Chiropractic Treatment: Back Pain Only?

There are just so many reasons to visit a chiropractor to have your spine and nervous system checked for proper function and health.  It is probably because the spine is in the back of our bodies and where chiropractors do most of their work that some misconceptions have come about.  For example, is chiropractic treatment back pain related?  This may seem like an obvious point to even consider, but by the time you’re finished reading, you’ll learn why there is just so much more to your chiropractor treatment than you may know.

To begin with, there are also many different styles of chiropractic care.  Some styles are more traditional.  That is to say, they focus on a more manual style of adjusting where you may hear a popping sound as gas is released within the joints of your spine.  This is called ‘cavitation’ and is harmless.  It has nothing to do with bones knocking into one another or anything related to that.  It is similar to the sound and phenomenon that happens when you open a carbonated drink and the bubbles come out of the solution. Where did that gas come from?  It was inside the liquid and released when you broke the vacuum seal of the bottle or can and let the air in.  A similar phenomenon happens within the fluid of your joints when the manipulative force creates a momentary vacuum in that joint space.

Back Pain Treatment

So, why are chiropractors seen as back pain doctors?  It is probably because of the results many people have had who used to suffer with lower back pain, neck pain, headaches everyday or other chronic pain related conditions before beginning chiropractic care.  In the end, the type of treatment you’ll receive will largely depend on your own philosophy, comfort and trust in your doctor and the particular style of care being offered.  There are treatments that include the traditional style of chiropractic adjusting that include the popping sounds and many more that don’t.  As one example is the very gentle and effective practice of Network Spinal Analysis or Network Care that we offer in our practice.

This approach is based upon the fact that the spine and tissues of the spinal cord and nervous system are connected to one another.  Tension, stress, distortion or dysfunction in one will affect the other.  This is why you’ll hear how subluxations of the spine are the result of physical, mental/emotional/psychological, and chemical stressors.  This subluxation is what chiropractors are actually concerned with.  You see, the back is just where the spine lives and this is where your doctor of chiropractic has access to that important system – your spine and spinal cord.

Your back is not some strictly mechanical component of your body.  The spine is a dynamic and highly specialized unit that helps our bodies relate with the environment or world around us.  The stressors mentioned above can create tension within the nervous system, causing it to distort in an attempt to help you more effectively adapt to life.  Your structure may change.  Physiological processes will adapt and change.  You may even start to experience health symptoms and a reduction in your quality of life.  The problem is that if one only focuses on the treatment of your symptoms, you will never realize any significant improvement in your quality of life.

Just as one example of this concept, let’s take herniated disc symptoms and expand upon this idea.  If you’re suffering with lower back pain or pain that radiates into one of your legs, you have some classic signs of what may lead you to seek help from some form of health care practitioner.  Depending on the doctor’s assessment and exam findings, certain recommendations will follow.  These will be different depending on who you see.

Herniated disc treatment by the local medical doctor will likely consist of some anti-inflammatory medication, possibly muscle relaxers, it may include some physical therapy and may lead you to a surgical consult if it is determined that your disc is ‘too far gone’ for lack of a better description.

Then, there are certain chiropractors who may offer you a more conservative approach for your sciatica treatment or offer you adjustments, spinal exercises, possibly even spinal decompression treatments in an attempt to help you find back pain relief.  Chiropractors are also well-trained to differentiate between a piriformis syndrome and a true herniated disc.

Yet again, this type of treatment would be markedly different than if you saw an acupuncturist or Network Chiropractor whereever you live.  This is because the philosophy of how healing and the body work are different.  Which one is right?  Well, that depends on your own personal beliefs and health care philosophies.

The same could be said for neck pain chiropractic treatment.  In fact, all symptoms can be seen as an attempt by your body to get you to change behavior.  In other words, back pain and neck pain are just signs that something is off in your body, something needs your attention.  In the end, it is your health and well being and you are responsible for it.  No doctor, insurance company or third party is going to save you from it.  We are all ultimately responsible for this greatest and most sacred gift – our vital health and well being.  How will you protect yours?

If you’re interested in learning more about our office or how our doctor – a chiropractor Gilbert AZ resident – can help you, contact us today.  We’re looking forward to meeting you!


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