7.7 million Americans annually visit a chiropractor to get relief from back pain – and for good reason. Chiropractic care can help reduce your back pain in several important ways. From relieving pain, to reducing muscle tension, to creating a customized anti-inflammatory diet plan, chiropractic care is a holistic medical practice to heal your back naturally – now and for the future.
What’s Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care involves applying gentle force to affected areas in order to restore position and mobility, as well as reduce pain and inflammation. For back pain, chiropractors use spinal adjustment and therapeutic touch to get your back healthier and more flexible than before.
8 Key Benefits Of Chiropractic Care For Back Pain
Let’s take a look at the key benefits of chiropractic care for back pain. These chiropractic benefits are studied by researchers and have shown positive impacts on back pain.
1. Relieves Back Pain
First, studies show that chiropractic care can reduce pain for those suffering from back pain. For example, one long-term study showed that chiropractic treatment was more effective than hospital outpatient management for lower back pain. In addition, chiropractic care was seen as more beneficial than muscle relaxants in another study. These findings show that chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain during the treatment process.
2. Reduces Dependency on Painkillers
In addition, chiropractic care is considered an all-natural alternative to many traditional medical practices and medications. Because it’s seen as equally or more effective than many painkillers – for example, muscle relaxants in the study above – chiropractic care can reduce a patient’s dependency on popping a pill whenever he/she is in pain. Moreover, a chiropractor considers the long-term health of a patient and whether painkillers can be swapped for other treatment options, such as a chiropractic adjustment, massage therapy session or acupuncture. In this way, chiropractic care aims to present alternatives to drug-use (whenever possible) and is involved with holistic health practices to prevent pain from even starting.
3. Maximizes Spinal Alignment
A chiropractor will look to treat back pain by making spinal adjustments to put it back in alignment. Having the correct alignment helps your back pain in several ways. First, it prevents painful muscle spasms. In addition, it releases positive hormones, including neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol. These hormones are involved in positive nervous system functioning, including pain reduction, neuro-communication and anti-inflammatory response. In this way, spinal adjustments can prevent painful reactions such as muscle spasms, while triggering restorative hormones.
4. Reduces Muscle Tension and Stiffness
During a chiropractic session, the patient will also see a reduction in muscle tension and stiffness. By decreasing muscle tension, your back can get healthy more quickly and also promote relaxation. In one study that measured electrical activity in muscles, muscle activity after a chiropractic adjustment was reduced by 25%. This means that during the adjustment, muscles were becoming more fluid and less stiff, and the patient was feeling less stressed and tensed.
5. Increases Range of Motion
One of the goals of spinal adjustment is to restore mobility. Basically, a chiropractor will attempt to reduce your back pain so that you have the range-of-motion to do daily tasks without pain. For example, by getting your spine aligned, you should see enhanced flexibility when you bend down, walk up and down stairs, and play sports. This boosted range of motion is great for preventing back pain in the future.
6. Enhances Posture
A chiropractic session can also help boost your posture, so you avoid back pain in the future. Nowadays, challenges such as “computer slouch” and “text neck” are creating more musculoskeletal problems than ever. By getting your back aligned, you can ensure that you back muscles aren’t receiving excess tension or strain because of bad posture.
7. Soothes Stress and Anxiety
Studies now confirm that chiropractic care can reduce blood pressure and stress symptoms. This is important for back pain because stress and anxiety can aggravate pain. Researchers found that blood pressure was reduced after chiropractic sessions, making patients more relaxed. In one study, blood pressure was lowered after only 15 minutes of workplace massage therapy. This means that chiropractic care can help back pain by reducing stress symptoms.
8. Uses a Holistic Approach for Creating a Care Plan
Finally, chiropractic care is a holistic medical practice that looks to create a customized care plan including recommendations on diet, exercise, supplements, vaccinations, adjustment and therapies. This kind of big-picture approach is great for back pain, as there are several areas where back pain can be reduced using all-natural therapies. For example:
- Anti-inflammatory diet: An anti-inflammatory diet consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains and olive oil. In general, it looks to remove processed foods – especially those with MSG – and replace them with natural substitutes to keep your body from inflammation. A chiropractor can help put together the right anti-inflammatory diet for you.
- Back-friendly stretches: Your chiropractor can also recommend back-friendly stretches, like these, that you can do on a daily basis to improve your back muscles.
- Aquatic exercise: Aquatic exercise is proven to help those with back pain. The combination of good aerobic exercise, plus a low-impact environment of the pool, is great for those with back pain. Your chiropractor can recommend aquatic exercises, or other workouts, to boost your back health.
- Herbal supplements: Certain herbal supplements such as devil’s claw, white willow bark and capsaicin are proven to reduce pain for your lower back. A chiropractor can look at your medications and supplements as part of your care plan.
- Massage therapy: Massage therapy uses the power of touch to promote blood flow, relaxation and healing. Often, a chiropractic clinic will also include massage therapy services for maximum care.
By looking at spinal adjustment, plus these other areas, chiropractic care can help your back in the long-run.
Contact a Chiropractor Near You
If you’re struggling with back pain, chiropractic care could be the all-natural solution you’re looking for. With chiropractic care, you’ll see all eight of these key benefits. In addition, you’ll receive a customized care plan to help your back pain using diet, exercise, supplements and more. Don’t hesitate to contact a chiropractic clinic near you with holistic services. By seeing a chiropractor, you can get your back on track using a holistic approach to your health needs.
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic in Anchorage in 1998. He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.