When Is It Time to See a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

The ideal human condition is peak good health. Pain is the body’s way of alerting us to a problem. Pain comes from several directions such as pinched nerves, pulled, strained, or broken muscles, or pain from muscles weak from inactivity.

Most people respond to pain following a trauma by self-medicating with acetaminophen, muscle relaxers, and/or pain pills. The next step would be to wait for the pain to get better. Only when the root cause of the pain makes the body unable to operate efficiently do people call a chiropractor.

At that point, the pain is not only unbearable, but the doctor has to repair the damage done originally plus how it has compounded. Let’s say you were working out too zealously and pinched a nerve in the shoulder. By the time you contact a chiropractor, the pinched nerve impairs your ability to breathe deeply. You can’t move quickly or turn suddenly without pain.

There are other signs that you should see a chiropractor for back pain. These conditions result from the root cause of the pain. Call the chiropractor at the first sign of these symptoms.

Muscle And Joint Chronic Pain

Chronic means consisting for a long period of time. Chronic back pain occurs when the root cause of the pain wasn’t treated in a timely fashion. The longer the pain persists, however, the more the body will tighten up to prevent further injury around the original site of the trauma.

The pain may feel better temporarily with OTC analgesics and pain medications. It’s only a temporary fix, though, and doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. You’ll need a chiropractor for that.

Headaches Or Migraines

The body packs water around an injury to keep it from further trauma. Then it tightens up its muscles for the same reason. The tightness will move from the traumatized portion of the back up to the neck, which will then give you a headache or migraine.

For the most part, OTC analgesics and/or ibuprofen will help a plain headache. Nothing will help a migraine, however. A chiropractor can adjust the spine to address the root cause of the problem, which will often take care of the headache, even if it’s a migraine.


The neck is usually the only part of the back to suffer stiffness due to a trauma to another portion of the back. You won’t be able to turn your head to look around or behind you. Tilting your head to hold your phone to your shoulder will be impossible. Even nodding your head in response to a question won’t happen.

Muscle relaxers will only make you feel better for a short time. The only thing that will alleviate the pain altogether is a trip to the chiropractor for an adjustment of the original injury.

Occasional Lower Back Pain

Everyone gets lower back pain from standing too long, bending over too much, or sometimes even sitting too long. The muscles get stiff from being held in one position for too long. This is easily taken care of by soaking in a hot bath or popping an ibuprofen while kicking back in front of the TV.

It’s time to call a chiropractor, however, if the lower back pain persists past six weeks. If it shows no signs of ever going away or is getting worse, it’s time to see the chiropractor. If you’re over 55 years of age or a child, if you suffer weight loss, and/or if you suffer numbness in the feet or legs, then it’s time to see a chiropractor.

Massage And Heat Therapies Have Failed

Back pain usually generates a mental picture of a massage therapist making the pain better. It also brings to mind heating pads and steaming towels placed on the injured portion of the back. It’s only when these don’t work that chiropractors are called upon.

Chiropractors use the body to heal itself. They do this by adjusting the spine to repair back pain. Sometimes machines are used to apply pulses, heat, ultrasound, and other tools to facilitate the repair. The result is a body healed by and of itself without the use of chemical medications or, in the worst case scenarios, surgery.

By the time it’s time to call a chiropractor, it might not be too late, but you could have been spared a lot of back pain. Give us a call. We stand ready and able to help. 205-637-1363

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