Back pain and “slipped disc”
Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point during their life, but staying active, with the help of chiropractic treatment, may well be the best solution. Chiropractors treat problems with your muscles, joints and bones and the effects they have on your nervous system. Working on all the joints of your body but concentrating particularly on the spine, we use our hands to make gentle, specific adjustments (manipulation) to improve the efficiency of your nervous system enabling your body to release its natural healing ability. Chiropractic does not involve the use of drugs or surgery.
Chiropractor Michael Copland-Griffiths is shown visually assessing low back motion.
Treat the cause and not the symptoms of back pain
Pain is the way that the body tells you something is wrong. Unlike painkilling drugs, Chiropractic treats the causes of pain and not just the pain itself. Healthcare 2000 chiropractors will carry out a full examination and ask you detailed questions about your pain, your medical history and your lifestyle to seek out the cause of your back pain and offer a diagnosis of your complaint. One we have fully discussed with you your own individual diagnosis and how we can address your problem your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific adjustments (manipulation) done by hand, to free stiff joints and to remove nerve irritation. This proven, effective, drugfree treatment is almost always painless, although some short-term discomfort can be felt if your back is very sore.
Your chiropractor may recommend ice or heat treatment and specific exercises. The illustration shows Chiropractic Assistant Mai Brain advising a patient on how to position her ice pack.
Poor posture may cause pain
Poor posture is a very common factor in the development of back pain. Your Healthcare 2000 chiropractor may advise you how to adapt your posture if you:
- spend hours each day at a desk, computer or in front of the TV
- sleep in a bed that is either too soft or too hard for your physique
- spend hours at the wheel in a car, van or lorry
- slouch at the end of a day at work or even at rest at weekends
- sit at your desk hunching your back and shoulders in stressful
Daily activities such as twisting, bending, lifting, driving and repetitive movements can lead to back pain. Because of this, your chiropractor will need to know how you tackle these daily movements. It will also be necessary to learn about any major traumas, such as car accidents, sporting injuries, lifting strains or falls, however long ago they may have occurred.
Do you have a “slipped disc”?
Spinal discs are fibrous rings with a soft gel-like central nucleus between each of your vertebrae. Discs cannot slip, because they are firmly attached to your vertebrae, but the term ‘slipped disc’ can refer to a tear in the ring, a disc bulge or a prolapse of the nucleus through the outer part of the disc. Any of these can lead to pressure or irritation on the nerves that exit your spine, causing localised pain in your back or ‘referred’ pain over any area through which the irritated nerves pass.
Buttock, hip, thigh or leg pain can be caused by nerve irritation or pressure in the lower spine. Your chiropractor will explain the cause of your pain. It may not be a ‘slipped disc’ - many other problems have similar pain patterns.
How long will chiropractic take to work?
Guidelines for medical practitioners backed by scientific evidence recommend spinal manipulation for back pain, especially if carried out within the first six weeks. The longer you have been in pain, the longer it may take to improve with treatment. Your chiropractor will advise you of your likely recovery time, and how to minimise the chances of the problem happening again. Early treatment is important, but scientific evidence has shown that chiropractors are also effective at treating long-standing or chronic pain.
Is chiropractic treatment possible after surgery?
It probably is. Your chiropractor has the training and experience to treat each patient as an individual. You will receive appropriate treatment and adjustments for your specific condition, while areas not suitable for treatment will be carefully avoided. Many chiropractors are able to offer post-surgical exercise, advice and rehabilitation.
Do I need an x-ray?
You probably don’t. Most back problems don’t show up on x-ray and are better diagnosed using a careful back examination and other tests such as muscle and nerve checks. Indeed, practitioners who advise routine x-rays, especially of the whole spine from top to bottom, may be flouting accepted guidelines.