How Chiropractors Effectively Treat Back and Neck Pain

Chiropractic is a hands-on approach to treating back and neck pain. Chiropractors use a thorough assessment to create a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Spinal manipulation, including neck adjustments, can help improve spinal alignment and reduce nerve interference, resulting in reduced pain and improved function. Manual manipulation is used most often, but traction and instrument-assisted techniques were also frequently employed.

Neck Strain

Neck strain is a common injury that occurs when the neck jerks forward or backward beyond its normal motion range. This can occur during car accidents, falls or traumatic sports injuries. It can also result from repeated movements that strain the neck, such as sleeping with a head elevated on a pillow or working at a computer for long periods of time. Neck pain from a neck strain can range in intensity from mild to severe and may be accompanied by headaches, tingling or weakness.

Chiropractor Essendon are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system, including the spine. They treat a variety of ailments that include herniated discs, muscle strains and poor posture. They often employ a combination of treatment techniques that can help patients manage pain, improve their posture and increase their range of motion.

During an initial consultation, the chiropractor will ask you questions about your neck pain and symptoms. They will also take your medical history to determine whether the problem is a symptom of a more serious condition, such as a bone fracture or tumor. They will order x-rays to identify narrowed disc spaces, bone spurs or fractures, and an imaging test, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to check for slipped or bulging discs.

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Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition that occurs when your joints develop damage. It usually affects the ends where two bones meet to form a joint and the tissue that covers them, called cartilage. Over time, your cartilage can become thin and rough, leading to pain and stiffness. In some cases, you might hear grating or crackling sounds when you use the joint. You might also notice that your range of motion is limited or that the joint feels tender when touched.

A chiropractor can help you manage your arthritis through various techniques. One common approach is spinal manipulations, which are also known as chiropractic adjustments. This technique involves using precise and controlled pressure to realign the spine, alleviate nerve compression and improve musculoskeletal function. A chiropractor may also incorporate mobilization and soft tissue techniques into their treatment plan. These include therapeutic exercises, manual traction and massage therapy to reduce muscle tension and improve the flexibility of the affected muscles and joints.

In addition, some chiropractors offer prolotherapy and sclerotherapy, which involve injections of sugar water or anesthetic into the area to stimulate your body’s production of collagen, a protein that strengthens ligaments. Some studies show that this therapy can decrease neck pain caused by osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. However, more research is needed.

Limited Range of Motion

In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors may also use a technique called mobilization and soft tissue techniques to reduce muscle tension, improve joint function and reduce muscular imbalances. Mobilization is a hands-on technique that involves moving the vertebrae in your neck to relieve tight muscles and restore proper spinal alignment.

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When a chiropractor performs this treatment, they place their hand on the spinal cord at its lower point (spinal cord nucleus). They then apply gentle pressure to the vertebrae while moving them backward and forward, side to side, or rotating them. In addition, they may use a device known as an E-stim machine, which uses electricity to simulate muscle contractions, increasing circulation and reducing inflammation.

If you have a herniated or slipped disc in your neck, a chiropractic treatment is likely to help alleviate your pain. However, if you have a bone fracture or serious abnormality such as arthritis or osteoporosis, your doctor may need to recommend alternative treatments.

One study found that cervical spine manipulation produced a significant reduction in neck pain and disability when compared to usual medical care. Patients receiving chiropractic care had fewer symptoms, were more satisfied with their treatment, and used less medication than those receiving usual medical care alone. The chiropractic group also had a faster rate of recovery from neck injury.

Posture

Proper posture helps distribute weight evenly across the skeletal system, reducing stress on muscles and joints. Poor posture is often a contributing factor to neck pain, as well as back pain. Chiropractors can teach you ways to improve your posture, which may help relieve your symptoms.

A chiropractic exam typically lasts about an hour. The chiropractor will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam. They may also order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, to make a diagnosis.

During spinal manipulation, the chiropractor moves your body’s joints to restore movement and reduce tension in your back and neck. This may feel uncomfortable at times, but it is a safe and effective treatment. If you have any discomfort during the procedure, your chiropractor will adjust the pressure on your body or use another technique.

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Your chiropractor can recommend various treatments, including massage therapy, soft tissue mobilization, traction, joint taping and heat or cold application. They may also provide acupuncture or trigger point injections, which involve placing a needle in specific areas to release the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins.

A 2019 study found that cervical spine manipulation decreases neck pain in the short-term by modifying levels of neuropeptides, proteins made by the nervous system. These act as neurotransmitters or hormones. This can lower your need for opioid pain relievers, which have serious side effects.