Pains due to spinal issues are quite common. In some, it may cause chronic pain, while in others frequent episodes of pains. Spinal problems become more common with advancing age. The human spine has 33 vertebral bones, and out of them, 24 are moveable bones that also bear considerable body weight. Therefore, the spine is prone to wear and tear.
Spinal issues may occur due to many reasons like trauma, inflammation, arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal disc issues, and much more. Although doctors can treat various spinal issues, treatment often fails to provide complete pain relief. Therefore, no surprise that back pain is the leading cause of chronic pain, episodes of intermittent or continuous pain lasting for months or even years.
In many instances, the pain is so distressing that even opioids fail to provide pain relief. However, experience shows that spinal manipulation may be pretty effective in such cases. There are many reports when people living with chronic low back pain could get relief in a few chiropractic sessions. Chiropractors are the most qualified people when it comes to spinal manipulation. This is because they are good at providing care for various painful musculoskeletal conditions and managing spinal health issues.
Below are some of the conditions in which chiropractic care may be quite helpful:
Herniated or slipped disc
As the name suggests, it is a condition in which the disc between the two spinal bones (vertebral bones) may move from its place or start bulging a bit. It may occur due to extreme stress, inherited weakness, or strenuous physical activity. Doctors would often recommend pain killers, stretching exercises, and rest to manage the conditions. However, these treatments often fail to relieve pain. In many cases, doctors may ultimately recommend surgical correction of the condition.
Herniated or slipped disc causes immense pain in many and even loss of some of the body functions, as it applies pressure on the spinal nerves. Chiropractors are good in the way that they better understand what kind of manipulations to do to provide relief. They are also better trained to advise on physical activity and exercises.
The chiropractor would often start by checking the reflexes and looking for signs of wasting and loss of sensation. This helps them pinpoint the location of the herniated disc. The chiropractor may also order an MRI to understand the severity of the condition better.However, unlike doctors, a chiropractor would not just diagnose and prescribe painkillers. Instead, a chiropractor would then start treating the condition with the help of specific spinal manipulation, making spinal adjustments, and thus helping relieve pressure from specific nerves.
Chiropractor manipulation may also relieve pressure from the affected disc, which may promote its healing, and, in many cases, herniated part of the disc or slipped disc may return to its normal position after a few sessions of spinal manipulation. The chiropractor may use flexion-distraction to move the slipped disc, use muscle stimulation, and other treatment. Chiropractors may even use a pelvic blocking technique. In many cases, the benefit is quite brisk.
Sciatica is not essentially a completely distinct condition, as it is often caused due to a herniated or slipped disk. However, it is a condition that affects the largest nerve in the human body, which is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve innervates the legs. Thus, when this nerve is involved, it not only cause lower back pain but a pain that travels to the lower legs via the hips.
Since the sciatica nerve is quite thick, thus various spinal issues may cause it. Estimates show that about 40% of all adults may suffer from it sometimes in their life. Fortunately, most cases of sciatica would resolve. However, a small number of cases would need specialized care or chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatment would involve applying pressure at specific points, stretching, reducing stress at other points. The good thing about chiropractic care is that it does not use any toxic drugs and is highly safe.
Chiropractors are especially good for managing spinal stenosis, which may cause spinal pains at various levels, though it is most likely to cause lower back pain. It is a condition that occurs due to spinal canal stenosis that applies pressure to various nerves. It may occur due to spinal injuries, stiffening and thickening of ligaments, bone overgrowth, and even due to herniated disc.
Considering its complex etiology, doctors struggle to identify its cause and treat it adequately. On the other hand, chiropractors are highly trained to manage such kinds of conditions. The chiropractor would use various techniques apart from spinal manipulation to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Not only that, but a chiropractor may also provide advice that may help prevent future episodes of sciatic pain.
Degenerative disc disease
It is most likely to affect the lumbar region and cause low back pain. It is an age-related condition, though some may be genetically prone to it. Additionally, lifestyle also plays a role in the development of the condition. The good thing about the condition is that it develops slowly over the months and even years. However, in some cases may go unnoticed in its early stages as it does not cause much pressure on the nerves.
This only highlights the importance of seeking chiropractic care early. In addition, one should seek chiropractic advice even on minor spinal discomfort. Because as the disease progresses, many irreversible changes start to occur, like the formation of bone spurs. Needless to say, a chiropractor can help in almost any stage of disc degeneration. But it becomes more difficult to relieve spinal pain and discomfort in advanced stages of diseases.
As the degenerative disc disease progresses in older adults, spinal bones start to fuse together. However, regular spinal manipulation by the specialist may help prevent this irreversible problem. Chiropractic care may be a treatment of choice in various spinal conditions. Spinal manipulations, when done by a specialist, are safe and non-invasive. Moreover, chiropractors do not prescribe toxic drugs, though they might recommend food supplements and nutrition advice.