Chiropractors make up the largest group of alternative health care practitioners and the third largest licensed group of medical caregivers (third to dentists and MDs). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has listed chiropractic care (specifically spinal manipulation) as being an acceptable treatment for lower back pain.
Nearly 80% of Americans suffer from back pain at least a few times in their lives. An injury to the back from improper movement or an accident can cause acute lower back pain. Chronic low back pain stems from a myriad of causes and it continues to recur, often with very little trigger. A simple sneeze can bring on the pain for some patients.
The intricacy of the spine is exactly why it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of pain. Normal degeneration of the vertebrae and discs can result in a ruptured or herniated disc and spinal compression. Depending on the location, this can also result in sciatica and shooting pain down both legs. The pain can be debilitating.
Often, back pain is caused by a muscle strain that develops over time. Lactic acid and other acidic byproducts from muscle movement can accumulate and cause pain as well as interference of electrical impulses in the muscle tissue. The pain may come on suddenly and it may continue to be a problem intermittently.
A report by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research stated that spinal manipulation is possibly the most beneficial and effective treatment for lower back pain. Chiropractic care serves to restore spinal alignment and relieve herniated discs. As well, chiropractic manipulation can relieve inflammation and increase mobility allowing the patient to begin exercising to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
In addition, chiropractic care tends to focus on the whole person in order to address the lifestyle factors that are affecting the person’s back. Many chiropractors are educated to advise on nutrition and supplements that can assist in healing the back and promoting a healthier body that will support optimum back health and prevent future injury.