Many adults in the United States have to deal with a type of chronic pain. Statistics show that low back pain is the second most common reason Americans end up at a doctor’s clinic. It is for this reason that many Americans are seeking alternatives to medication to find pain relief. Other than being a hindrance, medications have numerous side effects that may cause more harm. Chiropractic manipulation and treatment is one potential alternative for pain management, especially for back and neck pain.
Who is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is an alternative medicine practitioner who offers chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is a type of complementary medicine premised on the idea that your body can heal and repair itself. A chiropractor offers specific hands-on manipulations to help realign your bones and joints and potentially provide pain relief. A chiropractor can offer manipulations to relieve pain from specific conditions affecting bone, joints, muscle, cartilage, and connective tissue.
A chiropractor will focus on your spine and manipulate other body parts depending on the type of pain you are in. Chiropractic practice, like physical therapy, is effective, and sometimes when offered in tandem, both treatment modalities work in synchrony. There is a difference between chiropractors and physical therapists. Chiropractors offer hands-on manipulations for pain relief while physical therapy puts a larger emphasis on rehabilitation using exercises and stretches. Other than manipulation of joints and organs, chiropractors may also offer:
- Relaxation techniques and exercises
- Electrical stimulation
- Counselling on lifestyle adjustments and ways o improve your musculoskeletal health
- Heat and ice treatments
Modern chiropractors use scientific knowledge to offer pain relief. Other chiropractors choose to stick to the abandoned unscientific theories. Such chiropractors are called “straights.” Before making a chiropractic appointment, you should often ask whether the chiropractor offers a straightforward or modern approach.
Are Chiropractors Trained and Licensed?
Chiropractors earn a postgraduate degree called a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) that takes four years to complete. All states require that chiropractors are licensed, and though licensing requirements vary from state to state, all chiropractors have to pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam. Some chiropractors have specialized in specific areas of chiropractic treatment. Therefore, it would help if you were sure that chiropractors are well trained and well equipped to offer pain relief. Chiropractic manipulations have been scientifically proven to offer effective pain relief.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Alleviating Neck Pain
If your job involves long hours of sitting around or having to bend your neck often to read from your phone or computer, you might get some neck pain. You may also develop neck pain due to poor posture. A chiropractor is well placed to alleviate your neck pain by realigning your spine and easing the tension that may have built up in your neck muscles. Studies have shown that chiropractic manipulations are more effective than medical therapy in treating non-specific neck pain. Cervical spine manipulation is also able to lower neck pain by altering levels of neuropeptides in your blood.
Reducing Opioid Reliance
Opioids are the go-to prescription drug to deal with chronic pain. Even though they are effective, opioids come with unwanted effects and may lead to opioid tolerance and addiction. Chiropractic manipulations have been shown to reduce your need for these medicines. Studies have shown that visiting a chiropractor may remove your reliance on opioid analgesics, and less potent analgesics may easily manage your pain.
Easing Back Pain
You may not be comfortable with invasive procedures and surgery to try to ease lower back pain. Chiropractic manipulations are an excellent alternative to provide lower back pain relief. This relief applies to both short-term and long-term pain. The American College of Physicians recommends that people with lower back pain first seek non-pharmacological and non-surgical treatment options to treat pain. Chiropractic care is a recommended treatment modality, and it offers lower back pain relief for up to six months.
Reducing the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritic pain is often due to degeneration of your joint cartilage. This cartilage is usually instrumental in proper joint movement, and its degeneration may cause bones to rub together during movement. Chiropractic manipulations can help in aligning your bones and effectively reduce how much your bones rub together. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce the progression of arthritis by improving the condition of bone and cartilage.
Chiropractic manipulations can correct poor posture, especially if poor posture is a result of prolonged sitting. Studies have shown that chiropractors can help with hyperkyphosis, which causes back and neck pain accompanied by headaches. Chiropractic manipulations have also been shown to reduce the Cobb angle in people with scoliosis. Cobb angle is a measure of side-to-side deformity caused by scoliosis on the spine. Improvements have been seen in people undergoing chiropractic treatments.
Chiropractors offer hands-on adjustments to alleviate pain. Pain reduces the quality of life. It would be best if you did not rely on medication therapy only for pain management. Reach out to us at 205-637-1363 for chiropractic manipulations and pain management.