Ask anyone on the street what type of natural healthcare practitioner they would call first for back pain. Odds are 9 out of 10 times they will say a chiropractor.
Yet the best chiropractors will not tell you to come see them to merely get rid of back pain. That’s not their goal, but rather a common side effect of treatment.
So what do chiropractors do for you? And why are they so commonly associated with back pain?
What chiropractors do
Every function of your body… from breathing… to digestion… to movement… literally everything you do, requires signals from your brain to reach the necessary muscles and organs. These signals travel from your brain, down your spinal cord, and along nerves to every part of your body.
Pinched nerves interfere with signals traveling to that area of the body resulting in pain and improper function. For example, a pinched nerve in the mid-back may result not only in pain at either the source or a referred site, but also in digestion issues over time.
The goal of chiropractic care is to remove the interferences caused by spinal misalignments, called subluxations, so the body can function normally again. Chiropractors use manual spinal manipulation techniques and other devices to make adjustments to misaligned vertebrae and other joints. This allows the body to naturally heal itself the way it was designed.
Chiropractic care and back pain
When pressure is relieved on pinched nerves, the direct and referred pain caused by the pinched nerve is often immediately relieved as well. That’s great.
What’s not so great is chiropractic care helps correct misalignments, but rarely correct the root cause of the misalignments. Which means you may find yourself returning again and again for the additional sessions as the subluxations reoccur.
One client of the Healthy Back Institute put it like this: “Bones only go where our muscles put them.” Which is spot on since, outside of trauma, the vast majority of all back pain complaints are ultimately the result of muscle imbalances.
Muscle imbalances occur whenever you have overdeveloped and tight muscles in one area of your body and underdeveloped and weak opposing muscles. Simply spending too much time sitting in the same position at the office day after day can result in muscle imbalances.
Spinal adjustments alone won’t correct muscle imbalances. And hate to say it, but the one-size-fits-all stretching charts handed out at many chiropractor offices may be more harmful than helpful. That’s because muscle imbalances causing back pain typically follow one of four patterns, and each requires a completely different set of targeted strengthening and stretching exercises to eliminate them.
So, use chiropractic to get your spine back into alignment. And use muscle balance therapy to eliminate the root cause of the misalignment for more permanent back pain relief.