Did you know about 65 million people in the U.S. suffer from back pain every year? Or that approximately 30% of U.S residents experience some form of neck pain annually? If you’re one of those people, you know how uncomfortable and limiting neck or back pain can be.
Whether you’re dealing with acute injury-related pain, sudden discomfort that seemingly came out of nowhere, or you’ve been living with chronic back or neck pain, a chiropractor can help. But which causes of back and neck pain can a chiropractic doctor address?
Below, the team at Bomberg Chiropractic in Plymouth, MN shares a few of the most common neck and back pain culprits chiropractors can treat.
Sciatica pain usually occurs unilaterally, meaning it happens on either the left or right side of the body. Bilateral sciatica is also possible; it’s just not nearly as common. This type of pain occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, damaged, or compressed either where it exits the lower spine or somewhere in the pelvis.
Since the sciatic nerve travels from the low back, down the leg, and into the foot, compression of this nerve can cause widespread lower-body pain on one side. Discomfort can range from dull to sharp and sufferers typically experience:
● Nerve pain that begins in the low back, radiates into the buttock, and travels down the back of the leg into the ankle and foot.
● A burning sensation that’s especially irritating in the buttock region
● Tingling or numbness along the affected leg or foot
If you believe you’re suffering from sciatica-related back pain, a chiropractor will ask you a series of questions about your pain to determine what’s going on. He’ll also perform a neurological exam, a health history, and in most cases, diagnostic imaging to get to the root cause of the problem.
After reaching a diagnosis, he’ll develop an individualized treatment plan that may include a variety of therapies designed to relieve pressure on the nerve and the associated pain. Treatments may include:
● Chiropractic adjustments
● TENS therapy
● Ice or heat therapy
● Stretching and mobility work
● Manual therapy
Historically, less than 5% of sciatica cases require surgical decompression of the nerve. Conservative treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy usually work very well to control or correct the issue.
Skeletal Irregularities and Degeneration
Chiropractors have extensive training in musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. They know how to find the root cause of pain and dysfunction through extensive evaluation and advanced diagnostic techniques. Perhaps more importantly, they understand how to create a multi-pronged, effective treatment approach to address the issue.
Some of the more common irregularities and degenerative issues a chiropractor can treat include:
● Scoliosis. An abnormal curvature of the spine
● Degenerative spondylolisthesis. When one vertebra slips forward over another
● Degenerative disc disease. Prolonged wear-and-tear on the spinal discs
● Herniated or bulging spinal discs. When the gelatinous substance inside the spinal disc pushes through the disc’s outer layer or the disc bulges outward from in between the vertebrae
● Spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the spinal canal (the central tunnel in the spine formed by the vertebrae)
All of these issues can cause significant discomfort and loss of mobility depending on their severity. And, since these issues are prone to progression, the pain and mobility impairments they typically cause can grow worse over time.
Gentle chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy, TENS therapy, mobility work, stretching, and a variety of other therapies can all help to alleviate pain and control the progression of these conditions. However, the severity of your condition, your health history, and your medical needs will all determine whether chiropractic treatment is appropriate for your condition.
Muscle and Connective Tissue Injuries
Chiropractic care can address several types of soft tissue problems and injuries, including sprains and strains. Sprains and strains can cause a tremendous amount of pain depending on their severity, and without proper treatment, they can cause a cascade of problems over time if they heal incorrectly.
Typically, sprains and strains are more common in the back, but they can occur in the neck, too. One very well-known example of neck strain is whiplash (which chiropractors address all the time). Chiropractors treat these issues using a combination of several techniques, which vary according to the patient’s condition, history, and needs. Common therapies include:
● Chiropractic adjustments
● Manual tissue manipulation
● TENS therapy
● Activator technique
Adhesions, commonly called muscular knots, are another common problem that chiropractors are highly adept at treating. These fibrous bands of tissue feel like a dense ball beneath the skin and gradually build up over time. They typically form in response to trauma, injury, or overuse
Adhesions are basically like scar tissue inside the body, and without treatment, that tissue can build to the point that it limits mobility and causes intense pain.
Graston Technique is a highly effective therapy designed to essentially break up these tough, fibrous bands to reduce restrictions and encourage range of motion improvements. Not every chiropractor specializes in this technique, but those that do generally use it in combination with stretching and mobility exercises to promote normal tissue alignment, pain relief, and optimal tissue functionality.
Looking for a Chiropractor in Plymouth? Contact Bomberg Chiropractic
If you suffer from back pain or neck pain and would like to address the issue conservatively and naturally, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Bomberg Chiropractic. We understand how limiting pain can be, but we also know that the human body has a remarkable capacity for natural healing when given appropriate and focused, individualized care.
To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 763-450-1755 or send us a message for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!