this point, chiropractic care may provide the meaningful relief you’re seeking.
Diagnosing Your Pain
Chronic pain can have many possible sources and triggers, so the first step will be to attempt to make an accurate diagnosis. This typically includes a thorough exam, a review of your medical history and experiences with other treatments, a determination of your goals with chiropractic care, and lab and image testing. Nerve conduction tests may also be done to see what’s going on with the nerves around your brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves) to determine what treatment methods are appropriate.
Treating Your Chronic Pain
Chiropractic treatments involve more than just spina manipulations. Treatment plans typically include manual therapies and therapeutic exercises that help improve flexibility, range of motion, and balance. Your treatment plan may include strengthening exercises and endurance exercises targeting larger muscle groups.
Treatment may also involve spinal decompression performed on a special table to adjust the spine in a way that takes pressure off of nerves by repositioning herniated discs and retracting protruding disc material. Your personal preferences will also be taken into consideration. Some patients prefer low-force techniques while others experience better results with more forceful manipulations.
Conditions That May Respond Well to Chiropractic Care
Treatment from a chiropractor involves the bones, joints, soft tissues, and nervous system. Many of the common conditions that affect your musculoskeletal system can be addressed during your sessions. In addition to low back and neck pain, chiropractic treatments may also help manage pain related to:
- Joint pain due to arthritis
- Ongoing pain from sports-related injuries
Possible Benefits from Chiropractic Care
According to one study on results from chiropractic treatments, the majority of patients with chronic low back pain who received care showed greater improvement after a month than patients who solely relied on treatments recommended by their family physician. Patients may also benefit from:
- Increased circulation
- Production of more endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers
- Better spinal alignment
You may also be given exercises you can do on your own between sessions to further strengthen your muscles and improve your posture and tips on how to safely go about your normal daily routine without triggering chronic pain episodes. Get even more out of your experience with chiropractic care by actively participating in sessions and letting your chiropractor know what you’re feeling before, during, and after manipulations and treatments.