If you’ve been to primary care doctors for your pain, you’ve been offered the traditional pain relief methods that are available. Most likely, one or more doctors have recommended common pain treatments, including pain medications and muscle relaxant medications. If these options haven’t completely helped, you may have even heard the word “surgery.” We bet you’re left wondering whether there are other pain management options available to you. That’s where chiropractic care comes in, which studies have found effective for pain relief.
Where Traditional Pain Management May Fall Short
Patients often don’t find relief through common pain treatments. There’s an important reason why this is the case: Traditional pain management typically focuses on symptoms — not the underlying problem that’s creating or aggravating the pain. Though traditional medical treatment is probably the best bet when pain is coming from a disease or serious health condition, it’s not necessarily the best solution for other issues, like chronic or work-related pain. And as we see in the news, medication for pain relief is often over-prescribed and abused, which can lead to opioid dependency and addiction.
Traditional pain treatment also often comes with a recommendation for surgery, which is an extreme and invasive option that should be considered under specific circumstances. A long-term study published in the journal Spine looked at a large sample of people with chronic low back pain; the study group had lumbar fusion surgery while the control group did not. After two years, the results showed that only 26% of those who had surgery returned to work compared to 67% in the nonsurgical group. With surgery, 27% needed reoperation, 36% had complications, 11% had a permanent disability, and 76% continued to use opioids after surgery. It is not always the best first option.
An Alternative Solution
Chiropractic care provides an alternative option that doesn’t rely on medications or surgery. It also doesn’t hyperfocus on symptoms, but instead looks at underlying causes of pain that are stemming from the musculoskeletal system.
The aim of this form of treatment is to remove barriers to proper joint motion, proper nerve function and proper muscle function, which removes certain sources of pain and also helps the body work and heal at its best. This is a natural method that focuses on the whole picture of how the different parts of your body and mind are interrelated. Chiropractors use this knowledge to provide treatment, rather than focusing on a small part and ignoring the rest.
Chiropractors can use various methods to treat pain, including:
- Spinal adjustment
- Spinal traction
- Electrical stimulation
- Rehabilitative and general exercise
- Lifestyle education (e.g., ergonomics, diet, and weight loss)
- Diverse therapies and techniques (e.g., trigger point, active release, flexion distraction, Gonstead, etc.)
A spinal adjustment is the primary treatment tool that chiropractors use. During this treatment, the chiropractor gently presses or pushes on restricted joints to restore proper motion. Once the body’s aligned properly, it can move better. This can also remove pain by relaxing muscles around those joints which, in certain conditions, may help to alleviate certain disc and nerve issues that were generating pain.
You might wonder whether chiropractic care will actually work. Will it truly ease your pain? A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine compared the treatment of chronic low back pain between chiropractic and pain-clinic options. Through a questionnaire, the researchers found that the patients who received chiropractic care had a 5.5 point greater mean improvement than the patients in the pain clinic.
At Legacy Medical Centers, we offer a variety of chiropractic techniques to target chronic and work-related pain. And our approach to your health is always customized to take into account your specific needs. Contact us today to make an appointment to see if chiropractic is the right pain treatment for you!