Millions of Americans visit a chiropractor each year to find relief from neck and back pain. Chiropractors are highly trained professionals who understand the biomechanics of the human body and use hands-on spinal manipulation to adjust the spine and joints, reposition the bones to restore range of motion, and reduce pressure on the nerves.
Chiropractic care can be an effective way to relieve pain and stiffness in your lower back, neck and shoulders, hips, and other parts of your body. This form of non-invasive treatment can also help reduce the pain associated with headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions.
Common causes of neck and lower back pain
Heavy lifting and repetitive motions that put stress on your joints and muscles often cause acute neck or back pain. Chronic neck or back pain, on the other hand, can be a symptom of a number of medical conditions, including:
Osteoarthritis: A common disorder (wear-and-tear arthritis) that causes progressive deterioration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone.
Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spaces in your spine that can compress and trap nerve roots.
Degenerative disc disease: Back or neck pain that occurs when your spinal disks wear out or break down.
Osteoporosis: A condition that causes your bones to become porous and brittle.
Chiropractors can treat both chronic (or long-term) pain and acute (or short-term) pain. Chronic pain usually results from a disease and tends to last for more than six months, while acute pain from an injury or muscle strain may require fewer chiropractic treatments.
What is chiropractic care?
As a type of physical therapy that uses spinal manipulation and neck adjustments to correct misalignments of the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic care takes a conservative approach to treating pain that doesn’t include the use of prescription medication, injections, surgery, or other invasive treatments. In some cases, chiropractors may also use electrical stimulation to relieve pain and speed the healing process.
Chiropractic care for lower back pain
Up to 80% of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point in their lives—and lower back pain is of particular concern. Whether you were recently injured or have experienced lower back pain for many years, chiropractic care can help relieve your symptoms and improve function.
Chiropractors use spinal manipulation or adjustment to realign the spine, improve movement, and reestablish joint mobility in your back. Spinal manipulation is a safe alternative to traditional medical care and an effective way to reduce muscle tightness and nerve irritation. Chiropractors also sometimes perform manual therapy or use electrical stimulation to complement the adjustments.
Chiropractic care for neck pain
Your neck, also called the cervical spine, contains seven small vertebrae and supports the weight of your head. While the flexibility of the neck allows you to move your head and scan your surroundings, it also makes this part of your body susceptible to pain and injury.
When you experience neck pain, it’s often because of a misalignment in your spine that causes tension and inflammation. Common causes of neck pain include:
- Poor posture due to excessive time spent in front of a computer
- Spending too much time looking down at a mobile device
- Sitting at a workstation with poor ergonomics
- Regularly carrying heavy loads
- Physical inactivity
- Sleeping in the wrong position
- Carrying a heavy bag or purse on the same shoulder over a long period of time
- Whiplash from a car accident
- Trauma from a sports injury
- Pinched nerves
Chiropractors perform neck adjustments to restore proper joint motion and realign the neck in an effort to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In addition to correcting misalignments in the spine, chiropractic adjustments can also reduce muscle tension, improve posture, and enhance the body mechanics of your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Chiropractic care for neck pain is safe and effective. Seeking care as soon as you experience symptoms can help prevent the problem from becoming worse and ensure a quick recovery.
What to expect during your first visit to a chiropractor
During your initial visit, your chiropractor will ask questions about your symptoms that may include:
- When did the pain start?
- Does the pain affect other parts of your body?
- Do certain activities make it worse?
- Have you tried home remedies for your pain?
In addition to gathering a comprehensive health history and performing a physical exam, your chiropractor will check your posture, range of motion, reflexes, and muscle strength and note any movements that cause pain.
After your treatment, you may be sore or tired, but these symptoms will usually go away within 24 hours.
Between visits, your chiropractor may recommend exercises you can do on your own to improve flexibility, build strength, and improve your balance. While you may want to rest when you’re in pain, moving around can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension and get you back to living an active lifestyle.
Find out if chiropractic care is right for you
Dr. Andrea’s Chiropractor Care is here to provide the neck and back treatment you need so you can return to participating in the activities you enjoy. Whether you are recovering from an injury or looking for relief from chronic pain, contact Dr. Andrea today or call us at 918-364-2225 to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care.