BACK PAIN ANCHORAGE
Does Seeing a Chiropractor for Back Pain Work?
You might be unsure of who to choose if you’re looking for a chiropractor in Anchorage to treat your back discomfort. Everyone experiences back pain differently, and selecting the best medical treatment is not like selecting a restaurant because it could have long-term effects. However, we treat Alaskans with many forms of back pain at Better Health Anchorage.
Studies show that seeing a chiropractor for back pain can be extremely beneficial for most people. Plus, there are far fewer adverse effects from conservative care than from surgery or medication. But that doesn’t mean that chiropractic is right for everyone. A small percentage of back pain sufferers may need surgery or medication.
What Studies Say About Chiropractors for Back Pain?
Let’s look at some research’ findings before we get into more detail on chiropractic care for back pain. The body of research supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic therapy keeps expanding. Here are a few recent illustrations.
A study published in 2020 detailed the treatment of active duty military personnel with low back pain by chiropractors. 86% of participants reported chronic low back pain before the study. They were assigned randomly to a wait-list control group or four weeks of chiropractic care. At the end of the four weeks, those in the chiropractic care group experienced a reduction in low back pain intensity and disability. Plus, they saw an increase in strength and endurance.
Another study published back in 2004, found similar results. This study found that patients who saw a chiropractor regularly for four weeks experienced clinically significant improvements in both low back pain and disability. Spinal manipulation and other chiropractic modalities were used.
What Does a Chiropractor Do for Lower Back Pain?
Chiropractic care treats the patient’s pain by addressing any underlying reasons. The effects of current pain are reversed, bodily pressure is released, and new pain situations are avoided through treatments. The first step in selecting the finest possibilities for healing is to take a sincere look at what could be causing the pain.
A vital part of the body is the lower back. Other parts of the body may react if something is wrong because they want to aid the body in healing the problem. Because of this, chiropractic treatment helps to encourage the body’s overall healing.
It is beneficial to provide healing from within the body’s own natural mechanisms. This is what chiropractic does for lower back pain. It works by reminding the body of its own innate ability for healing. One way chiropractors do this is with back adjustments.
Chiropractor Back Adjustment
A cracking or popping sound is normal during chiropractic adjustments. This is the sound of gas escaping from between the spinal joints. This is perfectly normal and is never a cause for concern. Nor can it cause arthritis or any other ailment.
When to See a Chiropractor for Back Pain?
It can sometimes be difficult when to decide that you need to see a chiropractor for your low back pain. Of course, intense pain that interferes with your ability to do much of anything will necessitate an immediate visit, but pain that comes and goes or pain after a sports game might make you wonder if you really need to see a chiropractor right now.
Some signs that you need to see a chiropractor for back pain include:
- If you experienced a sudden, sharp pain that doesn’t really subside much
- If you were injured in a car accident, boating or skiing accident, or a slip and fall
- If the pain is getting worse, not better
- If the pain is interfering with your sleep, your daily routine, or you find yourself avoiding certain things because you fear a flare-up
- If the pain is consistent or has become worse despite all your efforts (bed rest, ice, heat, etc.) after a week
Better Health Chiropractic Anchorage
8840 Old Seward Hwy, Suite E, Anchorage, AK 99515 (in the South Anchorage Retail Plaza, near Walmart, south of the Dimond Center)
Better Health Chiropractic Juneau
2201 Dunn Street, #2, Juneau, Alaska 99801 (across from the Frontier Suites)
Back Doctor vs. Chiropractor
Most individuals believe that choosing between back doctors and chiropractors is a binary decision. While most patients might not require the services of both specialists, there are differences in how each approaches back pain management.
Back doctors treat back pain in many ways. Naturally, everything depends on the patient’s diagnosis, but these are the general approaches:
Back doctors have a few things they do for back pain. Of course, it all depends on the patient’s diagnosis, but these are overarching treatments:
- Wait and see.
- Medication + wait and see.
Conversely, the doctors at Better Health often work with other specialists when necessary for the optimal health of the patients. Honest recommendations are one of the most important factors of proper medical care in any field.
Medication vs. Chiropractic Care
Considering the opioid epidemic, it’s no wonder patients are hesitant to take medication for their back pain. Avoiding addiction is an excellent reason for not taking medication — especially when there is another way.
In fact, there are several studies supporting the use of chiropractic care for pain management and reduction instead of opioid use. One such study found that those with spinal pain who saw a chiropractor were 50% less likely to fill an opioid prescription. The number was even higher among those who saw a chiropractor within 30 days of their acute pain starting.
But opioid painkillers aren’t the only medications that are prescribed for back pain. A randomized clinical trial compared chiropractic adjustment and muscle relaxants for subacute low back pain. The findings were very interesting, stating that the chiropractic group fared better than both the placebo group and the muscle relaxant group.
Beware: the Drawbacks of Surgery and Medication
When people consider surgery with their doctor, the danger usually becomes clear to them. Back surgeries can take a long time to recover from, and despite advancements in medical technology, the likelihood of a surgery failing has not gone down recently.
The problem is that a lot of patients don’t understand the need to investigate all other choices before surgery. Any sort of back surgery has a prohibitively long recovery period, and there are considerable dangers involved compared to chiropractic care.
One study stated that there are between 25,000 and 50,000 failed back surgeries every year in the United States.
Of course, there are certain instances where surgery is the best option and needs to be done quickly. But for most people with back pain, surgery should be the very last resort.
The use of medication poses similar problems for patients. Especially pain medication. In fact, the more we learn about opioid pain medication, the clearer things become. One study stated that:
“Opioids do not seem to expedite return to work in injured workers or improve functional outcomes of acute back pain in primary care.”
Essentially, they are a way to mask the pain and they do little to eliminate it. The instances of addiction are high among chronic pain sufferers who take opioids regularly for pain management.
These drawbacks are another reason why many people are seeking chiropractic care. It’s a safe, non-invasive, and drug-free option for the treatment of back pain. One thing it is not is a way to mask the pain. Chiropractors work to get to the root of the pain and correct the underlying problem or problems using natural remedies for back pain.
Methods Chiropractors Use for Back Pain
Most chiropractors use a combination of spinal manipulations, patient education, specific mobility exercises, and lifestyle tips for preventing back pain. Our doctors at Better Health have combined these factors with chiropractic massage and physical therapy modalities — all under one roof. Thousands of patients have seen tremendous results from this combination of treatment modalities. Each one has its use during the treatment process and helps to get patients back to their lives as quickly as possible.
Chiropractor for Upper Back Pain
Although upper back pain is more frequent than lower back pain, it is also widespread. Sometimes, this is right below the neck or in the area between the shoulder blades. It may occasionally be in the center of the back. There are more vertebrae in the upper back, also referred to as the thoracic spine, than in the lower back or neck.
Upper back discomfort can be successfully treated with chiropractic care using a range of patient-specific approaches. Physical treatment, massage therapy, and spinal adjustments are frequently employed to great benefit. The patient’s level of pain and the source of it determine the type and frequency of modifications.
Chiropractor for Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is the most common reason for people heading to a chiropractor for back pain in Juneau or Anchorage. As a result, our doctors at Better Health Chiropractic have developed the proprietary Alaska Back Pain Protocol (ABPP) to help our patients. This approach combines three types of treatment that have individually demonstrated their value for the removal of back pain: chiropractic care, DRS System, and rehabilitative therapy.
Together these therapies become a powerful source of recovery from lower back pain. Treatments combined into one comprehensive plan, simplifying the healing process for patients.
What Does the Upper Back and Lower Back Consist of?
When you consider that our spinal anatomy is rather complex, with the back having an intricate web of bones, joints, muscles, soft tissues like ligaments and tendons, nerves, and vertebrae, it only makes sense to seek out chiropractic care for back pain.
To make things a bit easier, the back is typically broken down into four sections. In brief, they are as follows:
- Cervical: The neck area, where the weight of the head is supported
- Thoracic: The upper back, designed to protect internal organs
- Lumbar: The lower back area, increases the range of motion to carry the torso
- Sacral Spine: Involves the sacrum bone, connected to the pelvis via sacroiliac joints
The vertebrae in the spine are separated by discs, which are jelly-like-filled “pillows” that prevent the bones from touching each other and to absorb shock as we walk or perform other tasks.
The lumbar spine naturally curves slightly inward. This curve is called lordosis. There are large muscles in the lower back that support the lower spine and allow you to bend and twist. The two lowest sections in this section of your spine bear the most weight and move much more than the other sections. This is why low back pain is more common than the other sections, but those are also prone to injury.
Nearly 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is why most people go to see a chiropractor.
Since chiropractors are highly trained specialists, they can diagnose and treat each section of the spine.
Finding the Right Help for Back Pain
At Better Health Anchorage, we place a high value on each patient’s quality of life for their own benefit and their families. In fact, we like to think of them as our family! Pregnancy, cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and any other sources for lower back pain will receive a specialized and gentle approach for relief and healing with us.
How to relieve back pain fast? See your chiropractor sooner rather than later!
Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Anchorage employs a non-invasive, holistic, client-oriented approach to chiropractic care. We welcome clients to inquire about information for which they may be uncertain. We are happy to work with other medical providers to give you the type of care that you most desire. We work to help patients find wellness and lifelong health.
Let us help you find out what these advanced treatment options can do for you and your back pain.
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