Low back pain or lumbago is a common musculoskeletal disorder affecting 80% of people at some point in their life. The can be either acute, sub-acute or chronic in duration. Chiropractic care involving spinal manipulations is considered a safe, efficient treatment for low back pain. Chiropractic is a health care system devoted to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and/or musculoskeletal system, generally done by special chiropractic doctors, quite efficient in carrying out spinal manipulation and treatment of surrounding structures.
While treating lower back pain, differential diagnosis using a triage concept of classifying low back injuries into categories helps to steer the doctor of chiropractic. These categories of chiropractic diagnosis include:
1. Potentially serious: tumor, infection, fracture, major neurological problem, local open wound or burn, prolonged bleeding (hemophilia), artificial joint implant problems, pacemaker problems, joint infection. In such case the chiropractic practitioner typically refers the patient to a relevant medical specialist or a surgeon, and chiropractic doctor may co-manage the patient’s care with other back pain specialists
2. Sciatica: it happens when the nerve root in the low back is pinched or compressed. The chiropractic method for such cases involves describing the symptoms experienced by patients.
3. Non-specific: when there is mechanical back pain in the lumbar spine (most common type of presentation). The chiropractic remedy for this category also involves detailing the symptoms.
With chiropractic analysis of potentially severe injuries, chiropractic manipulation is generally avoided over the relevant anatomy, although it may not be lined out on other areas. Doctors of Chiropractic, more commonly called as chiropractors, typically care for conditions involving lower back pain and/or neck pain through hands-on chiropractic care, including:
1. Spinal manipulation or adjustment: This chiropractic method involves a high-velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to irregular vertebra with the aim of improving functionality, reducing nerve irritability and restoring range of motion in the back, this manipulation is also known as chiropractic adjustment.
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2. Mobilization: Chiropractic Mobilization aims to increase the range of motion in muscles and joints by applying low velocity manipulation, movement and stretching of those muscles and joints.
The chiropractic treatment plan is determined by the patient’s pain, disability issues and activity intolerance. Patient education with the supervision of the chiropractic doctor is significant to reduce anxiety levels that often accompany intense low back pain. The plan recommends chiropractic care 3-5 visits/week over 1-2 weeks. If no significant improvement is noted, the patient should be referred to another chiropractic expert or other appropriate chiropractic methods must be undertaken.
Furthermore, most chiropractic health centers offer a range of health services, such as:
- Physical therapy:
- In various chiropractic methods, various types of equipment (ultrasound, traction, electrical stimulation, etc.) may be used with the aim of reducing back pain and inflammation.
- A range of cardiovascular, stretching and strengthening exercises may be prescribed by chiropractic doctors to decrease lower back pain, increase strength and restore range of motion.
- Pelvic stabilization:
- When flat feet and/or subtalar instability are present, the chiropractic doctor places a small heel lift in the shoe on the short leg side or prescribes corrective arch supports to help stabilize the pelvis.
- During the tenure of chiropractic care, the chiropractic practiotioner may advocate some procedure that should be employed at home and/or at work.
- Patient education:
- Chiropractic care also involves advising a variety of lifestyle modifications including diet and nutritional programs to the patients suffering from lower back pain.
The doctors of chiropractic do not use any drugs or surgery in their practice. However, sometimes a chiropractic doctor may recommend that the patient to consult another practitioner.