Chiropractic Therapy for Back Pain

One of the most common physical treatments for back pain is chiropractic therapy, which is the manipulation of the spine. The purpose is to realign the spine, increase the range of motion in the muscles of the back, increase the flexibility of spinal soft tissue, break down scar tissue, and reduce pressure that occurs from restricted and misaligned spinal joints, all of which help to relieve pain.

Chiropractic therapists, which include not only chiropractors, but also osteopaths and some physical therapists, diagnose and treat only problems with the muscles, nerves, and skeletal system and do not use drugs or surgery. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to a regular doctor: you will be asked for a case history involving your symptoms, have a physical exam, and possibly have x-rays taken.

Chiropractors undergo intense medical training. They must have two years of undergraduate work, and when they enter chiropractic college, they study the same topics doctors do, including anatomy, physiology, x-ray, psychology, and orthopedics. After getting the basics down, chiropractors then study diagnosis and adjustment techniques that most other doctors do not.

Homeopathy Back Pain Treatment

Homeopathy is a practice of medicine that has been around for about 200 years. It is based upon what is called the Law of Similars and works on the same principle as do immunizations: give someone a small dose of what would make them sick to cure their sickness. Treatments have been proven in clinical trials, and are prepared by a homeopathic pharmacy under FDA guidelines. Researchers don’t completely understand how homeopathic medicines work, but the evidence is clear that they do.

Homeopathy has been popular in Europe and India for a long time, and is gaining popularity in the United States. Many practitioners are doctors or have some other kind of medical degree, perhaps in nursing or psychology. The legal issues surrounding homeopathic practitioners that do not have medical degrees is unclear, but most homeopathic remedies are sold over the counter and do not need a prescription. Here are some natural homeopathic remedies that are helpful in alleviating back pain:

AESCULUS: used for dull, nagging pain

ARNICA MONTANA: used in cases of trauma to the back

COLOCYNTHIS: used for weakness and muscle cramps in the lower back

Natural Supplement Relief of Back Pain

There are a number of different ways you can relieve your back pain naturally: vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrition, and homeopathy medicine. Some will help heal your back pain and others are dangerous, so it’s best to consult with a physician or nurse practitioner before taking anything and never, ever exceed recommended dosages. The FDA has no control over natural supplements, so it does not recommend them. Since supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Back Pain Treatment Overview

The main relief treatment for chronic low back pain is conservative intervention. In other words, jumping into surgery is not advised because many people suffer no back pain yet have degenerative change or aging issues going on in the back region. And other treatment options may offer relief instead.

And according to studies, there is no evidence that points to delayed surgery resulting in increased complications. In fact approximately 80 percent of the cases where surgery was indicated as a solution recovered regardless of the surgery. So whether or not they had it made no difference. Really under 40 percent are reported to have benefited from surgery.

And on the contrary, those people with surgical pasts reported the need for future surgeries, many because their pain actually increased with surgery. So good medical history and physical examination preparation and assessment can go a long way in determining treatment options.

Who to See for Back Pain Diagnosis

Where to go for a diagnosis about back pain can include your family doctor, the emergency room, an orthopedic surgeon, a naturopathic specialist, a rheumatologist , an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, an osteopath and a chronic pain heath care provider. And here is a brief overview of each.

Family Doctor

This is a popular beginning point for many seeking back pain relief. Although family doctors generally do not have extensive orthopedic backgrounds nor sufficient time to schedule complete histories and examinations during regular hectic weekdays, they are often able to do preliminary testing and assessment.

Their blood tests and general knowledge of your health and basic back care can help them point you to further resources and places for following up, especially if they deem the case an emergency. And hopefully your family doctor will be at the center or helm of your pain relief management so that all testing, treatments, office visits, etc. are coordinated and not left to chance, and also so that patient care is optimized.

Emergency Room

Back Pain Diagnosis

In order to diagnose back pain for relief treatments, generally health care professionals begin by ordering a medical history and physical examination. A look at each of these in depth can shed some light into what to look for and how to find relief from pain. Then we’ll look at specific diagnostic tests, and where to go to follow up and get treatment.

No matter whether the patient has acute back pain, which is what most have and recover from with around a 4-week period, or chronic, recurring pain episodes, a medical history helps patient an doctor become familiar with one another in confidence to begin or continue a treatment program together. The medical history delves into these areas of the person seeking pain relief: family medical history and personal and work history with regards to back pain episodes and related symptoms and issues, psychological and psychosocial factors, referral source(s) for evaluation and treatment, education on the subject and treatment options, assessment throughout their working together on pain relief treatment and treatment outcomes.

Spinal Stenosis, Facet Syndrome and Herniated Disks

FACET SYNDROME

Similar to pinched nerves symptoms, this is believed to be associated with pain in the back’s side joints and the main cause of up to 20 percent of back pain cases, with buttocks and upper leg pain increasing with long-term standing, and when switching sitting / standing / lying positions. An injection of local anesthetic into the facet joint helps determine the diagnosis. However, since the anesthetic relieves the pain at the same time and is used as a short-term solution, an x-ray doesn’t help with imaging the pain results. Recommended treatment includes rigorous lumbar activities and body mechanics exercises to learn proper or more beneficial posture and movement techniques.

Herniated Disk

Causes of Back Pain

Most references to back pain focus on lower back pain in the lumbar spinal region. However, back pain causes in no particular order are:

    Accidents or injuries leaving muscle pain

    Osteoarthritis with deteriorating cartilage

    Osteoporosis with bone loss / fracture

    Fibromyalgia

    Major conditions like cancer

Muscle, ligament and tendon problems are generally at the root of the pain problems along with some weakness in the lower back. Other body parts in the region can also be associated like bones and small joints.

When no specific cause is apparent, the term NSLBP (nonspecific low back pain) is used. Any number of reasons for this pain can include degenerative disk disease, psychological issues, systemic disease, facet syndrome (similar to pinched nerves symptoms), herniated disk, spondylolisthesis or the forward displacement of one of the lower lumbar vertebrae over the vertebra below it or on the sacrum. Other factors could be spinal stenosis or constriction or spondyloarthropathy (disease affecting spinal joints).