When you think about going to a chiropractor, you usually envision lying on a table and someone leaning over you, cracking your back. While chiropractic work does involve the manual manipulation of your spine, there are other procedures and techniques the practitioner uses to alleviate your chronic back pain.
Once you have had your initial examination, including X-rays, the doctor may choose to use a few of these techniques in addition to, or instead of, manual manipulation:
The sound waves produced by ultrasound equipment not only bounces off your internal organs to create an image, they can also gently massage soft tissue and joints. When aimed at an inflamed, painful area, ultrasound waves will reduce the inflammation, which in turn reduces any stiffness and pain in the joint.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy uses light, not heated, to massage the tissues. When directed at soft tissue, the light waves vibrate it, simulating a massage technique that releases tension. As the joint relaxes, and any inflammation is dispersed, the stiffness and pain are alleviated.
The chiropractor will give you a few exercises to do at home, on your own, to increase movement in the affected area. They are designed to reduce the chance for the joint to become stiff and inflamed. They also work to relax the area if it does become stiff again. He or she will also do a few passive exercises with you. You will not have to exert any energy to do the passive exercises, the doctor will move your body for you.
Massage and Trigger Point Therapy
Massage and trigger point therapy are both hands-on techniques, but not the quick, thrusting jolts of manipulation. Instead, slower, smoother movements are used to find tension and gently work it out of the muscles. Trigger point therapy is done when an area is found to be especially tender or painful. A gentle, steady but increasing pressure is applied to force the muscle to relax.
Chronic back pain not only affects your ability to move, but the way you sleep, sit and stand. It can lead to depression if left untreated. Talk with your primary care physician about the different types of back pain specialists and ask for a referral. A chiropractor is often the first specialist you will see, because the treatments are noninvasive.
If chiropractic treatment is not enough to remedy the situation, even if you are feeling relief, you may be sent to see an orthopedic surgeon. If you have injured your back, and the pain is bearable but has lasted longer than six months, it is time to see a back pain specialist. If the pain is unbearable, get to a specialist now.
To learn more, contact a company like Chiropractor Plus with any questions you have.
A few months ago, I realized that it was getting progressively more difficult to move around like I used to. Lifting was a chore, sleeping was difficult, and bending over was absolutely grueling. My back hurt when I did just about anything, so I decided to seek help. I contacted a chiropractor in my area for help, and it was amazing how helpful the chiropractor was. I was able to get in for an appointment the same day, and my problems melted away as the doctor worked on my back. My blog details my journey, so that you can see how helpful the right care can be.